Christmas Part Two - The Bit In Between, When You Don't Know What Day It Is & Blasting Into The New Year

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Continuing our round up of the Christmas season. If you missed part one, The Build Up and The Big Day, then you can read it here.

The Bit In Between, When You Don't Know What Day It Is
Those lazy days between Christmas and New Year are great aren't they? When you don't have to be anywhere or do anything, and when you can legitimately laze around because it's so dark most days that nobody has the energy to do anything anyway!

We didn't hibernate the whole time though. Yes, we made the most of hanging around at Granny and Shen's house and playing with all the new stuff everyone got, but we also made the effort to get out of the house sometimes and blow off the cobwebs. Poor Granny was struck down by the flu the day after Boxing Day so that was another reason we made the effort to go out some days - just to give her a bit of quiet to rest!

One of the first requested places to go was the boys' favourite coffee shop, and village shop, where Fraser enjoyed seeing their giant gingerbread man decoration!

We followed this up with a late afternoon walk along the beach, where it was funny seeing snow on the sand.

The boys all indulged in their favourite beach game of wave chasing, well all except for David who had no wellies.

And of course Calum (15) took a few photos. 

Those days between Christmas and New Year are perfect for a little treat or two.

I decided that these in between days would be the perfect time to try and learn a new skill.

For years now I have often thought about how I would like to learn to knit properly. Usually I haven't done anything about it as there are still so many things I have on my 'want to crochet' or 'want to cross stitch' lists! But I have always wanted to try knitting a pair of socks, and after seeing the most amazing sock yarn in the wool shop in Stornoway one day I thought, well why not now? So I also bought the circular needles, downloaded the Winwick Mum Sock-a-long Tutorial that I have read so many good reviews about and set about it. 

How I had to concentrate in the beginning stages! Bear in mind that the only thing I have ever knitted before was a straight scarf, many years ago, and it was not a skill that I found came naturally to me like crochet did.

But I stuck with it and soon had the beginnings of a cuff forming! 

Because of the concentration levels required at the beginning I only worked on it for short times.

Another day, which even had a tiny bit of blue sky, we went out for another beach walk. This was at the request of David, who the previous day had bought himself a lovely new pair of wellies. So of course he wanted to test them out properly!

This was the beach in my dad's village, the one with the fresh water springs that we always need to drink from. It really is the purest water you will ever taste!

James took along some of his new art supplies and set about doing a quick water colour of the cliffs while we explored the beach.

Fraser (4) found some old rope on the beach and pretended to go fishing.

Parts of the cliffs and seaweed were frozen.

He would have sat there all afternoon had the rain not chased him away back to the car!

Blasting into the New Year
The boys all enjoy being able to stay up until past midnight on Hogmanay to see in the New Year, and this year was no different.

I finished the old year by getting a reasonable looking cuff finished on my socks.

And spent an hour or so back in my comfort zone planning what to do with the yarn pack my sister in law had given me for Christmas.

Ally (8) dressed particularly smartly to see in the New Year.

And Fraser enjoyed being able to drink Shloer after midnight!

When we came home from the New Year's Day service at church I took the chance to grab a photo of all of the boys while they still looked smart, and was delighted that out of the many attempts to get one of everybody looking/smiling/not blinking/not messing about I got this one. It's definitely one for the wall.

James took on the job of making the table look nice for New Year's Day dinner.

He folded all the men's/boys' napkins like this...

And the ladies' ones like this...

Dinner was a lovely roast beef, and my contribution was the Yorkshire Puddings...

...and the meringues for pudding. I had so many egg whites left over from the egg yolks that I used to make the pastry for the dozens of mince pies I made the week before that meringues seemed the sensible option for pudding!

Of course, only one of the boys can eat meringues as the others all have an allergy to egg whites, so I made up a chocolate Christmas pudding thing for them.

There was also a third option for pudding, and one that caused great hilarity amongst everyone.

My dad told us all that he was going to try flambeing some pineapples. He hadn't tried it before, but seemed confident enough. I think he's been watching one too many Masterchef!

Everyone wanted to watch Shen set the pineapples on fire, and so everyone came and gathered round the cooker.

No one was quite prepared for how high the flames would go though, and I wish I had filmed the shrieks that came from everyone.

I did get photographic evidence of the massive flames though!

The fire theme continued later on in the evening too. Once everything was cleared up from dinner we all went outside for some fireworks and sparklers.

We rounded off our fun start to the New Year with a game of good old charades.

Before our holiday came to an end we had to have one more beach trip. We met up with friends there, and his time we made sure it was at low tide so that we could walk along to the caves that you can only get to at low tide.

That blue sky very quickly disappeared and we were all completely soaked by the heavy rain by the time we left the beach later on. Somehow it doesn't seem so bad getting rained on at the beach. Well I don't think so anyway!

Just before we left Granny and Shen's I could see my sock starting to look like a sock.

And then it was time to head back home again. Somehow, despite the car being absolutely packed when travelled up for Christmas, and despite leaving with even more stuff than we arrived with, we still managed to fit everything into the car!

It's always sad leaving, but we had timed our return to make sure that there were still some days of holidays left before school went back, so there was still some holiday fun to look forward to.

We were thankful that the weather also behaved on our return journey.

Back home and unpacked there was the inevitable fill up the cupboards with food shop. I thought we might actually need two trolleys for it!

After a few more lazy days, the last day of the Christmas holidays came.

I thought we should do something fun to round off the holidays and so everyone chose to go to the indoor crazy golf.

It was a close fought game, and I'm proud to say that I was second over all!

It was all less than a month ago, but now that school has been back for a couple of weeks and we have settled into all of our old routines it seems so much longer ago already. I'm glad that we were able to fill up so many more happy memories for another year.