After all the build up and excitement for Christmas we are now into that bit that lies inbetween.
The fridge is still holding it’s breath in, crammed full of left overs.
The empty bottles clinking their way to the recycling bins.
The realisation that you forgot to do pigs in blankets which means there are even more sausages and bacon in the fridge than you thought. Is it physically possible to eat sausages three times in one day?
Intentions of going for walks never materialising.
The tickly throat that started a few days before Christmas actually meaning it now and needing drugs at regular intervals.
The second Christmas dinner not using up all the leftovers.
A good tidy up so that when family arrive there might actually be space for them and their things.
Trying to find a home for the third fire extinguisher, still not solved. But instead realising there is a small leak coming from the shower tray.
Planning food for five not two and wondering where you are going to put it all.
Wondering if the forecast weather will put a kibosh on arrangements.
Gold Licence put off for a year. But a booking to go onto the Monty made.
The big man visited us during the night and left all three of us plenty of goodies to open in bed. Tilly wasn’t too impressed by the refills for the lint roller, but Father Christmas must have known what she was getting as her main present as her stocking was full of balls. I’m really looking forward to see how many friends I can attract with the fat balls in trees!
In London my nephew Josh had set up a motion detected camera on Christmas Eve to see if he could disprove the existence of Father Christmas. Unfortunately for Josh the batteries ran out before anything could be detected and recorded, or was this just the magic of the man in red!
This year Oleanna had joined in with the present giving. I never thought I’d be the sort of person who’d be pleased to receive a mop and sweeping brush. These have telescopic handles and quite easily sit under the gunnel in the bathroom. The broom is especially designed for narrow spaces, what more could you ask for.
The Horseshoe Falls was designed by Thomas Telford and diverts water from the River Dee into the canal. The last section of canal is very shallow and only the horse drawn trip boats can now make it this far, they have slight V shaped bottoms which must just fit down the shallow channel. When Thomas Telford was appointed as the general agent for the Ellesmere Canal in 1793 he had no experience of waterways and together with William Jessop they came up with the engineering that makes the canal so famous today. As a result Telford became one of Britains most famous engineers.
Plenty of people were out for a Christmas morning stroll along the canal and despite the drizzle gradually turning into rain we enjoyed ourselves. A few boats were moving, NB Harnser came down to the basin to wind and wave.
An Anglo Welsh boat came to moor, but the gusting wind made manoeuvres very difficult for them. Plenty of people came out to offer advice, but in the end they had succeeded in winding so returned back onto the cut where there wasn’t going to be quite so far to be blown!
Our Christmas dinner was exceptionally tasty, the duck one of the best we’ve had. All the accompanying veg made a mountainous plate of food and we have more than enough to keep us going over the next few days. A lull with another glass of wine to watch Dr Who before it was time to open my birthday presents and cards and blow out the candles.
My cake, a Queen of Sheba Cake, was maybe a little bit under cooked, the recipe I have is really quite vague as to temperature and cooking times. The advantage is that it’s meant to be gooey in the middle anyway, just this time it was bordering on runny.
0 locks, 0 miles, 3 over full stockings, 1 horseshoe, 10 CD’s, 1/3 by Kate, 1 broom, 1 mop, 11 pairs socks, 1 tumblehome fitting tree, 19 holes! 5 balls, 1 very tasty duck, 27 noisy ducks, 1 new Dr, 4 empty bottles, 1 window vac, 2 overly full boaters.
Today has been busy. After realising last night that we had no birthday candles, they had been culled when we moved boats, we had to buy some today.
Most of the day has been spent chopping, bubbling, stirring, baking, rolling, cutting, baking, crumbing, steeping, saucing, mixing, baking, cooling, eating, slicing and icing, with a little bit of wrapping up too!
The majority of time consuming jobs have been done, so tomorrow we should just have to pop the duck in the oven and roast it.
Happy Christmas from all three of us.
We are even ready for the big man.
We knew that some shops would be open tomorrow, but the really important one wouldn’t be. We also had to make sure we got our Saturday paper for the TV guide.So after our cuppa in bed we headed into town to finish our food shopping. The shops we wanted were all close together and busy. First Dee Valley Green Grocers. A small shop that had taken over much of the pavement and a couple of parking spaces opposite and orders lay in boxes waiting to be collected up the street. Certainly a popular shop, one lady was disappointed that they had no fennel, but that was the only thing missing that we could spot. That was our first heavy bag on the bike.
Next Porters Deli. Some gluten free oatcakes and then which cheeses? I ended up going for two favourites, Cornish Yarg, Mature Wensleydale and then an unknown Mature Caerphilly. Thinking about it I should have got some Shropshire Blue too, but we can’t let the cholesterol levels get too high.
Mick popped into the bakers whilst I stood in line at Gwyn Davies, the butchers. The counter was heaving with meaty goods. I had my list and was going to stick to it, just the choices of smoked bacon or not and which sausages to get. I wonder if they bring the retired butchers in for such days with their knowledge and patter. Most customers were known and when my duck was brought from the back it was accompanied by two more for those spotted waiting in line. Once the butcher had my name he made sure he used it, ‘Is that duck okay for you Mrs Leckenby?’ ‘That’s a nice piece of gammon Mrs Leckenby’, ‘Just four rashers of smoked Mrs Leckenby’, ‘They wouldn’t be a secret recipe if I told you what was in them Mrs Leckenby’. My Mum, the Mrs Leckenby would have loved him, this Miss Leckenby did too. Another heavy bag to add to the bike and we were done and back at Oleanna for a late breakfast an hour after we’d left.
Mick set about getting sooty and swept the chimney for the first time. Taking the baffle out of a Bubble stove is far far easier than on a Squirrel. The hole stove got a good hoover out before he laid a fire for this evening. I set about rationalising the kitchen. We are both as bad as each other, things don’t always get put away and the worktops were getting quite cluttered. So things went back into cupboards and plenty of space was made for all the cooking that will be happening in the next couple of days. I even decided to reclaim the cupboard that was the Finesse cupboard, most things found new homes and some bits went in the bin, hope we don’t end up needing them!
Next I set too sorting out the dinette bed. When Oleanna was built we asked for this to be able to turn into a small double, which it does very easily. Only thing is that one section of the back support was fixed, leaving one end of the bed six inches narrower than the other, very awkward to get a sheet around if nothing else. I’d had a look at it a few weeks ago and bought a piece of foam to plug the gap.
The back support was fixed in with two screws at the top, then a couple more at the bottom which went into a piece of 2×2 which was in turn fixed to the base. I’d originally thought we’d need to add a spacer behind the support to hold it in the right place. But because it was cut to fit at an angle all it needed was to be rescrewed to the 2×2, which was now loose, this all fits back where it came from and stays put without being screwed into position.
Next I cut a six inch piece of foam to fit the gap, using my trusty 33 year old bread knife. It is slightly raggerdy edged, but this is liveable with. It fits the gap nicely and who knows I may even cover it someday to match the dinette cushions. Next I fitted a fitted sheet onto the cushions and pinned where a new seam was needed. With the dinette back in sitting order and my sewing machine out from the depths I then ran a line of stitches on the sheet to hold it into it’s new slightly narrower size. We can now have guests to stay. Good job as we’ve got some next week!
Tomorrow there is lots of precooking to do for the big day, including Christmas sausage rolls, Christmas biscuits and my birthday cake needs baking. We half expect to see our friend Frank turning up as he used to in Scarborough, timing his arrival just as things were coming out of the oven!
0 locks, 0 miles, 1 late breakfast, 1 bag King Edwards, 2 lemons, 12 brussels, 5 onions, 2 red, 1 tree, 1 red cabbage, 5 carrots, 4 parsnips, 14 sausages, 1 gammon joint, 1 duck, 4 streaky, 4 thick smoked, 1 black pud, 1 loaf, 24 oat cakes, 3 treat cheeses, 1 Saturday paper! 1 load of washing on the whirligig, 1 chimney sweep face, 1 pair white gloves, 1 galley sparkling, 6 inches makes a difference, 1 complete 4 foot bed, 1 outside well and truly used up, can we move on now, pleeease!