Festive Frolics

461Thought I should have at least one post to account for my actions over the past few weeks (and consequent lack of activity here). Two weekends before Christmas it was the annual Ashton family reunion (Christine’s Dad’s relatives). The location this year was a Best Western in Kennilworth probably for no other reason than it is pretty much the centre of gravity of an increasingly dispersed family. Much fun and games were had by all although ours were tempered by having to perform relay babysitting (the hotel’s baby listening service didn’t stretch to the room where everyone was gathered). We could also have staged a West End farce: the card lock on our bedroom door ceased to work so we got a key to Christine’s parents’ room and used the internal door between the two. Unfortunately, every time we got our key to their door enabled it disabled theirs.

We stopped off in Newbury on the way back to give Emma some lunch. I’ve never really explored Newbury before having only sat there in traffic before the days of the bypass and attended the occasional orienteering committee meeting there in the evenings. I have to confess that I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and we managed to bag a few Christmas presents whilst we were there.

Then it was back to work for a week… or so I thought. I woke up in the early hours of Thursday morning and proceeded to vomit for the next six hours or so. Christine was unaffected so I suspect a stomach bug rather than food poisoning. It took me until the weekend to fully recover so sadly I missed the departmental Christmas meal. (Apparently my brother was being seek at much the same time but suspiciously he had been to his Christmas bash the night before!)

464It was then off to Monmouth for my father in-laws birthday and Christmas. This was my first break from work since my parental leave and much needed. Emma seemed to enjoy her first Christmas although, as anticipated, she was as interested, if not more interested, in the wrapping paper than the contents. Santa Claus appeared to have read my letter this year and I was blessed with lots of presents I actually wanted!

On Boxing Day we moved to my parents in Hertfordshire. This time Whitney in Oxfordshire was the scene of our lunchtime stop (the cross-country route is much more scenic than M4/M25/M1). Nice enough place but not much life to it on a Bank Holiday (other than the Fat Face sale which was heaving!). Sadly Emma’s (and consequently our) nights in Harpenden were a bit interrupted as the first of her upper teeth struggled to the surface.

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