Booking into Cropredy Marina wasn’t solely to do washing but so that we could have a few days away from the boat, leaving Tilly in charge and in the warm.
Saturday morning we packed a bag with clothes and presents. She refused to put me inside it, so I sat on top with the hope that they wouldn’t forget me. It didn’t work!
Mick had booked our tickets to London a few days ago. Splitting our journey to London at Oxford, a direct train back for the two of us cost £28, not bad, but we did have to be on specific trains. We booked a taxi to get us to the station in Banbury, but amended our booking when Mick noticed that the train we were booked on was going to be half and hour late, which would give us just a couple of minutes to catch the next train.
So at Banbury we squeezed onto the first train heading to Oxford and Mick was ready to argue a point with the guard, but nobody checked our tickets. At Oxford we had an hour spare so bought some sad gits sandwiches at M&S and waited for the next train. This train stopped everywhere, but we did have seats so we could settle down for a while. My knitting came out and I got the rib done for a glove by the time we arrived in London.
Then a bus took us right across London to Hackney and my brothers house.
Christmas post was mixed with our postal votes for the General election. Mick had applied for his on line whilst I did mine by post from Chippy. His arrived very quickly and mine in the second batch. What was interesting was our different envelopes, Mick’s being for a postal vote from abroad! We both took time to study the instructions, marked our crosses and sealed the envelopes, they went in the post on Sunday morning.
We had a lovely evening with Andrew, Jac and Josh. Eating , drinking and me making two batches of my gluten free puff pastry. It’s amazing what a difference in just room temperature does to pastry. On the boat I’m sometimes tempted to do two roll and folds in a go, but Andrews house was so warm the butter just kept melting quicker than I could roll the pastry out on his granite tops. I did discover that rolling out on a worktop above a dishwasher was not in the slightest bit good as I almost had to spoon the butter back onto the pastry.
Sunday morning there were jobs to do. Mick headed to buy wine and flowers, whilst I made a wreath for the front door and Jac and Andrew tidied up and cooked.
This was the first time Andrew had ever dealt with gluten free pastry and it’s been a while since I’d made any, I’d forgotten how crumbly it is. Making two huge long Salmon En Croute took a bit of doing, the pastry being quite short it wouldn’t let us do any pretty lattice work on top, but we got the two of them into the oven in one piece.
Today we were having a pre-Christmas get together with three of Mick’s sisters, sadly Anne lives a touch too far away in Scotland for her and Alasdair to be able to join us, but I’m not sure we’d have been able to fit them in! Last year we’d had such a get together and it was really good fun it was decided to repeat the event.
Presents were exchanged, news caught up on, jokes told, food eaten, wine drunk. A very good Sunday afternoon with almost all of our siblings. It was enjoyed so much I suspect we’ll be doing it again next year.
0 locks, 0 miles, 1 home alone cat, 1 magic food bowl, 1 very full bowl of biscuits, 1 taxi, 2 trains, No 30 bus, 1 wave to Joa, 1 load of washing hung out super quick, 1 pair gloves started, 1200 grams puff pastry, 6 folds and turns, 2 A envelopes, 2 B envelopes, 1 brother, 3 sisters, 1 nephew, 11 for lunch, 2 cats, 1 very lovely weekend.