Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Years Eve 2015

Well, here we are, yet again, in the ebbing hours and fading light of the last day of 2015 ……. where do the years go?2015 has been, quite simply, a very eventful, life changing year for us. Back in January we never dreamt that we would ever give up our jobs to lead double lives going between Wolverhampton and Evesham, and then …… a few months later, decide that in 2016 we would leave Castle Greysquirrel and our beloved village with all it’s pleasures for a whole new life in Evesham, which is why you find us in thoughtful mood today.  It’s not going to be all systems go, go, go on 1st January, we have a schedule ….. which will be all be slowly revealed in the fullness of time, as it happens ……. but we need to stay calm!
Which is why we have planned a very, very quiet New Years Eve, without resolutions,  or whistles, bells or flutes, no waiting up for Big Ben to chime, no oohing and ahhhing at the following mahooooosive firework display or staying up late to watch Jules Holland’s Hootenanny ….. we will be entering 2016 under the radar ……
…… going to bed early, before all the over hyped pandemonium, after sharing a very understated celebratory and reflective Snowball or two ……………. each a little bit lost in the memories of our adventures of this past year and wondering where we will find ourselves this time next year  …….
It’s going to be quite a ride and we hope you will come with us …… 

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Hugh’s Very Fleeting Visit

Sadly, over breakfast, after a most fabbbbbuuuuuulous Duvet Day followed by an evening full of robust laughter, Hugh announced, between mouthfuls of Darrell’s most delicious apres duvet bacon sandwiches, that this could “…..only be zee most fleeting of zee fleeting visits, no” ………
……… sadly he had to return to London as he had been booked for several interviews for New Years Eve and New Years Day, including a TV interview giving his advice on what the New Year reveller should be wearing whilst waiting for Big Ben to chime us into 2016, and getting out of it and the others was “… zee mission impossible!”, and at that point he got a little emotional.
However, once composed, he said that he had a couple of tiny things in his bag for us, to help keep him in our thoughts, as we saw in the New Year. Knowing how much we very much appreciate the odd cheeky cocktail now and again, he had bought us a bottle of Curacao because, he said “I know zat you like zee things of a romantic type nature no, and I sink zat you will find zee blue colour just too intoxicatingly romantic for zee words no!”  I have to be honest, we all sighed at the blue colour, it was indeed VERY romantic! Hugh had also added some equally romantic maraschino cherries and a huge box of cocktail stirrers, straws and cocktail novelties to his gift, we were ……. overcome!
….. and, well yes, it would have been rude not to have made a cocktail or two before Hugh’s driver arrived to pick him up ……
Hugh said that his New Years Resolution for 2016 was to pop in and see us more, what with one thing and another we seemed to have seen less of each other in 2015 than in previous years. We have a feeling that the coming year, will be even busier …… but we raised our glasses, several times, it has to be said  ……. holding Hugh’s sentiments close to our hearts……….
…… followed by a long and and emotional goodbye …….
…… before there was a loud beep outside ……
…… and Hugh was gone ……….
…….. as quickly as he had arrived, but it was still all very wonderful, no matter how fleeting ……..

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The BEST Duvet Day Ever

Yesterday we decided that it should be our annual festive Duvet Day, except with a snugly blanket, to come down from all Christmas brouhaha  …… well, we’d only just settled down on the settee for an epic Homes Under The Hammer fest, when there was a knock on the door ………

…….. we couldn’t believe it, it was Hugh, he said he'd managed to snatch bit of time off from his hectic showbiz schedule because,'eee 'ad zee great yearning to be with us!!  OMG!

When we explained we were having a Duvet Day except with our snugly blanket, that was it, he just snuggled on down with us too …… “Zis is sooooooooooo much fun" he sighed "I sink zat we must look like zat old picture of zee three old queens no, all snuggled up like zis!!!!” ........
NPG P200; Queen Elizabeth II; Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother; Princess Margaret……. “I would ‘ave worn my old pearls if I ‘ad known!” What, is he like?
Hugh regaled us with tales of all the showbiz parties he had been to, all zee showbiz gossip and laughing about some of zee awful outfits some people had worn …… “Some people, zay have nooooooo taste no? All zee showing of zee latest tatooey sing, I do not like zem, pah! ….. And when will zay understand zat to ‘ave zee little mystery about zee body is zee good sing, no? You do not have to put it all on zee plate, like zee dogs dinner,  I ave seen enough of zee boobies to last me for zee life time!” he chuckled. “And all zee time I am doing zee parties, I am really sinking zat I want to be with you guys being simple and real, no!”
With that we broke open the celebratory Maltesers, with an added bowl of grapes to balance out the lack of vitamin C and in between Hugh’s festive anecdotes we forwent our planned Houses Under The Hammer and caught up on a few films we had meant to see, but never seemed to have the time.
It was the best Duvet Day except with a snugly blanket we have ever, ever, ever had, we are not sure how exactly long Hugh can stay, it would be rude to ask, but it was so lovely to all be together again we knew that we needed to embrace every single second!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Partying With The Rel’ies

It’s funny how at Christmas time you have the propensity to feel rather full for most of the time, but when invited over to the Rel’ies (relatives) for yet another fully comprehensive and robust feast, you suddenly find a little more room, well, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it???!!!!
But, it has to be said that our Rel’ies do put on a most magnificent festive spread, which we would never ever dream of missing, no matter how full that said feeling!!!
Nigel equated himself very well ………several times over …..

……. both of the savoury and sweet variety…..

…… but especially the sweet variety because Joe’s girlfriend Amanda’s mum is a real life American who loves to bake, and, in our considered opinion puts Mary Berry firmly in the shade, with her proper Baked Cheesecake and Chocolate Brownies that stick your ribs together.

It has to be said that although by nature, I generally lean more towards the savoury, I have to admit that the crowning glory of the meal for me was the aforementioned Joe’s girlfriend Amanda’s mum Apple Strudel with it's pecan nuts and gingerbread base, the memory of which will stay with me for many years to come …… and I am afraid I lingered round the dish, protective of it’s pleasures!!!!

Darrell in turn hogged the cheese board, being very partial to a little Wenesleydale with cranberries and a mature Stilton with the odd water biscuit or two and fig half. 

However, despite my account, it wasn’t all about the food, our twinkling Tesco Bag of Festive Tut was also very well accepted.  We had made sure there was enough erm “***p”  tut for everyone to have three dips, and as the Wolves were playing and the men folk gathered around the TV, we timed “a dip” at the beginning, half time and end of the match
Even though we knew what the parcels contained, it was as much fun for us to dip as everyone else, Darrell came home with a pair of Jane Asher kitchen scissors, a cocktail shaker set and a pack of batteries.  I dipped and received a jar of sweeties, an inflatable banana and a plastic poncho and Nigel was well chuffed with a set of highlighter pens, a tiara and a mahoooooooosive punch balloon which I have since temporarily confiscated to get a little peace.

It was a most wonderful day ….. we felt very blessed in a Hello Magazine Special Festive Edition type way to be part of such a lovely family that can cook so well are soooooooo much fun to be with!  Happy, Happy, Happy Days!!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Two Days After Christmas ………..

Two days after Christmas and you find us wrapping up presents of a festive type nature yet again!
To be honest, we have to admit, shamefully, that we have been a little tardy putting the finishing touches to the family party task that we were assigned to  …..
……. a task of responsibility and honour, as for the first time ever, we were asked to select, purchase and wrap the presents to go in our “Festive Tut Sack” which we have instead of crackers at our annual festive family gathering.
We had done all of the considered mooching, selecting and purchasing of said “Tut”, which must cost no more than a pound each and cause a little amusement, and we had done part of the wrapping, but then, erm…… Christmas sort of caught up with us and we didn’t complete it until today …….
So in a flurry of activity, on what we had planned to be our “Duvet Day”, Darrell and I donned our best pageant queen crowns (part of our tut collection), much to the amusement of Nigel and we wrapped like demons!
We had also forgotten (unbelievably) to get some raffle tickets to put on each present as a method of identifying your chosen gift, a bit like a tombola …..
So, Nigel and I very quickly devised a method of drawing numbers using bingo tickets …… I think it should work!However, if things do start to look slightly dubious and rushed, our moment of true genius came when Darrell remembered and found out the illuminated Tesco Christmas shopping bag we got from about six years ago and it still worked,  so, hopefully, when we walk into the party proudly holding our twinkling shopping bag of tut aloft the honour of Castle Greysquirrel will be upheld!!!!!! No one has ever presented their tut in a light up bag before, we feel sooooooo proud!

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Darrell’s TRULY Wonderful Christmas.

After enjoying our very lovely festive running buffet, something a little different from our usual very traditional turkey and all the trimmings Christmas meal …… and after the Queen’s Speech,  Darrell said that he would just go up and tidy our bedroom after the mornings proceedings, before we all settled down to open the Quality Street!Our room was, admittedly, a bit of a mess with discarded Christmas paper etc. all over the place, finding the bed wasn’t that easy ……. but as Darrell folded up our stockings, he said he thought he felt/heard a bit of a rustle ………
…….. and thought that he’d better double check to make sure nothing was still left in there …….. ……. and found ……. right down in the stocking’s toe a folded up piece of paper …….  addressed to him…….
Somehow, he’d missed it amidst all the festive unwrapping ….. and, as he read it, he was left reeling and then huge tears began to well up in his eyes and then, well, he just sobbed …….
The letter was from Santa, he had done the impossible, Darrell who had asked for the moon on a stick as Nigel had so succinctly put it, WAS going to the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm Sweden.  The tickets, flights and hotel were all booked AND what was more, he could take a friend!!!!  OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!!!
It was all too much for Darrell and he unable to do anything else except just lay there in disbelief, it was only when Nigel said he thought Darrell had gone very quiet and that there was a distinct lack of tiding noises coming from upstairs that we ventured to find him.
With eyes glazed, Darrell showed us his letter and both Nigel and I were equally aghast, it was hard to know what to say (well, except for who are you going to take with you!!!!!). Darrell was actually going to see our televisual musical highlight of the year …….. but in REAL LIFE!!!
The rest of our Christmas Day passed with the occasional sob of unbelievable happiness, with a few tears falling into our aforementioned Quality Street, resulting in a couple of soggy wrappings and, I think,  perhaps one too many snowballs were quaffed ………but it was Christmas!!!!!!!
A day that was pretty wonderful to start with, but then turned into something too wonderful for words, Darrell’s letter is now safe under his  pillow, so that he can re-read it over and over again to make sure it is real ……. This, it has to be said, has possibly been the best Christmas ever, ever, ever, ever, ever!!!!! It’s been magical and it’s still not over yet!

Friday, 25 December 2015

It’s Christmas Morning! He’s Been!!!

He’s been, he’s been, he’s been!!!!
Nigel woke up in robust mood at 4.30am, but I am afraid I told him quite firmly to go back to sleep, on the pretext that Father Christmas might still be around, but really, it was just far too early for me to raise my head from my pillow! Bless him, he did try, but by 5.30am and much tossing and turning and pulling of our festive duvet, I was forced to relent.
I can’t tell you how blessed, in a fabbbbbbbbbulous special festive edition Hello Magazine type way we were!  I found a beautiful, purple, page a day diary, which was exactly what I wanted in my stocking, along with a Columbo mug, my very, very, very favourite detective of choice ever!  I don’t know how he does it, but Father Christmas knows everything!
Nigel found his hairdryer and comb set, just as he’d asked for!  All I can say is, that I am glad we don’t have a plug near the bed or else Darrell and I would have all been coiffed to the tenth degree. He also found a lovely dinosuar clay set to make dinosuars with Iris, which made us all go goooooey and say ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Darrell, found his “reserve” adult colouring in book and some particularly fine flourescent felt pens, if he was a little disappointed then he didn’t show it. Going to the Eurovision Song Contest was a HUGE ask, and anyway, it’s not as if we can’t still all watch it at home together as per usual.  He was, he said “Well chuffed!” as Hugh had already told him that “colouring in” was tres, tres, tres de rigueur amongst “zee stars no” to do while they were waiting in the Green Room or their dressing rooms before a show.
We also our presents from our beloved Dianne in romantic and sunny Florida to open, each of us had a new outfit ………
Darrell had a gorgeous, fleecy hoodie with matching sweat pants. What he loved so much about the hoodie was that it had charms sewn onto the chest, a star, a faux diamond and a disc with the letter D embossed on it ……. again, something that Hugh had told him about, “Zee beadie charms on zee bracelets …” he had said were “….poo poo zees days no? It is all about zee clothes!”
Needless to say, said hoodie was on before you could say jingle bells.
Nigel had a Santa’s Helper t-shirt and a new rufty tufty lumberjack shirt/jacket with matching trousers, and like Darrell, Nigel’s t-shirt was on like a shot.
And me?  I was totally overwhelmed, and for me, a little emotional.  In my beautifully wrapped parcel I found a black and white checked shirt, with coordinated red tank top and matching black trousers.  It was, quite honestly, the poshest outfit I have ever had, and I can’t wait to show Hugh for his critique. I think he will suggest a walking cane to finish off the ensemble and quite possibly a monocle!  It is a true, landed gentry, gentleman’s outfit and will certainly be my outfit of choice for all our festive occassions this week.
It really was a lovely, lovely Christmas morning, all of us snuggled up in bed together, ooooohhhing and ahhhhing over our presents admid much good humoured banter and gentle laughter, to quote Andy Williams “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” ……… and this was only the Christmas morning!