Christmas is over for another 361 days.

You could call it madness but if it was it was a nice madness...the family wanted to gather in the parental home because it was judged big enough to take us all and because no one, ourselves included, has any idea as to where we shall be living this time next year. When we agreed to the venture, way back we had no idea that L would be in recovery from  major surgery or that I would be one consultant visit away from even more major surgery now anticipated in the new year....so two of us were both under the cosh so to speak in terms of being full of energy and ability but little by little and one step at a time a house that normally sleeps two of us, was kitted out with the necessary for nine (two grandparents three children two spouses and two grandchildren) to have room to sleep whilst not impinging on on the main rooms downstairs. The task was completed when  the older son brought in a double inflatable to be used by the younger son and his wife and both sets of parents came armed with sleeping tents for their children (aged almost one and a half and almost two.) Number 10 guest cried off at the last minute so the bed settee in study number 1 was not brought into use. In all this our daughter who lives half an hour away in Manchester gave towering support, and particular help with the food for Christmas day.

Now the house is back to sleeping two of us, bedding and towels are slowly going through the process of laundering and we are learning the value of a condenser drier , new before Christmas and initially causing total bafflement. Not sure the same can be said for the cooker. A good clean had taken away the smell of burning fat every time it was switched on, but it was still not possible to cook bacon without triggering the smoke alarm above the stairs and it became automatic to remove it and its battery.....the ventaxia and cooker hood filter though both operating seemed to make no difference.  The main oven is electric fan and despite covering the turkey with foil when we returned from Church on Christmas morning it was obviously overcooked. Some of the tastier    bits were lost but there was still an excessive amount of meat which was  supremely edible and with the stuffings, and sausages and bacon rolls, mashed potato, parsnips peas and sprouts provided all of us with a more than ample meal. We had not heated the christmas pudding and no one suggested we should do anything about that.

This morning the bottles and cans were collected with the recycling, and a banana box crammed with recylable paper was also taken. A similar amount of non recyclable paper will go out with the landfill waste next week. We are left with a white babygrow and two large grey handkerchiefs and I'm not sure what else that in due course will be translated elsewhere in the country but an asthma inhaler remains missing...There is still turkey to eat, the remains of a gammon joint, and some odd amounts of Schloer...the  giblets have gone (binned)- somehow we have never learned how to convert them into anything useful...and the turkey skin and carcass went out this morning. The bacon and sausage fat and the scrapings from the turkey dish are carefully contained in a margarine tub consigned for landfill...seems a waste but bird charities warn against making such gunk available to the birds so we don't, and I have seen enough horror stories of fat islands in the sewerage system not to want to add to that particular problem.

Hey ho, could reflect on the family but they might all read this so I won't say a word... except that they were brilliant.


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