GPS diversion. We were trying out the GPS software on my phone but managed to set it to the wrong location for our first stop! We were diverted off the Milton Keynes ring-road through a bunch of villages and I was just saying "No, this can't be right, I'm sure!" again when the robot lady said "Turn right and you have reached your destination :)" (no really, you can hear the smileyin her voice!). After we re-set it we got on better although the last bit of the journey to Alex's sisters house was a little more winding than I would have chosen due to the "Avoid motorways" setting making us not use the M11 for 1 junction.
Best curry evar. We got to Jo & Ben's (only running an hour late, between traffic and the above!) and they had got takeaway curry for us. And it was amazing stuff. It was apparently from a place in Cambridge where they get regional chefs in and run cookery courses and is generally a bit up market. The naans were actual huge flat-breads and the curry looked like it had not been made artificially lurid by anything! I don't actually have anything authentic to compare with but it was how I imagine authentic curry would be.
Heroic driving. When we left the fog had come down and I mean that seriously. It had been a bit foggy on the way up but this was fog such that you couldn't put the main beams on because they impeded your visibility and you had to sit forward and stare really carefully to be able to follow the road. Every now and then we would reach someone going slower than we were and I would be unsure until someone passed us in the other direction whether we were on dual or single carriageway because you couldn't see across the next lane to the barrier or verge. V v tiring. Arrived at parents house around midnight.
Relaxing en famile. Yes, I know it's unfashionable but I like Christmas with my family! Went out for a walk with Mum and Dad in the morning to see the site Mums school is moving to. The new housing is actually surprisingly nice! And kind of semi-detached from the village, which is slightly odd but works quite well, I think. Also featuring at this stage, open fire.
Christmas dinner 1. Dad had whipped up a pretty impressive spread, as usual. Pigeon terrine with goats cheese and bacon salad, roast pork with potatoes and cabbage with apple, and panna cotta with blueberry coulis for dessert. Each course was entirely home prepared and had it's own wine and all in all it was a sumptuous feast. I was going to photo it all but got distracted and forgot to do pudding.
Christmas gift exchange 1. On the basis that giving presents is most fun when you can watch the receiver unwrap them, we did gift exchange for everyone who wouldn't see each-other on Christmas day. I got many lovely things, including new saucepans (w00t!) and warm snuggly cardigan perfect for the office. Everyone seemed to like their stuff from us and all was cheerfulness. This was followed by the ritual playing of the scrabble while Alex read most of one of the books Steve & Amy bought him (he finished it off the next morning).
Boxing day 1. More relaxing with Mum & Dad was followed by traditional Boxing day lunch of cheese! I absolutely adore this. I would have cheese board lunch every week if such a thing were not very bad for ones cholesterol. Alex had his own selection of non cow cheeses and it was very satisfying.
Visiting. Popped over to our Norfolk friends with small children to spread more Xmas cheer and lego. Then over to Steve & Amy's new house, which is in the process of being done up so that they can live there in Jan. All a bit chaotic at the moment, but looks like it will be good when done.
Most gorgeous sunset evar. Driving home started off foggy but lifted when we were about half way down the M11 to reveal the most beautiful sunset with trees silhouetted against it and bits of mist in the fields and so on. Gradually as we drove on we could see all the colours of light stretch out in the sky as the sun went properly down and it was just amazing. I wish we could have photoed it but it didn't really come out.
More heroic driving. After this the fog came down again and it was back to peering very very carefully at the roads and getting Alex to read the roadsigns for me. Safely home in one piece with no pedestrians or deer or anything else hit on the way. Yay!
After that it was off to Jeremy's for pre Christmas 2 drinks :)