Tuesday, 29 December 2015


I have had an amazing Christmas this year.

All of the kids have been home, and everyone has been in high spirits.  Not the most sociable of Christmases. but Armie's girl friend visited on Christmas Day and me had my mum over for Boxing Day dinner. Funny, but as my mum has got older she has become increasingly manipulative.  

My mum used to be the most selfless person ever, and still is when animals are involved, but with people she now likes to get her own way more and more.  So we had been planning our Boxing Day dinner when, at some point, she drops the comment that she has not had a good curry in a long time.

Not the most traditional of Boxing Day dinners, but it was rather good.  I made a really good curry with small chunks of beef in it - and the beef just melted in your mouth too.  It was a sort of korma, creamy, coconuty, and spicy enough to be delicious but not too hot.  This was served with home made naan breads and Mrs RC made some wonderful onion bhajis.  YUM!

This Christmas has also seen the return of my cooking mojo.  At some point I lost it, and have not wanted to cook for some time, but as Christmas got closer I felt something stir in me, and I have really enjoyed cooking again.  Mrs RC has also enjoyed letting me cook too!

Mrs RC has taken up crochet again, starting by making things for a local charity shop.  Having made some dinosaurs and reindeer and stuff for the shop, she decided to make a Yoshi for Number One Son.  This was done without a pattern...

Yes, she just made it up as she went, with no pattern of any sort to guide her!

As predicted, this Christmas was very Star Wars.  Not only was the new movie released and utterly wonderful, I got some new ships for my X-Wing Miniatures collection.

I knew I was getting these ones, including the big cockroach ship from The Empire Strikes Back:

But I actually got this lot!

They are getting an outing tomorrow, when 4 of us will be having a big battle at the local game store.  It is going to be spectacular!  I will try to remember to take photos...

Hope you all had a great Christmas!  I will be catching up soon.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Photo Post

I have been thinking that I have not taken many good photos this year.  On trawling through my files, I think I was wrong.  Here are a few of them.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Rolling into the holidays...

Only 2 and a bit days of work left now!

The Uni is open until 23 Dec, but I booked a few days off so I could finish on Friday.  Then Mrs RC announced that, due to the expected crush in the shops on Saturday, she was going to do hers on Friday!  That was not on!  She couldn't do that!  So I booked Friday off too, so we can go together.  Even if I only get to carry the bags, at least I will be there.

Then we will be ready.

Number One Son is home and settled in, much to everyone's relief.  Our daughter finishes work on Friday and Arnie finishes school then too.  Our daughter is really hyped for Christmas this year.  It is her first Christmas working, and she has been spending so much it makes my eyes water!  She even forced us to put up the decorations at the weekend, even though we all had colds and sniffles and would rather have just snuggled on the sofa and watched TV.  Still, it is all done now, thanks to her.

I guess this is going to go down in history as the biggest Star Wars Christmas ever?  The new movie will be huge, I know it.  They hype is now crushing, the nerds are bursting with excitement (OK I am in there too), and I am getting some new ships for my game.  The one I can't wait for is the Rebel Transporter.  Remember the ship that leads the escape from Hoth, the one that looks like a huge cockroach?  That is it.  It is going to be so much fun in games.  No guns or missiles, but it does have a bunch of nice abilities that just mess with the enemy.  And to just add to it all, between Christmas and New Year I am organising a big game at the local game store, which will feature as much of my collection as I can squeeze in.  Big ships, little ships, the Falcon being chased by Boba Fett, etc.  Ooooh yeah!  Going to be a real geekfest!

See you soon!  Hope you all have a great Christmas, but I am sure I will be back before then.

Monday, 7 December 2015

What are the odds?

The north of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland have been suffering the attentions of Storm Desmond, which has dumped a month's worth of rain in a day or so.

Number One Son's University is on the southern fringe of the area that has taken the most damage.  The city has escaped serious flooding, unlike some towns and cities further north, but they have lost their electricity.

On Sunday afternoon, the university announced that it was closing early for Christmas, everyone had to go home.  Easier said than done!  Number One Son relies on the train to bring him home for Christmas, and although they were offering free buses to where the trains were actually running we were doubtful that he would be able to complete his trip before the trains stopped running for the night, given the chaos that seemed to be reigning anywhere north of Liverpool.

I was about to ring my brother and ask if he fancied driving to Lancaster and back over night when a reply appeared on Facebook in reply to a forlorn message that I had posted.  I had asked if any of Number One Son's friends had electricity, and I got a sheepish "um, yes" from his best friend up there. 

Somehow, in a city that is in total darkness, (according to the news the city and its surroundings have 55,000 houses with no power) one house has power. 


So he trotted down and took refuge with them, and is staying there until the trains get running again, hopefully Wednesday or Thursday.

So, what are the odds?

I think it is our own little Christmas Miracle.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

The End is Nigh!

The end of term, that is!  Just over a week to go!

Then Number One Son will be back from Uni and Christmas can really get under way.  We are planning on a good family Christmas this year - lots of fun together, less of the expensive presents - the kids are having trouble thinking of things they need anyway, so it is coming to things like gym membership for Arnie the power-lifter.  Oh, I am suspicious about one present that is being bought.  I am sure it is for me and I think I know what it is.  If I am right I will be a very happy bunny  :-)

Talking of bunnies, ours are getting into a breakfast in bed routine!  When I go to feed them in the mornings they look out of the bedroom part of their house and wait for me to poke food through the bars for them - going down to the food bowl is obviously too much effort these days, bless them!  Of course, I am happy to oblige, they look so cute!

OK, time to nip out for lunch before I take a small class this afternoon.  It is generally grey out there these days, but reasonably warm - VERY warm for the time of year!  Trying not to get too used to it, it is going to be a real shock when (if) the snow arrives!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


December is here, and the Spirit of Christmas is starting to stir in me.

I am wearing a Christmas t-shirt.

My DVD of "A Christmas Story" is close at hand.

I have bought a Christmas present (Secret Santa at work), and tried to buy another but failed, as it was sold out.  I will have to hit Amazon for that, I guess!

Spot is still living with us.  My mum is back at home, but not up to walking Spot just yet so he is living with us and visiting, which seems to work well.  Spot is enjoying having two homes at the moment, trying to stop the cats taking charge of my mum's house when he visits...

Work has changed a fair bit in recent months, as I have been relieved of my more mundane work and given more time to work on mapping exercises for students as well as some headroom to start probing some research interests.  All good stuff, but more taxing on the brain.  No more "oh I feel like doing something that doesn't need thought, I will update the registers".  No, my brain is engaged all day, which is good, very good, but it does mean that I am losing my grip on my Sci-fi novel, which is a shame.  I am hoping that I will adjust and be able to get back to it.  I was enjoying it.  The heroes have just "stolen" a battle cruiser and flown off to see what is really happening in the galaxy... I used quotes above because can the Galactic Emperor really steal a ship that belongs to his own navy?  If Obama decided to take Airforce 1 for a quick fly around would it be thought of as stealing?  Discuss  :-)