Christmas Time!

As I type this my father is upstairs watching The Great Escape, which seems to be on every single year at around this time,  and my mother is in bed as she’s feeling ill again this year, bless her. She was ill last year which meant that we ended up having a second Christmas day on the 26th and I keep telling her that I really don’t mind doing that again this year but she feels really guilty all the same. So, tomorrow, not only do I get to see the wonderful Kim but I also get Christmas dinner with the family. Really not complaining on that account!
Other than the little blip with regard to my poor mother, I’ve been having a wonderful time back in England. The flight on Sunday was really easy and turbulence free, I got the really friendly gentleman at UK border control, my case arrived pretty early on the conveyor… I came out of the airport grinning like a manic ready to be met by my parents. 
In fact, on impulse, we went straight to an Indian restaurant we’ve been going to since I was about five years old and it really did feel like a home coming! 
No, this is not a representative British Christmas tree but it will do nicely!
On Monday, we came down to Somerset where we’re staying in a little rented cottage for the Christmas period as the house up in Birmingham is still nowhere near finished. We’re actually staying about four miles out of Glastonbury and, as you can imagine, I’m quite happy about that. The cottage itself is on a cider farm and we were given some bottles of their cider as part of a welcome package… as you can imagine, my dad’s quite happy about that.
On Christmas Eve we always set out a load of food (that, quite frankly lasts us through most of January), and have a buffet dinner. This year was no exception so we all snuggled upstairs in a little sofa/TV nook with really nice food and Rapalje’s DVD on as that kind of music is something my whole family really enjoys, albeit in different ways. It was lovely to be able to chill together, that being the best bit about Christmas.
There is no risk of us running out of cheese for a long, long while.
Some of it’s even Dutch 😉
This morning was obviously not so great because Mum wasn’t feeling great but we attempted to start the day as we normally do with everyone getting dressed up and then gathering upstairs to open gifts and so on. We’d normally have a breakfast first and also take the opening of presents really slowly with mince pies on tap but that wasn’t really the case this year which is a bit of a shame but more than understandable. I don’t mind as long as we get to have a nice ‘Christmas’ dinner together at some point which everyone is well enough to enjoy.
Talking about presents, I now appear to be the proud owner of a violin. There’s a jokey thing in my family, started when I got my ‘cello, that I get a new musical instrument every year for Christmas or my birthday – usually something considerably less pricey, mind you. Can’t say I was expecting a violin but guessing it came from a combination of my moaning about not being able to transport the ‘cello and my mother’s love for fiddle music. And before you ask, nope, I can’t play. I do apologise to my neighbours back in Amsterdam… they’re going to love me 😉
Apparently I am learning to play whether I want to or not!
(Incidentally, I do!)
Also got given a bike puncture repair kit… I think my dad was trying to make a point there! So yeah, if you’re one of my Dutch friends reading this and I get a puncture… you’ll have to make good use of this kit as heaven only knows I wouldn’t have an idea as to what to do!!
So that’s my England-time so far. Feels so good to be back in the land of hills and with people I’ve known for years even if I am missing everyone else like mad. So, until my next post, whether you are celebrating, have celebrated, or are soon to celebrate any festival I wish you a wonderful time, surrounded by those you love.

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