The Christmas Festivities

Welcome back – I hope you have had a good Christmas with families and friends. Ours was fairly quiet but enjoyable, and certainly I appreciated a bit of relaxation after such a busy build up.

    Tuesday 23rd Dec:

The children and I went to Chester to stay with my Mum for Christmas, whilst Billy and Raji had a couple more nights at home before going to see their mum for Christmas and Boxing Day. (Being apart over Christmas wasn’t ideal but was the lesser of a couple of evils, and we planned some family time at New Year to make up for it.) Mum has done something to her hip and is in agony with limited mobility so the children obligingly put up the decorations. Stephen did the Aztec totem tree, complete with a light shade for a star – it certainly had a presence 😉

    Christmas Eve:

Laura, Mum and I drove to a farm outside of Chester to see a 7 month old kitten who was too soft for farm work and wanted to be a house cat. He was a little darling and we took him back with us so he can have what his little furry heart desires, and Mum can have a little furry, purry companion to spoil. 🙂 His name is Rocky and he has the most amazing little purr. He was very, very, unsure of new surroundings and hid in a corner most of the time, but came out for fusses and cuddles. Each day he relaxed a little more and learned that he could trust us – well, more importantly, mum.
By the end of our visit, he was starting to enjoy being on mum’s lap in the evenings:
Rocky Lap

    Christmas Day:

We opened our presents together and had dinner, watched The Queen’s Speech and all the other usual, enjoyable things that make it Christmas. Throughout the day we also spoke on the phone, and texted, family and friends to wish them a Happy Christmas.Then after the clearing up was all done, mum produced four identical looking presents from “Father Christmas“. Each contained a bowl and mug set, with paints to decorate our own set. Brilliant! We all sat at the table together and painted – it was fun, and different, and we had a laugh together.
Blank crockery
Painted crockery

    Boxing Day:

Stephen and I were each going to our respective football matches, and then Stephen was returning home with his friend afterwards, so I drove him to the most convenient motorway services for his friend, and waited until he had been picked up before setting off to Manchester for my own match. What can I say? I thoroughly enjoyed our 5-1 win over Hull and once again wondered just which City was the real one. When I arrived, there was a man sitting in my seat, so I smiled and politely said he was in my seat – so he grudgingly moved to his own seat in the row behind. His friend was sitting in the seat next to mine, so obviously they’d hoped to sit together. It’s amazing how possessive you can get about your own season ticket seat! I wouldn’t want to move from it, but had he been pleasanter, I may have offered. As it turned out though, there was room later for his friend to move back a row so they were together anyway. We always have a minute’s silence at this fixture, to remember all those who have passed away over the year. It was poorly done this time round, I thought, as there was spontaneous applause from everyone as the names were read out, but then the ref did not blow his whistle for the silence, and it was left to fall naturally. After only about half a minute or so of immaculately observed respect, he blew to end the minute. Very weird! Home fans were bemused at half time, not just at being 4-0 up, but also at the opposition manager holding his half time pep talk dressing down on the pitch in front of the travelling fans. That was a new one on us – but not a bad PR move, and it seemed to help a little as their performance was better in the second half. Credit to the Hull fans who continued to sing and get behind their team throughout. Geo was substituted in the second half, giving home fans the chance to join in with the visitors’ applause which was a nice touch. I drove back to Mum’s very happy with the day, though poor Stephen and friend had not had a similar outing. Newcastle lost 2-1 to Wigan in an apparently poor game. Mum and Laura had waited for my return so that we could eat together and we all traditional Boxing Day fare of enjoyed chips and cold meats.

    Saturday 27th Dec:

Laura had arranged to see her friend for the day so I dropped her off and spent a couple of hours catching up with our friend Lee, which was very pleasant. Mum and I then had lunch and popped to the retail park – mainly to pick up some bits for Rocky from the pet shop. I collected Laura later and we had a quiet evening in.

Meanwhile, Billy and Raji were in Poole for their cousin Mike’s 40th birthday celebrations, which consisted of a game of touch rugby in the morning, proper rugby in the afternoon and then a hog roast and fire show in the evening. They’d been looking forward to this and I was pleased to think they could relax and enjoy seeing this lovely branch of the family after spending Christmas itself with their mum. Helen had taken lots of pictures, so I’ve snaffled just a couple to share with you.
Billy: Billy worn out!
Billy in action: Billy rugby
Raji in action: Raji rugby
The whole mad lot of them! Mike's 40th Birthday Rugby bash

    Sunday 28th Dec

Laura and I packed, cleared beds away and then helped Mum to clear her spare room in preparation for the decorator who is coming in the new year to paint it. Lee then very kindly came with his friend to move the furniture for her as we couldn’t have done that – have I mentioned that he is a nice man? We had a quick lunch, and after packing the car with the entire kitchen contents goody bags of food mum had packed, we set off for home and had an uneventful drive. Mum had done very well to be such a good hostess and spoil us, when she was in so much pain – hopefully the chiropracter will sort things out for her as I hate to see her suffering this. Happily, little Rocky distracted us a fair bit of the time and he is settling in well – Mum says he likes turkey, bacon, and licking butter off her fingers! Hm, definitely meant to be a spoiled house cat and not a hard working mouser, methinks 😀 He’s enjoying spending the evenings on her lap though still jumps if there is a loud noise on the TV. He is one lucky little puss and they will suit each other very well I think. I feel so pleased to have been there to meet him when he first arrived and hopefully he won’t be too scared of me when I next visit.

Once home, I sat and watched Blackburn v City on TV, which was a watchable game, but looked like another bad result for us when we were still 2-0 down with about 3 minutes to go. I couldn’t believe it when we equalised thanks to Danny Sturridge and Robinho pairing up nicely for both goals. It was a jammy point, but I was happy to take it, whilst still sparing a thought for Blackburn fans who would be gutted. Having been on the wrong end of this kind of thing myself a few times, I know just how it feels. Credit to my boys though – they stuck at it and their efforts paid off.

Billy and Raji arrived back in time to join me for most of the game – despite having listened to the Newcastle v Liverpool match on the radio on the way. It meant we got to catch up a bit before Raji had to go to work, and it was really nice to do so. Poor Raji had a cold and hadn’t been feeling too great which was a shame but hopefully he could recover now he was home. Billy and I opened the presents he’d brought back with him and had the chance to properly thank each other for ours to each other. Then we spent a little while settling back in at home and catching our breaths before the New Year.


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