Friday, 19 December 2008

Thankful at Christmas

I haven't done much in the way of Thankful blogs, so I decided to do one as my final post of the year. Let's see...

I am thankful for my blog friends. This January I will have been a proper blogger for 2 years - I flitted around reading some blogs before that, often getting confused with the names - Ali, Ali Kat, Terri, Logziella who some also called Teresa, then there was that sinister Mr Zig guy - but I worked it out in the end, and feel truly blessed to have found you all!

I am thankful for all of the wonderful memories that I have of my eldest daughter, especially of Christmases. This was her favourite time of year and the excitement would build up in her from late November. She could never sleep properly on Christmas Eve, making it really hard to deliver her stocking presents to the end of her bed, and always making Christmas morning a very early start. When she was 16 she woke up at 3am to find her stocking (actually a pillowcase) on her bed. She then joined us in our bed, opened a present and then tried to sleep until a slightly more civilized hour. She also never totally stopped believing in Santa Claus.

I am thankful for my fantastic wife who does everything she can to be the perfect mother for our children. I think she is the only woman in the world who could put up with my silliness when things are good and keep me sane when things are bad. I am truly blessed.

I am thankful for my wonderful children who always constantly amaze me with their brilliance and talent, kindness and generosity. I could not wish for better children.

I am thankful for my dog, Custard. He came to us at a time when we really needed a distraction, something to focus on and fuss - and he has played the part fantastically ever since. He is the perfect dog - he does not steal, doesn't chew things that are not his, he doesn't even pee in our garden! He loves us, guards us, and accepts our love and fuss without complaint. He has been a huge blessing for my family. And he is 3 years old on Sunday, so please wish him a very happy birthday! Yes, he will have presents, on both Sunday and Christmas Day.

Life is good!

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

My Christmas Wish List

A good fall of snow. It has been a long time since we had anything approaching a White Christmas. I want one this year!
Some new toy soldiers. I have been coveting this range for some time, but can't justify getting them at the moment.

A DVD recorder/VCR combo. Our VCR has died so it needs replacing, but I would like to be able to copy some of the tapes that I have got onto DVD.

A new guitar (yes another one!) This is a Rich Bitch 8 string bass, one of the most awesome guitars ever built. I want one!

A massive win on the Lottery so that I can organise a holiday for me, my family and a select group of buddies (and yes that includes blog buddies) to somewhere like this.

I also wish for each of my friends to get the one thing that they truly want, whatever it may be - a new job, a new baby, a new boy/girlfriend, or maybe that something will just go "click" and make life that bit easier! Whatever you wish for, I hope it comes true!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Christmas is coming!

Oh yeah!

Term has ended! YAY!

Still reasonably busy, but this week is the wind down to the holiday - Friday is my last day! Then I am off for 2 weeks! Can't wait!

The department Christmas dinner is on Wednesday! Hmmmmm!

Still have a few presents to get but I am having trouble with a few - just can't see anything that is leaping out at me.

Oh, one thing I must share - I am planning to barbeque on Christmas Eve - so long as the weather doesn't make it impossible, of course. Planning on a selection of stuff to cook - might even label up a few bits as "Rudolph-steaks" to see what the kids say.

Am I a bad parent?

I have learnt to play Silent Night on the guitar - nice and easy - who knows, after a few glasses of wine I might drag the amp into the garden so the whole neighbourhood can here it. No worse than carol singing! It will be like Brian May on top of Buckingham Palace!

Well, sort of. Im my mind. Zig will understand...

Have a great week, and a wonderful Christmas if I don't see you before!

Friday, 12 December 2008

It was cold last night!

Looking down from the hill that overlooks Canterbury:

In the countryside between home and work:

One for James, the only fixed defence for miles around - don't know how this was supposed to stop Hitler!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Too tired to type...

Update - got home to find that Mrs RC is ill - too ill to go visiting. So we are planning to send her down for New Year instead. I guess we should have seen this coming...

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Just another Manic Monday

Yesterday was nuts - had about 3 things all happening together plus the printers were playing up making life even more interesting :-(

I am glad you liked the pics of my decorations. I have been hanging things from the ceiling for a while now, I live the effect, makes the hall more cave-like.

James - I think you must be the only person in the world who does not like Winnie the Pooh. Don't you even like the original books? The first cartoons that were based on the books? What sort of heretic are you? :-)

I still have the big Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet to sort out - these will be with the sleigh that will be going in the hall now. I hope to make progress with this at the weekend.

I won't be around much on Thursday and Friday - doing short days as Mrs RC is going to visit her dad for his birthday, so it is back to being Mr Mom for a few days. Not complaining, of course, I enjoy the extra time with the kids.

More as soon as I can manage it!

Monday, 8 December 2008

It starts!

I started the Pooh Grotto yesterday. My camera doesn't like taking pics in the dark (it is a camcorder, not a real camera) but I think these will give an idea:

The tree - teddy bear lights and Pooh Bear ornaments.
Here you can see the singing Pooh and Tigger (Eeyore is also part of the set - he is under the tree in the top pic). In the middle is a game that you can play - Bowling for Pooh, where you try to knock over the Pooh figures with the pompom that is hanging in front of Tigger. My best score has been 3 out of 5 so far.

The imprisoned Santa. This is in the hall , which is mainly blue this year. My wife actually approves! I must have gone wrong somewhere!

Looks like the sleigh will go in the hall - not enough room in the porch - but it relies on us reorganising the bedrooms so that the desk that is currently in the alcove under the stairs can move out of the way!

Seemed like such a simple idea at the time!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Friday at last!

This whole week has been insane - not sure why, nothing particular happening, just lots of stuff that adds up to too much! Oh well!

I have been trying to keep up with all of the usual blogs, but know I have slipped with a few. Sorry about that, I will do my best to catch up!

Tomorrow we are hoping to nail the rest of our presents and after that I will be putting up my "tasteful" Christmas decorations - the mini disco balls, blue LED lights, etc - and the Pooh Bear Grotto, of course! I have also had an awful idea . I am thinking that I could make a sleigh for Pooh Bear and put the others in front with those antler head bands on. It would be just like something from "Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too!" Hm, this needs serious thought!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

All I want for Christmas....

I got home last night to find that a lot of the Christmas decorations were already up! The living room is done and the kids have got their trees up in their bedrooms! All I need to do is the hall and Pooh's Grotto!

It was so nice last night, sitting there with the tree lights on,so warm and cozy...

This morning was NOT warm and cozy. There is snow in the north, but all we have is icy winds and rain - the sort of combination that makes your face hurt,and I had this in my face for the entire journey this morning :-(

By the time I reached Canterbury I was wondering if I was clinically insane. I stopped at a junction where there was another cyclist - also doubting his own mind! Oh well, at least we are happy - sanity seems to make people more miserable, don't you think?

Lunchtime update:

The weather has now cleared - we have blue skies and warm sunshine,perfect Christmas shopping weather, in fact! Staggered back under a big bag of goodies...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Quick update

Lots of work.

Still have to finish an assignment for the end of next week, but must get it done well before the deadline...

Kids all off school with grotty coughs, fevers etc. Mrs RC is keeping them entertained sorting out the Christmas decorations. The Pooh Bear Grotto will be taking shape soon! Yay!!!!

Bought the chocolate supply for Christmas today! Yay!!!

Started getting in the wine yesterday. Mmm, wine...

I have started collecting Star Wars model space ships for wargames. Should be fun. The Force is strong in this one!

Weather is really cold - wonder if we are going to get a decent fall of snow? There was plenty of ice for me to dodge this morning...

Went to an excellent lecture last night by one of the scientists who is involved in the Hadron Collider at Cern - the thing that some think might destroy the world when it gets running again. Amazing amounts of money for strange experiments looking for things that we are not sure actually exist. However, there do seem to be lots of interesting offshoots from this research, such as a new way of studying the development of cancer, so it is not all a waste of time.

Back soon!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Down to Margate!

On Saturday we all went to Margate for some Christmas shopping.

Once upon a time, Margate was a thriving seaside town, a favourite place for day trippers from London. There are even songs about the place, as this ethnic music from the east end of London shows:

But now? Well apart from a few weeks in the summer, the day trippers have gone. The funfair has gone and the scenic railway has been damaged by fire and is awaiting someone with a load of money to repair it. It has become a backwater where the main business is taking in refugees and immigrants from eastern Europe.

But in previous years we have been able to do a lot of good Christmas shopping there, though. It had a good collection of discount shops with the added bonus of a KFC restaurant!

This year? Well the recession has hit the place really hard. I guess a lot of the shops were running on fairly low margins at the best of times, and a lot of them are now empty. My daughter's favourite clothes shops were still there, so she was happy, but for the rest of us it was a bit of a disappointment. To make matters worse, the KFC was totally packed (the only shop that was), so we didn't even get dinner there!

And do you know the worst thing? With the town in this state, they are spending £50 million on an art gallery. Will this save the town? What do you think?