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Festive Family Times

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What a great Christmas I’ve had! 

Kept having these weird feelings that it might be my last.  No idea why.  Naturally I trust my insight is incorrect (like that time I was convinced I was going to win the Readers Digest jackpot draw on my birthday in 1992) but, just in case, I was determined to enjoy every last element of it.  And I have.
I’ve seen about 2 dozen Christmas films, including Elf, 3 times and the classic National Lampoon Christmas Vacation, twice (“
Save the neck for me Clark”).  I’ve embraced the mince pie, soaked up the Christmas Eve carol service at the village church at my folks’, drunk advocaat for breakfast and played shit loads of board games.  I wasn’t going to let anything spoil it.  Not even the fact that there is no longer a Turkish delight in a box of Milk Tray or Dairy Box (WTF?) or that there were no Ritz crackers at my folks’ or that I didn’t get stuffing again on Christmas Day because only the meat eaters seemed to get it.

It began on Saturday when we took the train to Chester.  Negotiated Manchester on foot between stations without getting too sidetracked.  Mum asked us to meet her in M&S foodhall in Chester when we arrived.  I though perhaps it may’ve been quieter to meet in Mecca during the Hajj, but actually, it wasn’t nearly as mental in there as I had anticipated.

tenor

 

We were at The Moss within the hour and I had no plans of going anywhere further than the pub and the church on Christmas Eve for at least 3 days!  

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Pondering how the tree gets decorated

My uncle soon arrived and we had an evening of board gaming.  Much to the Childerbeast’s dismay.  Not because they didn’t want to play, but because it was like games night at Twilight Towers Home for the Elderly or One Flew Over the Bloody Cuckoo’s Nest.  Colour blind, long and short sighted over 45 year olds trying to make sense of the instructions on the QI game or the colours on the die in Trivial Pursuits.

Can I get a For Fuck’s Sake over here?

🙂

My brother and his lady arrived on Christmas Eve and after tea we all walked into the village for the annual “You WILL sing carols about a religion you don’t follow, because it’s festive” shizzle.  I had to endure it as a teenager.  Now I shall pass the tradition on.  This year was one of the mildest years ever.  I’ve almost had frostbite in years past, stood amongst the gravestones.

 

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Sibs


My youngest niece fell asleep.  My youngest daughter refused to join in whatsoever and sat on a tomb with a face liked a smacked arse.  No doubt to the amusement of my mother who was probably thinking that what goes around comes around.

🙂

Quick snifter in the Ring O’Bells (AKA The Four Ales) before heading back home to await Bman’s arrival.  Then last orders in The Plough.

Christmas morning.  Leisurely buffet breakfast and then when the neicelings arrived at 10am it was present opening time.

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He’s Beeeeeeeeen!

 

Traditional advocaats all round and let the joy of giving commence.  So glad Mum liked her Ruby Shoo boots and my dad liked his League of Gentlemen live ticket (for local people).  Happy childerbeast. Happy family. Happy me.

All good.

Lunchtime mission to the pub for a cheeky pre-dinner gin. 

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Gin as big as niece’s head

Met up with extended in-laws. Youngest neiceling fell asleep again so I took her home. Then it was time for dinner.  We sat down at 3pm and didn’t clear the last things away till after 6pm!  Several courses, crackers that played tunes, games inbetween courses and a flaming pud. (no burnt sleevage this year – well done dad).

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Time for a lie down after the washing up before further guests arrived at 9pm for a late supper.  Muchas gin ensued and a game of Cards Against Humanity with my new expansion packs and some hand written blank cards.  Not awkward at all with the folks.  Particularly when questioned by my pops as to whether I had written out the card that read, “Riding Tom Hardy Like Seabiscuit“.

#awks (but funny)

Boxing Day was much of the same quality family time, more board games, very competitive bingo and a descent into gambling addiction playing Dad’s ‘Canadian’ game for cold hard cash.

Next day was time to check out and give my mum and dad some peace and their home back.  We headed to Liverpool for a visit to the brother in law and his wife.  Another huge dinner, own body weight in Quality Street and a bit more gin.

Nice

Yesterday we had a flying visit from Grandma on her way to Liverpool and today we’ve done fuck all except watch films on TV.  Kung Fu Panda, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Up, Room on the Broom and Brave.  My excuse it that it snowed last night so I didn’t want to go outside.

Lazy but loving it.

I may venture out tomorrow but failing that it will be Sunday.  New Year’s Eve – I’m spending it with my sister.  Probably all be asleep by 11pm but that’s okay.

I hope you all had as lovely a Christmas holiday as I did and I hope it doesn’t take too long for you to shift the timber you put on with cheese and crackers and chocolates.

Feliz Navidad and Joyeux Noel Xx

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My mangey pussy & 20 seconds to comply

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Had to take the eldest cat to the vets after work on Friday. because she is suffering from a bad case of scabby skin.
I was all of a sweat lather as I had to get home sharpish after Mexican Mayhem Harvest afternoon at work. (I hadn’t even cooked, I just turned up with my class, chatted up the natives and took photos for the website – but I was still hot & bothered). I had to walk with the cat in the pet carrier because Bman was at the garage picking up the car after its MOT.  I felt like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation when his aunt gives him a cat wrapped up in a box. She was jiggling about a lot and it was cumbersome to carry.  It got worse when I realized half-way down Wild Grove that she’d done a shit and was trying to get out of the box to escape it.  It bloody stank!

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😀

Slightly embarrassing taking her into the surgery and apologizing for the stench.  The nurse was fine of course, probably quite used to being elbow deep in animal shite for a living.  Seemingly she is ok.  Just an allergy to a flea bite so needed a bit of a flea treatment. (The cat not the nurse).  I don’t really understand though how last time we took Alan Lickman to the vet he had 2 sprays of flea treatment and we got stiffed £13.  This time, we got 2 vials of treatment – one for each cat and it cost £6.94!  Bloody Herr Klopek, who dealt with us last time must’ve seen us coming!

Yesterday I decided to go into Bradford and make a start on some ‘C-word’ shopping with my eldest offspring. I was hoping she’d photograph me against a background of comedy characters and Royston Vasey types to help me illustrate this blog.  To be honest though, it seemed fairly normal. No drunken old folk falling over after a fight outside the pub and losing their false teeth in the gutter (this actually did happen once). We did see this guy in the Broadway Centre. though.

We watched for a couple of minutes but then I got the fear as I remembered how this shit went down in ‘Robocop’.  I feared for a “You have 20 seconds to comply” moment and steered my daughter out of harms way into Paperchase, where we could “coo” &  “aww” at overpriced novelty useless shiz and ludicrously priced paperclips and rubbers.

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Have these people never seen this movie?

 

 Made it home without hearing a “Hya Miss” from anyone and settled down for an evening listening to thousands of pounds going up in smoke outside for Bonfire Night. We opted to stay in and watch the classic 80’s movie, ‘Heathers’ (my girls needed educating that shows like ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and ‘Mean Girls’ didn’t just invent themselves!)  The alternative would have been to attend the pikey bonfire party at the local pub.  The last time we went to that, my girl was almost hit by a rogue banger and a trip to the loo inside the pub was like being an extra in ‘Shameless’.  I vowed then that I would never go again.  Needless to say it sounded like New Years Eve in Beirut until well after midnight.

Today I have mostly done fuck all except a bit of ironing and made tea.  Right now I am squirming at the brilliant new David Attenborough programme, ‘Planet Earth 2’.  I defy you not to squeal or cringe a little at the marine lizard dudes trying to escape the racing snakes. Get it watched on iplayer if you missed it.  That’s a thing y’all – lizards that swim and fucking racing snakes!  Holy shit!

Mother nature is terrifying and beautiful – a cruel mistress indeed.

Ciao Xx