Decorating about done
Happy New Year to everyone - let's hope 2013 is the best year of your life.
It's been nearly two weeks since I last blogged, and there has been all sorts of things happening in that time.
I will pick up on Christmas Eve, we went to church in Great Ayton and to see Nat's family. It was a good Christmassy service with 30 minutes of Christmas Carols beforehand, I always enjoy them more when I am not playing the organ. After Mass I noticed Pat Monahan was there, so headed over for a chat with him. Which reminds me, tickets for April 4th Charity Chuckle are starting to move now and can be purchased by clicking here. It wasn't all singing and festivities though, when we arrived back home, I was determined to finish off bits around the house so we didn't have paint brushes/rollers/screwdrivers etc lying around over Christmas. With the assistance of Sky Arts and Andre Rieu, I worked until 5:30am on Christmas morning, at one point I was sure I heard reindeer footprints (of hoofprints?) on the roof.
Christmas morning came and, despite a late night, I played the organ at church - again, a belliful of carols to feast on. After this came the tradition of piling into Granda's house, only it is Amy & Pip's house now, and unfortunately, our first year without Granda, although he was, and continues to be, very much remembered. This was followed by one of my favourite lunches of the year, pigs in blanket. It always goes down well, especially at Christmas (even though there was the option of beef, pork or lamb, I always stick with my pigs in blankets). The evening led us to see Joe & Isaac as they were slowly drowning in presents. They were two lucky and happy boys this Christmas.
Don't know who is most excited
Boxing Day came round and it was Nat's turn to cook for her family, which in turn meant it was time I steered cleared of the kitchen. I was left to show how much I had fell behind in the gaming world, being beaten by Cody, aged 13, on every single game of Call of Duty Zombie Attack we played. Give me Icicle Works, Kickstart or Sensi Soccer anyday! Hartlepool were at Carlisle and I fancied them to have finally turned the corner and get the win they needed. They got wellied (I believe that is the term) 3-0.
Friday came and we were taking Joe & Isaac out for the day. First up was a trip to the duck pond in Norton, followed by a visit to the legendary Wynyard Planetarium (never heard of it really). Instead of coming back with the knowledge of Professor Brian Cox, I came back none the wiser, knackered and covered in mud. The planetarium wasn't even open but it just so happened to have a fantastic play area nearby. After a much needed siesta we geared ourselves up for Amy & Pip's Christmas get together, which turned out, as expected, to be a fun night, with Pip's trifle the star of the show.
I was asked a few weeks back to play the keyboard for a family friend's surprise 80th birthday party, and that day was Saturday 29th. Although Veronica had been told of the party it didn't spoil the day, and I was really pleased to be a part of it, after all I had played for her 70th, and hopefully again in ten years time for her 90th. As a very generous gesture, Veronica's family made a donation towards the Brain Research Trust, so thanks again. The people of Sheffield must have thought the Mayan calendar was running a few days late as they were beaten by Hartlepool. What made it truly amazing was that they were top of the league, and Pools were bottom, having not won a game in 20 odd. Was this the new dawn? Saturday night came which meant another gathering for poker night. It was just the tonic after Christmas, an easy way to line my pockets with gold....
New Years Eve finally came round and I had made the decision to drink, after giving up for a year, once the clock chimed midnight. After gathering at Amy's house we spent the traditional night in the club listening to Johnny (or was it George?) Reynolds, aka The Working Man. God knows who gave him that nickname, for a guy who doesn't sing songs post 1970 I'm amazed he is working anywhere at all! Anyway, we partied, as we do, and moved on to Mam's house. As the clock struck 12 I first footed into Mam's and we toasted with a straight whiskey (sorry Granda - no lemonade!) to Granda. I think we trickled home around about 3am.
New Year's Day arrived. Hartlepool were at home and almost certain to carry on their new streak of form. They never. Despite being the better team, they trailed 1-0 at half time, and I think the celebrations from New Year must have then kicked in for the second half they were terrible. We all met back up and had a few drinks on the night while watching Phil Taylor take yet another world title.
So that brings me back up to date, back to work this morning and back into a new training regime. I already have squash and badminton booked in for next week, and hope to walk to work as many days as I can this month. I have set myself a month long strict diet and hope, together with an intense month of training, that I will quickly start getting in shape for the walk.
Other than that, nothing else to report....