Best Present?

Mary and Lance gave us Big Deal tickets for the West Yorkshire Playhouse as a Christmas Present. This gives you a choice of 4 out of 5 plays that are on from now until the summer. Cindy phoned and booked them all yesterday, so we’ve got dates in the diary for A Doll’s House, David Copperfield and The 39 Steps. One of the other two plays is a series of new plays by new Leeds writers, so we’ve got tickets for all three – three separate shows for £10! Because we’ve booked nice and early, we’ve got the best seats in the house each time – full price tickets are £20-£25. A fantastic present – we’ve got 6 evenings at the theatre to look forward to.

We’re also going to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe next week and Don Givovanni at Opera North the week after that!

Christmas Round Up

A lovely Christmas.

Children all pleased with their presents, at one point on Christmas morning our front room was ankle deep in discarded wrapping paper. Rose almost immediately started on craft activities, Toby was handing out everyone’s presents, so was deliberately the last person to finish opening his own, John was busy taking photos with the new camera that he got for his birthday.


Lance came out of hospital on Christmas morning, which was slightly earlier than expected. He seems to be doing really well.

We had a lovely Christmas meal in the afternoon, turkey etc.

Boxing Day we went round to Lance and Mary’s and saw Will, Sarah, Jack and Grace and opened more presents!

On Monday we did a walk (Mary, Will, Jack in his pushchair, Toby, John and I). It was absolutely freezing, but good to be out. Rose and Cindy got on with her felt making from a kit that John had given her.

Tuesday – sales. John in particular had lots of money – because he hadn’t spent birthday money. He bought books, blue peter annual, harry potter game. Rose bought books and new trousers.
Toby finally got his car to start, but when we took it down to the Knavesmire, it stalled each time it started moving. He’s gone on an internet forum – it seems the “mixture” is too “rich” and he needs to adjust the carburettor – I feel really ignorant!

Wednesday – very lazy so far. Party later on this evening at David and Anita’s.

Toby’s Monster Truck

I’ve just got back from driving over to Immingham, the port on the other side of the Humber from Hull, to pick up a monster truck that Toby’s bought off ebay. It’s huge, expensive and he’s very excited about it. It’s about 3 months of saving his paper round money. Apparently fuel is £7 a litre!!

I’ve never been over the Humber Bridge before, so there was another excitement on the trip.

No doubt we’ll fit in a drive at some point tomorrow.

Grown Up Evening

Last night we had Jo & Bill and Michelle & Mark round for a meal. We had a fantastic time. Lovely food Рcrostini and olives, goats cheese souffl̩, fish stew, diplomatico (an Italian chocolate pudding), cheese, coffee and chocs. Very over the top.

We also drank well, in particular the dessert wine was luscious.

The children were fantastic – watching Strictly Come Dancing to start with and then more or less putting themselves to bed. It makes things much easier now they are more grown up.

We chatted till about 1:30, with not too much concentration on house prices and school politics – although Jo did reveal that Mrs Cornhill sent Kjartan a thong following his Magic with Pants gig and Mark was proud to show off the new website he’s done for the school.

Cindy took a couple of photos – here they are.



We went to see The Incredibles last night, or more like yesterday afternoon. It was really good. The animation is so good that some of the scenes just look real. But more importantly, the story was gripping, well told and exciting. Like too many films at the moment it was a bit too long though. Not as too long as LOTR – thank goodness – I don’t intend to ever sit through the extended versions!

Just before the cinema, Cindy went to the Arc Light Hostel to deliver her puddings and two other peoples food, and found the short walk from the car to the kitchen, carrying food, exhausting. She said it took about half an hour in the cinema to recover.

Children are hyper with anticipation at the moment.

York Waits

After saying bye to James and Emma (we left them at ours to have some tea, bathe children and go home) we went to La Piazza and had pizzas with Lance and Mary.

The next part of our action packed day was to go to see a concert at the National Centre for Early Music. There was a Christmas concert by the York Waits. I really enjoyed it, the children were a little tired and got a bit bored, but we lasted the whole concert. They had some huge recorders, the largest was about 6 or 7 feet tall, not including the spike it rested on. It had a long curved metal tube as its mouthpiece so you didn’t have to stand on a chair to blow it. It made a lovely gentle deep sound. They played lots of carols I knew and some I didn’t and it was a lovely evening.

And so to bed.

James and Emma

James and Emma came all the way up from their home near Bristol to visit us – for the day! Definitely more driving than I’d like to do.

It was great to see them. Jacob and Samuel are much more grown up than when we last saw them, and Hannah is getting bigger quickly.

They arrived at about 10am – before Cindy had had breakfast. I popped down the road and bought eggs, bacon, sausages, butter, bread and butter. Cindy and the Rands had eggs and bacon, then we went down to the park. After that we ate sausages in rolls, played boardgames, chatted, and decorated the Christmas tree.

At five we went out (see next entry) and some time later, James and Emma and family went home.

James is off to sea soon, 3 weeks into January for 4 months, then for 6 months later on, and it sounds quite dangerous out there. I don’t think it’ll be as much fun as it may have been in the past.

Last Week of Term

It’s Friday afternoon, and the children have come home for the start of two and a half weeks of Christmas holiday.

John and Rose have had a very busy, Christmasy week at school. They’ve watched the infant’s Nativity Play, sung a carol concert in school, met Father Christmas and had class parties. On Thursday morning, they had a school carol concert and Christingle in St Clements Church. Cindy, Lance and I all went to listen/watch – Mary had been going to go, but had to finish an essay for her course for that afternoon! The concert (not a service – even though it was in a church – there was one sort of prayer) was very good, excellent singing, brass and woodwind and the excellent Scarcroft drummers. It is a very good school for music, I think and Mrs Cornhill must have contributed a lot to that.

Toby’s school, on the other hand, has been determinedly unChristmasy. I think he said that there is a Christmas tree up, and the staff did a panto for pupils this afternoon, but that’s it. They’ve done all the usual end of term stuff – videos, quizzes etc and then he got out early this afternoon. When he got home we went off to get a Christmas tree, which is now filling the corner of our front room waiting to be decorated tomorrow.