Since my last catch up we’ve been doing our best to get festive. Our Christmas lights went up earlier than normal, thankfully they have all survived our time away. We used to have two 6ft Christmas trees that we’d buy in Dalby Forest, but this year our £4 tree from Newark Market, back in 2015 sits on a table in a bay window. The lights that used to decorate the trees are now around the windows.
A week or so ago we had a half hour singing carols with neighbours at the top of the road with Scarborough’s Town Crier, he lives two doors up from us. Have to say I surprised myself at the number of carols I knew without a song sheet. The Town Crier may have been loud, but we were more tuneful shall we say!
A burst water main at the top of the street gave the Crier something else to shout about as Yorkshire Water turned the water off for a few hours one evening. No need to knock on doors just get the Town Crier to do his thing up and down the street.
Frank our bubble carpenter has helped sample Christmas biscuits, more ginger was required and my jar was deemed to be past it. There was a distinct shortage of ground ginger in town (apparently something to do with the pandemic) so I thought I’d have a go at making my own. I red up about it and a large root that had arrived a week earlier was peeled (with the aid of a spoon handle), sliced up in the Kenwood chef and then spread out on an oven tray. This went in a very low oven for three plus hours to dry out, it then got ground in the spice mill.
Whilst the ginger was doing it’s thing there was a popping noise from the main oven that I’d just turned on to cook our evening meal. It stopped warming up, it had stopped working. Top oven where the ginger was being quite fragrant still worked thankfully. The following day we pulled the oven out to see if there was anything we could do. One thing led to another and after admitting defeat we managed to push the oven doors onto the floor. This created a rather sparkly effect as the top oven door shattered and both doors ended up being rather dinted!
With less than two weeks to Christmas we hunted round for a good double oven, finding one at John Lewis that would arrive the following week, not quite as good as our old one, but at the very top of what we were willing to pay. Mick then remembered he’d ticked the accidental damage box when taking out house insurance. A claim was made and we waited to see if they would pay up. On Monday morning they rang us and by the end of the day they had agreed to pay for a new oven, if we hadn’t been under Christmas pressure we’d have ended up with the next model up too! This was delivered a week ago and has been fitted and works wonderfully, thank goodness we dropped those doors!
A trip to see The Snow Queen at the SJT was always on the cards and thankfully Scarborough has been in tier 2 so the show could go on. This was my first live theatre since seeing Alarum in Birmingham back in February and what a treat it was. The show was rewritten as a one woman show and blimey she had to work her socks off! Set designed by Helen who would have been doing costumes for Chippy panto this year. The front of house staff were very good and all covid measures made you feel safer than walking down the street. A great show and chilled medication thrown in as well, a lovely evening. Taking the C&RT line and changing it a touch ‘Life is better with live theatre’.
Parcels have been delivered, parcels posted. Cards sent and received, having an address does mean we’ve had more than the last few years, in fact we’re running out of space for them!
This year we could hand deliver cards to our friends around Scarborough, they were accompanied with a bag of homemade ginger biscuits, the new batch with extra homemade ginger! We had a lovely few hours walking from one side of Scarborough to the other delivering festive cheer and catching up with people on their doorsteps whom we’ve not seen for years.
I’ve knuckled down to do a bit of work. Chipping Norton panto next year, postponed from this year is forging ahead. A new version of the script and some time in my work room, assisted by Tilly of course. Sketches done and approved by the director David, a story board ready to be sent out, I’ll move on to making the model in the New Year.
Today is all about cooking, getting stuff done so as to be able to do less tomorrow. Bread sauce, stuffing, gravy, red cabbage and of course festive sausage rolls. For the last few years these have been enjoyed whilst cruising to our Christmas mooring, this year I half expect Franks nose to be twitching as they go in the oven and the door bell to ring as they come out!
Tomorrow we will be joined by Frank for dinner and birthday cake, hope we’ve enough food to go round! We’ve been warned, by his usual hosts, that he can always manage two puddings and then after a little nap he’ll quite easily fit in some cheese too! Maybe I should do Yorkshire Puddings, ‘The one who eats the most puddin’ gets the most beef’ as said by a farmer during harvest to their field hands.
This morning Lisa forwarded us a photo of Oleanna. The level has risen some more and the sun was breaking through the clouds. Here in Scarborough Mick has just ventured out to get some carrots as our veg box was lacking yesterday.
Well the prep is done and my prediction of Franks arrival was correct, well maybe he was just a few minutes early for the sausage rolls coming out of the oven!
The house now smells of Christmas, the fire is lit and I’ve managed to keep Frank far enough away from my birthday cake for it to last until tomorrow.
Stockings are out, so we are ready.
Where Were We
2019 Radford Smelly, Grand Union
2018 Somewhere between Napton Junction and Braunston, Oxford/Grand Union Canal
2017 Llangollen Basin
2016 Bugsworth Basin, Peak Forest Canal
2015 Kings Marina, Newark, River Trent
2014 Hackney Wick, River Lee