Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Beautiful Place and Time

We were invited to my brother's house for Xmas. Mike and Ang live a few miles outside Nottingham in a lovely cottage, that they have been doing up for a while. They wanted to have a proper family Xmas there, with the kids and Mum. Nick was a little skeptical, wondering how they would fit us all in, but it turned out to be very comfortable. It looks spectacular. I was dead jealous. Why can't my house be so neat and tidy and beautifully decorated?
We drove up Xmas eve. It was a little challenging to fit seven people, a dog, presents and overnight bags into the car. Donny and Mel were effectively buried in the back, unable to move their arms underneath the packages and bags. I had the dog wedged between my knees and the rest of the family had sleeping bags piled on top of them.I know some kids got to sleep early on Xmas Eve to make the morning come faster. My kids don't. They were just hyper excited and didn't crash until about midnight. Mike and Ang, who had an air-bed in the living-room, were woken at around 5.30am when Eartha persuaded Saskia to force-feed Angela smarties.
Meanwhile, Nick's cold had developed into galloping asthma. While the goose was cooking Mike took Nick off to the emergency clinic. I took the dog for a lovely walk down The Dumbles, which (Mike tells me) date from the end of the last ice-age, 10000 years ago. When they got back we had a delicious lunch. Mike and Ang are both very foody and great at cooking.

The kids went to play with their new MP3 players and I had a post-prandial snooze for a couple of hours (it must be my age). When I surfaced, it seemed Nick's asthma had gotten worse, not better, and that I was the only sober one fit to drive. Off we went to the clinic again, with Ang this time to give me directions. The nurse dosed Nick with nebulisers, which probably should have been done that morning, and then we went off on a scenic tour of Nottingham, l
ooking for a dispensing surgery. It was gone nine when we got back, but Nick was a lot happier.

Boxing Day dawned at a more reasonable hour. We took the kids on a longer walk through the Dumbles and back before watching Dr Who and finally making in-roads into the massive overly creamy trifle I'd been creating all weekend. The final straw had been the wedges of chocolate orange balanced on the top. You could put on two pounds just looking at it.
We had a lovely time, though I don't know if we'll get invited again. The kids managed to break a bauble, dent the sofa and knock the end off the bedstead. Kids are just destructive. This is why my house is a disaster zone compared to theirs!

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