2012 already? How did that happen?

Another month (almost) without a post! What an exciting life I lead …

Christmas was quiet, just as we like it. Although we don’t go overboard at all, we were left with a mountain of food, which we are slowly working through (details on Reactive Cooking). We went for a walk at Easington on Boxing Day, somewhere – astonishingly – we hadn’t been before. Nice beach, but the wind howled as it usually does on the East coast! We had a lovely New Year’s Eve, cooking dinner for friends, and then going round to another friends to see in 2012.

Then we went down to Norfolk to spend 24 hours with my daughter and her son, which was entirely splendid, and we built a Lego crane. I knitted him a Ron Weasley sweater – my first knitting in about 30 years! – and it only just fit; he is a Long boy. So I’m remaking it, but I ran out of wool, and Boyes didn’t have any more. Another (huge) ball arrived yesterday, so I can proceed.

Our Christmas present to the houseWe don’t buy Christmas presents for each other, instead we buy things for the house. This year it got a “Keep Calm and Drink Wine” sign, which is on the wall in the dining room; we feel it an excellent mantra. Also, an electric blanket (warmz! fab!), and a Truecall call screening device. We are plagued with spamming telephone calls here, and this has stopped them dead in their tracks. Highly recommended.

And now it’s January again. This time of year is a bit depressing, but we are off to the Peak District at the end of the month for a Morris dancing thing – there’s about ten of us going, so it should be fun.

Happy (belated) New Year, all!

Team Waste 2010

sunset reflected in the kitchen window

It’s a lot further to Team Waste Summer Camp now than it used to be (it’s held up a hill, outside Carmarthen in West Wales), so we set off at 9.15 on Thursday morning, and arrived at about 5 p.m, having stopped for lunch near Llangollen, and for fuel and a chocolate frenzy at Newtown. Oh, and sweeteners, 270 odd of the 300 of which Geoff kindly hurled across the kitchen floor on Thursday night 🙂

It was, as always, a supremely enjoyable few days, but … odd, somehow. No Rick’n’Jacqi, no Rox’n’Dave, no Benjamins, no Sleeps. And it felt as though we were all getting old, which we are, of course.  I didn’t even do much cooking – just a big chorizo and chickpea collation for Saturday lunch. We brought home a bottle and a half of the two bottles of whisk(e)y we took, whereas normally we’d be out for emergency supplies of Bushmills on Saturday morning, and also the litre of dark rum – no Dark and Stormies this year, for some reason.

It was also bloody cold at night – my sleeping bag has been judged and found wanting, and I shall be donating it to some unfortunate charity and buying a new one before we go camping again!

After promising ourselves we would do it for the past thirteen years, we actually went out and about a bit – on Saturday morning we took ourselves down to Llansteffan, hiked up and around the castle, then a couple of miles along the very gloopy beach, encountering a second hand book sale (oops) en route, and on Sunday we took a good hike along Pendine Sands, which is just gorgeous. The latter was prompted by a rip in the outer skin of the tent, and thus an emergency run to a tenting shop for repairer stuff.

We managed to get away about 9.30 on Monday morning – much earlier than I’d have liked , time wise, as loads of people hadn’t surfaced to be said goodbye to, but … We planned to stop again at Llangollen and look at the aquaduct (what did the Romans, etc), but so were seemingly hundreds of other people, so we’ve promised ourselves an overnighter there later in the year – it looks a charming place. Got home just after five, to find that Samantha and John had accustomed the Tribe to a style which they are going to want sustained – seriously, guys, a HUGE THANK YOU, for cat sitting above and beyond any feasible expectation.

Today we’re spodding – photos on Flickr, a trip to Sainsburys as we had run out of everything, much laundering, cat fussing, etc.

And of course, massive thanks to Caere Campbell for yet another cracking party – should we do it again, do you think? 🙂

hotels booked

Three nights including dinner at Rosleague Manor, near Letterfrack, Galway. We’ve stayed here before, and it’s wonderful, as is the food.

Three nights (including two nights’ dinner) at the Park House Hotel in Galway City. We haven’t stayed in Galway for about ten years, so it’ll be interested to see how it’s changed, and it’s a great base for touring around.

Just need to find somewhere near Shannon Airport for the Friday night, and we’re done.


a holidayette

we decided to say “fukkit” and blow some of the money from our night programming stint on a weekend away. So we’ve booked three days at Eype’s Mouth Country Hotel on the Jurassic Park Coast in Dorset.

we depart on 19 April and it gives us something to really look forward to.

in other news, I was going to make Hot X Buns for breakfast, in order to celebrate “Nailing a Chap to a Dead Tree Day”, but we have no milk, so it’ll have to wait till I’m dressed.

I Aten't Dead

down the barrel of the cannon
Originally uploaded by ramtops.

I’ve been in Edinburgh for a few days, though, and extremely fab it was too. Gorgeous, civilised city – I forgot how much I missed it. Full and extremely boring account to follow in a day or so. 53 photos here.

in other news, I appear to have been elected to the Executive of North Somerset Liberal Democrats, and am an official delegate to conference – should be fun. perlmonger wil have to stay home and mind the cats, and man the phones.

off to Scotland

this morning we cracked – or, more accurately, perlmonger did. So we have booked tickets to see Paul Buchanan again, this time in Edinburgh on 25th November. I haven’t been in the Usher Hall in *years*. I haven’t been in Edinburgh since 1986, come to that, despite having lived there for several years, up until the age of 21.

the place had some very bad memories for me from that last trip, but ding, dong, the witch is dead, and I think I can face it now. And it’s a fabulous city.

we plan to have a Grand Expedition, and go on the train – although I can’t even book it for another couple o of weeks because you can’t book further ahead than three months. We shall rent a car for a day, and go visit some of my old haunts in Perth (I lived there too as a child, and went to school in Perthshire for 11 years). I’m really, really looking forward to it all.

in other news, as Merula have done something horrible to my web servers, I’m dickering about, and have accidentally ordered [cough] some stuff from Amazon. It’s a fair cop; society’s to blame.