A lovely long Easter weekend

I’d been looking forward to having a run of 4 days away from work and Billy and I started it by driving down to mum’s on the Thursday night so we would have all day Good Friday together. Billy had a relaxed with a book while mum and I popped to the shops when they opened. We got loads of bargains! πŸ™‚ Between us we got 15 items for £10.85 in the 99p shop, mum bought something she needed that was on special offer, and then on the way home we EACH picked up a free bottle of car screen wash from Halfords, courtesy of O2 Priority Moments. Since mum doesn’t have a car, I now have 2 bottles and just in the nick of time since mine has just run out πŸ™‚ We all enjoyed a veritable feast for lunch – roast lamb with all the trimmings, accompanied by an absolutely gorgeous bottle of wine and then Chocolate Eclairs for dessert. Mmmmmmm. The weather was actually beautifully spring-like so we went for a post-prandial walk along the new footpath into Wales which was most enjoyable. In the evening we enjoyed crumpets and hot cross buns whilst watching Mum’s boys who had a rare TV appearance – sadly though, they didn’t fare well πŸ™

The next morning was match day; family derby day! We took our time over breakfast and mum packed us lots of food for the day whilst I tried to pack the car with all the household bits mum had donated to us, plus our bags and Easter bags from mum. I got there in the end but I do miss my bootspace. Billy and I popped in to B&Q on the way out of Chester as I had a £10 voucher I could spend in there courtesy of my online market research surveys and we wanted to pick up an instant fire bag or two if we could. We couldn’t find them so had to ask and were directed to the “porch-type” area where we found their last few going cheap – £2 each instead of £3.98 – so we got 5 which was brilliant πŸ™‚

Then it was off to Manchester for the match. I needed to meet up with a friend who had my ticket having used it for the last game and then Billy wanted to pop to the pub to meet with some of our City friends. He was ahead of me (but holding my hand) as we went in to the pub and the bouncers on the door asked for his match ticket to prove he was a home fan as he wasn’t wearing any colours. Just as he was wondering what to do (since opening his mouth would give away his accent!) they caught sight of my coat/scarf and waved us in with an apology. (I would say he owes me but to be fair we usually enjoy the “protection” of the home fan on these occasions.) We had a pleasant pre-match drink and then I left Billy there as the pub is close to the away end anyway and I like to be in my seat much earlier than he does. The match itself was pretty tame I felt – I was even almost-bored for much of the first half though of course it helped that City looked well in control. That said, it took until just before the break for us to score one that counted and typically it was 2 not just the one (could have been 3 but the Toon keeper was in form!) The second half was very comfortable and but for aforementioned keeper, the final score would/could/should have been more than “just” 4-0, though I did think Newcastle were going to score one as the clock ticked down. As ever, the match went too quickly for me as these days I appreciate every second of being there and just want it to go on so I don’t have to leave. Amusing moments were when Newcastle fans sang their usual irritating “They’re here, they’re there….empty seats” and home fans responded with “You only sold one tier πŸ˜€ (To be fair, from my wider view of both sides of the coin, both chants were equally unmerited (home fans hadn’t all arrived at that point and away teams no longer get their allocation on a sale-or-return basis I believe.) The atmosphere was poor – home fans were very quiet and the poorest I’ve witnessed for a very long time. Similarly, I’ve never known Toon fans to be that quiet for lengthy spells at a time. The best entertainment I go was from one of my season ticket neighbours who had a touch of heartburn and was asking everyone if they had any Rennies πŸ˜€ I foresee much mileage in this for future fun. I met Billy back at the car and for once I didn’t get a load of bitter raging – but then there really weren’t any controversial incidents in this fixture for a change. We had a nice easy drive home, though couldn’t get parked anywhere near the house so had to quickly unload then park the car and walk back home.
MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here

The next day being Easter Sunday, of course we went to Pat’s for dinner, booze and games. Dinner was roast pork followed by not one, but two, puddings and then cheese and crackers. It was a little strange with no Grandpa this time (sadly he passed away a couple of months ago but we were privileged to be at his funeral and say goodbye.) The girls actually did better in Trivial Pursuit than usual though of course, the boys still won – the girls won the Logo game, the boys won both Taboo and Trivial Pursuit. We really MUST get some new questions for TP for next time though as even the girls are starting to remember the answers and event he debates, for some of the cards now! There are also an increasing number of questions for which we dispute the answers and/or wording. It was a great day as usual and we finally got to bed at 2am! πŸ™‚

All that crammed in and still a day left for me to do some homemaking which was wonderful. This house really requires a full time homemaker I feel but I did manage to get a lot done and was pleased over all with a lovely four day break from work πŸ™‚

Homemaking

Four more City games: Won;won;won;lost

What with having no internet for a month I’m having to summarise these games, but generally we’re looking like finishing second as long as we don’t blow it and allow a fall down to third. We also have a trip to Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea (who knocked out ManUre – not an easy fixture but eminently win-able if we apply ourselves. That’ll do for me

City 2 – 0 Chelsea – I didn’t go (petrol prices!) but tried to follow as best I could. It looked like it was going to be one of those days when Hart conceded a penalty but he saved Lamps’ effort πŸ™‚ Yaya and Tevez gave us a much needed win
MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCF’s extended highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here

Villa 0 – 1 City – I only had text updates of this one given that we were in the process of moving house. I was pleased with this win as I hadn’t been convinced we’d get it, but good old Tevez popped up with a goal again πŸ™‚
MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCF’s extended highlights here

FA Cup quarter-final Barnsley 0 – 5
– I was convinced this game was ITV for some reason and was not amused to find it was on ESPN when we’ve only just cancelled our subscription πŸ™ With the new house still being full of packing boxes and us feeling like we were camping out, Billy came up trumps with his old radio which he tuned in to Radio 5 live for me so I could listen to the match. The commentators were nothing on Ian Cheeseman who paints the picture such that you can see it in your mind’s eye, but the performance sounded good and an emphatic win was a good boost. πŸ™‚
MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCF’s extended highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here

Everton 2 – 0 City I actually got to watch this game on TV – I shouldn’t have bothered as it was a dire performance by City who didn’t look like wanting to win at all. It was a deserved result and the 1st Everton goal (disallowed) was ONside and should have stood so we should really have lost 3-0! I was not at all happy with the lack of effort and as ever, I could have coped with the result if we’d tried but just been beaten by a better team.

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCF’s extended highlights here

City – bloody awful but improved for the Cup.

Southampton 3 – 1 City

I listened to the radio commentary for this game and frankly, I was disgusted! There was no effort or passion and it looked like some Sunday league team had pinched the City shirts and played in their stead! Barry and Hart had stinkers, but it wasn’t all down to them – it was a team defeat. We deserved to lose; Southampton deserved to win.I don’t need us to win every game, I don’t need us to win the title to be happy, and I can cope with losing but not with lack of effort or life by players! By contrast, the fans were fantastic and sang throughout, reverting to self deprecating humour as in the not too distant past. (Apparently home fans said ours was the best travelling support they’d had this season) This is what I love about being City – the day we become as arrogant as ManUre is the day I quit. The title has gone I think (though to be fair, I wasn’t expecting to win it anyway) and if we’re not careful, I can see us finishing third which I’ve been saying for a few weeks. The boys better pull up their socks next match!

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s Extended highlights here (if you dare!)

City 4 – 0 Leeds (FA Cup)

I expected this to be a tough game and was listening to it whilst packing for our forthcoming house move but it turned out to be comfortable against a poor Leeds team – who nevertheless did come to play football rather than playing a cynical game. This win not only kept us in the Cup, but did much to boost players and fans after the poor performance last week, and will hopefully spur us on in the league. The Leeds fans were excellent – this came across even on the radio, and home fans have commented that they enjoyed some friendly banter with them. Take note FA, it’s the FANS that make the game what it is! I couldn’t believe the cup draw that followed – I was expecting ManUre or Millwall away, but we got Barnsley at home πŸ™‚ (Not that this means I take anything for granted!)

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s Extended highlights here

A lorra laughs with the birthday girl

Mum’s birthday was on a Monday this year and I had some holiday left to take so booked the Monday and Tuesday off and went to Mum’s for a long weekend πŸ™‚

I drove down on Saturday morning and it felt absolutely wonderful to be on the road after such a long time. I love motorway driving and was quite happy singing caterwauling along to my CD’s and looking forward to a couple of days R&R. It was going to be nice to swap the mess and moods at home for calm, order and relaxation.

In our couple of days together we had lots of laughs and managed to go to B&Q to buy paint for the next little project, do the shopping and we thoroughly enjoyed going through some old letters and photographs of my Nan’s. There were letters between her and my grandad from the war when she was evacuated to Whitehaven and he was serving in Italy; it was very moving to read how much they loved and missed each other and promises never to be parted again. Grandad’s letters were full of assurances that “Jerry” was on the run and the war would soon be over now. Nanny’s letters to him and to her mum showed what a close family unit they were and there were others too from very early on in her married life. It was all so interesting and we felt privileged to share a glimpse in to my grandparents’ lives. There was also a little booklet, sponsored by Stork margarine which was a “Questionnaire for young folk which my Nan had been given at school in 1930. There was a sport, history and first aid section of questions and answers, with the rest being general knowledge – and some of them were really tough! Some were just tough for us as they pertained to matters only up to 1930! (so questions asking for the last prime minister to do something, or last sports person to hold a record etc. would not have the same answer now as then.) Some of the first aid answers were so out of date that they were wrong e.g. they had blood vessels down as organs. However the true purpose of this booklet was to brain wash “young folk” with the message that Stork margarine was every bit as healthy and nutritious as butter and mum and I now know that margarine was invented in 1870 by Mege-Mouries thanks to the Franco-Prussian war when there was a shortage of cows and therefore of butter! Stork bought the rights to make it in England and set up shop in Purfleet. (Hope you’re impressed as I have told you this from memory (brain washing, see!)) Mum and I got the giggles as every new section of questions began and ended with one on margarine and its history πŸ™‚ At some point I will try and scan some of this stuff and share. Even the paper was interesting as both the booklet and the letters – and even greetings cards – were on good quality paper, some of which was so soft it was almost like fabric. The stamps were interesting too – mainly those of George VI and then one of the series of letters with Queen Elizabeth II. All so fascinating!

On the Sunday I abandoned mum for a bit and went to my match – my first for ages. I was so happy to be there despite City playing very poorly and being extremely lucky to have it finish City 2 – 2 Liverpool We had two fluky goals but Liverpool were by far the better team and should have won! I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon though, as I always do, and loved getting my fix of live football / City.

On mum’s birthday we had a birthday breakfast of “Nanny toast” and marmalade. (My Nan always used to cut great fat slabs of bread, toast them, add loads of butter (no, not Stork!) and marmalade and this was always a special treat for us when visiting her and grandad) Then mum opened all her cards and presents which was fun – I love sharing present openings and seeing what lovely things people have chosen. We then went in to town and had a nice coffee break (hard work these birthdays you know! πŸ˜‰ ) and visited the Grosvenor Museum which neither of us had done before despite all the years in Chester. It was a bit of a disappointment in that many of the exhibits were being either assembled or dismantled and therefore had nothing for us to see. We were also dodging school parties and in fact it didn’t take us long to look at what there was at all. We enjoyed the Roman bits and we had to leave the art gallery when I got the giggles at mum’s face when a guided group entered the room, taking her by surprise πŸ˜€ We thought we’d revisit the Visitor Centre but this was closed, unfortunately. (When I’ve looked it up to link here, it seems to have changed hands and purpose.) We walked along the river and up through the park, with a nod to “Charlie” (actually, he’s Richard!) whose monument resides there, and finished with a little mooch round a couple of shops. This included popping in to a couple of the O2 shops to ask how to get my usual ringtone set up on my new phone. Unbeknown to me, as the phone was set to “silent”, the volume was on the highest setting and consequentially, in both shops, when staff accessed the song I wanted as my ringtone, “City, Manchester City” blared out full blast – in Chester, which is largely populated by Liverpool fans! The day after we jammily robbed them of a point! πŸ˜€ (Neither store could help much, but I’ve since figured out a way to do it myself.)In the evening I cooked the lamb shanks we’d chosen from mum’s freezer and we had them with a very nice bottle of wine πŸ™‚ It wasn’t the most exciting of birthdays for mum but we both enjoyed it nevertheless and I certainly enjoyed being there to share the day.

On Tuesday, we planned to take Rocky to the vet for his annual injections as Mum hates trying to catch him to take him to the vet and has had to cancel taxis before when she couldn’t get him in time. I was happy to be helping with transport, but after the last time I caught him he was nervous of me for months and I really didn’t want him to be like that with me again. Mum and I were very deliberately acting casually and literally pussy-footing around – and in the end he was fairly simply captured and mum got him into his carrier without too much fuss. It added a bit of extra fun running with his carrier through the blizzard which was blowing at the time, but he got a clean bill of health, bar a minor bout of conjunctivitis for which he got some drops, and that was that! Whatever were we worried about? πŸ˜‰ Mum rewarded us that evening with Dominos pizza – and we got a good deal since we had an e-mail offer of £10 off when ordering £25 or more. Er, bargain! How could we refuse? πŸ˜‰

I had to leave straight after breakfast on Wednesday so that I could get to work for the afternoon, but I had had the sot wonderful break with one of my most favourite people in the world, which really perked us both up I think. Thank you Mummy, I love you, and Happy Birthday πŸ™‚

FA Cup win but then only a point in the league for City

Stoke 0 – 1 City
I watched this game on TV and despite the usual rugby tactics from Stoke at times, I was kicking every ball at others trying to get it in the net πŸ˜‰ On balance I felt we WERE the better team, but as seems to be the case these days, just couldn’t score. In fact I’d just given up hope of it ever happening when Zaba managed it at last – yet again, he was outstanding and my MotM. After this I had a few scares when I thought Stoke would equalise but thankfully we hung on for our first win away to Stoke in a very long time!

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here

QPR 0 – 0 City
I had to make do with the radio commentary for this one – though I DO like Ian Cheeseman’s commentaries as he paints a good picture which you can see in your mind’s eye. It was a very frustrating game to say the least! As you’d expect, bottom of the table QPR parked a double decker but really, we should a) have expected this and b) be used to it, so no excuses for being unable to figure a way through. Credit has to be given to both QPR in general and their keeper specifically though. I was worried we’d concede a couple of times, but at least we managed a draw – usually I’d say that was acceptable for an away game but for a team being “bigged up” by all and sundry to push for the title, it’s really not good enough. Good job the title isn’t the be-all-and-end-all for me!

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here

Premiership Trophy visits the North East

WHAT AN EVENING! πŸ™‚

As a member of the North East Blues OSC I had the opportunity to see the Premiership Trophy when the club brought it up for a visit. The Charity Shield accompanied it but it was clear which stole the show, and rightly so.

Me with the gorgeous trophy

It had been snowing all day and I was worried that it might prevent either the trophy getting up here, or me getting over to Blaydon rugby club which was where the event was being hosted. Billy usually gets dragged along to NE Blues meetings as I don’t like to travelling alone at night, and this was no different. I think in the end, he had quite a pleasant evening too, despite not being City. There were a couple of other non-Blues there too, but a good number of Blues turned out and between us we raised just short of £500 for City’s charities.

Charity Shield, Premiership Trophy, a long suffering Blue and her long suffering husband

The trophy is absolutely gorgeous and it was such a privilege to be able to touch it and admire it. The two security chaps who accompany the trophy on these visits were really friendly and relaxed and although both work for City and one is a Blue, the other is a Red. I asked if it was a bit of a bind doing this and the “red one” said “no” and that he loved seeing the what this trophy means to the fans and the looks of pure joy on their faces. He also said he thought it was great that the club shares the trophy with the fans. It certainly is and it’s so much appreciated by we Blues. We were a part of it when we were unsuccessful, a part of it as we finally achieved some success and the club recognise this which in turn ensures we’ll be a part of it forever more πŸ™‚

THANK YOU CITY! πŸ™‚

Thank you to Rick and the committee of the NE Blues for organising the event, and to Mark who took loads of photos on the night with his professional camera and eye. I love this one he took of Kitty with the trophy.

Kitty and HER trophy

Nel’s Snowy Birthday

Nel’s birthday was on a Saturday this year and since she hates football so much, I forfeited my match to devote the day to her. She wanted to visit the Hancock Museum followed by a Chinese meal for lunch at a restaurant in Newcastle that we’ve enjoyed in the past. However, snow started falling heavily on the Friday and we decided to revise our plans in the interests of safety and having a stress-free day. (We have agreed, however, to go to the museum at a later date so that she doesn’t miss out, but the restaurant appears to now be closed.)

As usual, I was the first up and as Nel had requested a birthday cheesecake, I got on with making her one (and one for the rest of the family!) as well as a big pan of leek and potato soup. When she woke up, she sent me a text requesting a chopped apple and a cat to be take to her in bed! After obliging, I also gave her her presents and cards (DVD’s from us) and Billy trudged through a blizzard in the (now fairly deep) snow to collect Mum’s birthday parcel from the sorting office.

Just before noon, Billy, Raji, and I took the birthday girl out for her Chinese lunch to one of our favourite restaurants, The Golden Dragon, just in town. We had a lovely meal whilst watching the snow falling outside. We had the lunchtime menu but added crispy duck pancakes too as it was a treat. Although I ordered my usual favourite (chicken in lemon sauce) we all shared our dishes so we also had chicken and mushrooms, beef in black bean sauce and broccoli in garlic sauce. The latter was gorgeous and a new (2nd) favourite of mine. Billy left to go to his football match which was still on, and transport running, and the rest of lingered over coffee and Chinese tea before leaving. On the way home, we rented a DVD for later, and then when we got home, Nel went for a nap!

Since I had written off any hope of following my match, it was an unexpected bonus being able to do so, and Raji and I settled in the living room with the fire on, TV flicking between the rugby and Soccer Saturday and I followed MCFC’s text commentary of the game, a comfortable sounding 2-0 win for City. πŸ™‚

We had an evening meal of homemade soup, bacon sandwiches and cheesecake and once Nel appeared, she, Raji and I watched The Amazing Spiderman whilst drinking mulled wine – a cosy way to spend a snowy evening πŸ™‚ The film was very good and much better than previous Spiderman ones; it is very much in keeping with the Avengers series and I look forward to the next film.

Although it was not quite how we’d planned to spend Nel’s birthday, it was a very pleasant and relaxing day in the end and we all rather enjoyed it. I can’t believe my youngest baby is 20 now, but am very proud of her and how she’s grown into such a lovely young woman πŸ™‚

Arsenal 0 – 2 City

At last! A game I could watch – I never realised how much I took it for granted that I could watch every game, even when not there or when it wasn’t being shown on TV! Billy, Raji and I watched this match on TV and though I expected us to lose,City not having won away to Arsenal for 30+ years, I hoped for a good performance.

Only ten minutes or so in, Arsenal went down to 10 men and despite some people thinking it was harsh, I think it was a definite red and penalty – you can’t wrap your arms round a player who looks like scoring and wrestle him to the ground! Sadly, Dzeko’s spot kick wasn’t great and was saved.

Rugby tackle?

I don’t quite know how Milner’s shot went in ten minutes later, but was very pleased it did πŸ™‚ Dzeko then redeemed his earlier miss by scoring before the break (and baffling us with his t-shirt message πŸ˜‰ ) so it was 0-2 at half time and I couldn’t believe it! However, I took nothing for granted.

After the break, Arsenal did look more composed though didn’t really threaten much. Conversely, we had chances that we either squandered (a sitter by Tevez!) or were saved. Nothing too exciting happened until late on when Kompany got a red for fairly winning a 50:50 ball! Absolutely unbelievable! He was in full control at all times and the ball was there for the taking.

Red card?

Fortunately, on appeal, the red was overturned – much to my pleasant surprise!

Lescott cleared a shot of the line, and so we hung on to win a huge victory. Brilliant stuff by City, with special mentions to Pab Zab, Milner and Tevez πŸ™‚

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s Extended highlights here

Rounding off my break

All too soon it seemed that I was coming to the end of my holiday and I used the last few days to sort out everything from my sock drawer to my paperwork – hardly glamorous but rather satisfying. One thing I will/won’t miss is that for these last 2 weeks I’ve been doing all the washing up once or twice a day – I won’t miss it in that it seems grossly unfair that people just leave all their dirty stuff and don’t take a turn, but I will miss it because all that dirty stuff will now remain there! Washing up (and leaving dirty plates, glasses and cups sitting around in the living room) is one of my bug bears in our household. I’ve also kept on top of emptying bins, not had to worry about how long it takes to put the wash-load out to dry in the mornings, and been able to cook what and when I’ve fancied. Best of all though, I’ve seen more of the family because everyone has such vastly different working/sleeping/waking times that we’re usually ships that pass. Being at home I’ve been here to chat at whatever time they are most inclined and I’ve loved that. (Funnily enough, the exception has been Billy – I saw no more of him than usual as he tended to either be out or in bed.) A little bonus that has brought me much pleasure has been fussing the cats every time I’ve been around them – their soft, furry, purry little bodies are such great de-stressors and I’ve had lovely cuddles and smiles dotted about my days here and there.

On Friday night we were back playing darts (it was a cup game last week when I was away, Raji stood in for me, and after winning round one, the team was knocked out at the next stage.) We were at home against The Grapes (the team defeated by the boys in the cup last week) and they absolutely thumped us! It’s been years since we lost 11-0 but that’s what happened. In most of the games we were miles behind but the away team faltered on their finishing allowing us to catch up and get a couple of goes at a double before they finally got it themselves. They were, however, a very nice lot and it was nonetheless a good evening. Senior was ill – the result won’t have helped make him feel better – so Billy stood in for him so our playing order was: Mark, me, Junior, Billy, Paul and Graham. At least I don’t need to spell out for you which games we won or lost πŸ˜‰

Thumped!

On Saturday it was fun following the FA Cup action – for me this is still a magic competition and brings the wider football family together. We all love a cup upset (unless we’re on the receiving end of course) and we all know anything can happen on the day. Sadly Newcastle were beaten by Brighton, though from the bit of the game I saw, the result was deserved. I listened to City 3 v 0 Watford on the radio and it sounded comfortable though never to be taken for granted. Thankfully we were 2-0 up at the break thanks to a fabulus Tevez free kick and another Barry header. This made it a little easier to bear in the second half and it was lovely for our 17-year old debutant, Lopes, to score the 3rd. Watford fans didn’t endear themselves to the home fans with their chants of “United. United…” Why on earth do fans do this? Support your own club, that’s what you’re there for! Anyway, a good win and City are into the next round. And it turns out that it will be against the winners of the replay in another of the games that interested me – Palace v Stoke! I do hope Palace win through so we can play them – at least either mum or I would be happy with the result and could wholeheartedly get behind them to go the whole way πŸ™‚

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here

So now here I am on Sunday evening having relaxed, sorted, blogged,and packed my gym bag ready to get back to normal tomorrow. I have really enjoyed this much needed break and although I’ve kept busy, I’ve been able to relax too. I’ve enjoyed being a housewife and mum again, do I have to go back…………..?

New Year with good friends

In a change to our previous New Year’s Eve arrangements, this year we went to Roger and Steph’s new home to see out the year. There were about 15 or so of us altogether, including Simon and Claire who were up for a few days so it was a nicely sized gathering. There was certainly plenty to drink, and besides chatting, there was the Wii for those who wanted to play, as well as a shot-drinking roulette game and later a logo quiz board game which was played boys v girls. Raji, Steph and Dan played the roulette game enthusiastically, knocking back shots of Cactus Jack (which looked revolting – especially the Jaffa cake flavoured one!) It was nice to see Raji letting his hair down, though he didn’t actually get that drunk. The board game later was made interesting by the fact that both question masters were under the influence and had great difficulty reading the questions, one of the girls seemed determined to help the boys, another moved to sit far enough away that the girls’ conferring could be heard by the boys enabling them to steal a question or two and best of all, the rules appeared to be made up as we went along πŸ˜€ It was a lovely night with lovely people – these people are amongst our closest friends and it was just so nice to relax with them and see in the New Year together πŸ™‚

When we got home at around 2.30 am, it was to discover that Stephen’s tonsillitis/cold had been bad enough that he was sent home to bed after dragging himself in to work, and Nel had been poorly enough that she’d had to cancel her own NYE plans. πŸ™ My poor babies are both now on herbs and working through the bug, which is a nasty one.

I was unsurprised that I didn’t sleep at all, as I had missed both my deep sleep cycles (I seem to have one around 11.30pm and one about 2.30 am ) so I just relaxed in bed (listening to Billy snoring πŸ˜‰ ) and got up not much later than usual really. What WAS a surprise was that I felt absolutely fine, unlike previous years, and yet I’d probably drunk slightly more! I wasn’t complaining!

We spent the afternoon with Pat, having collected Paul and Steph on the way, and once again we had a fantastic day with them, Natalie and Grandpa. We were stuffed after the roast pork dinner with all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding, profiteroles and later cheese and biscuits. Naturally the drink flowed freely too, and I had had some sneaky peeks at the MCFC Twitter commentary of the City 3 v 0 Stoke match and was delighted with the result. (MCFC’s 60-second highlights here and extended ones here.)

Between dinner and pudding we played the reindeer racing game which had come from the crackers – think some of the reindeer must have been sneaking some of Santa’s sherry!(If video clip doesn’t show, right click the blank area and click “reload“)

We also played Pat’s own variation of build-a-beetle with felt pieces assembled in to snowmen – a simple but fun game. I seemed to throw load of 6’s and Pat could only throw 1’s! We then played our Nasty Horse Racing Game which we took with us and that was fun with some devious moves and downright persecution for the most tenuous of reasons (yes, I admit it – I knocked Natalie’s horse out of a race simply because it was red! :D) We then managed a couple of quick games of Trivial Pursuit though this was pretty tame compared to usual (probably because Barbara now lives in Oz and wasn’t there.) The girls even managed to get all their pieces of pie in the first game but simply could get to the middle for the final question and then correctly answer before the boys cleaned up. (Of course if the girls would stop being preoccupied with landing on the pink questions all the time, they might do better – did I mention that I hate the pink ones? πŸ˜‰ )

Despite my lack of sleep the previous night, I did OK but was definitely very tired and ready for home by the time we got a call from Nel asking us to come home soon. Her cold had given her hearing loss in one ear and she was feeling a bit scared, so we wrapped up the game and walked home. Nel was fine once she knew we were home so we wished her goodnight (well, morning) and crashed into bed.

We do love spending New Year with our friends. Happy New Year.

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