Christmas 2016

I thought I would take a little time and report on how we spent our Christmas this year.  We had a nice, relaxing time but it was still much too short.  I definitely could get used to being off work and not having lots of busy things planned!

Paul finished work a day before me but we did one of my favourite things of the holiday on our first day off together. We went for lunch at the Viking Bakehouse and Pub (http://thevikingpub.co.uk/).  Paul had noticed it being refurbished and a rather famous chef has put his name to it.  We both agreed it’s the nicest meal we’ve had out in a long time and the décor and friendly staff really made it special.  I had some bread and olives to start – freshly baked bread made there on site that morning – and a Grilled Reuben sandwich with sweet potato fries for a my main course.  It is hard to get a Grilled Reuben over here so I took advantage of it being on the menu and was not disappointed.  It was lovely.  After our dinner we came back to find Stella was still out on her playdate so we decided to head into the village for some cocktails.  My favourite was a Singapore Sling – so good I had two – at the Courtyard.  I was the most disappointed with the strawberry daiquiri that I had at Oxton Bar and Terrace which was “on ice” rather than being the nice slushy drink that I was expecting and that we used to make when I lived in Toronto.

Christmas day itself started out with Stella and I having a little walk up to the Arno – so, so quiet. Just a handful of dog walkers out.  When we got back home we all opened presents – Stella was most excited about her bag of balls from Debbie and Ian despite my efforts with a squeaky peasant and treats!  Upstaged indeed!  Everyone was so thoughtful and generous – Paul spoiled me notably with a lovely winter coat and a speaker for the kitchen so I can listen to my music in there. 😉  And my knitted beaver from Annalie has got to be one of the best Christmas presents ever! Later on in the day we went to see Jayne, Paul and the kids.  That is always nice and Jayne makes a fabulous meal for us while we catch up with the kids and their presents and news.  I had bought them a kit each to build their own wooden flying animal – that mostly involved Paul and I trying to figure out what to do and how to build them which certainly was not as easy as the box suggested.  Note for next year – buy gifts that don’t require assembly!

Other than that, the three of us had some long walks locally – up Bidston Hill, through Birkenhead Park, down to Storeton Woods etc.

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We also watched a few movies – I was surprised that I actually didn’t mind (and even quite enjoyed) Deadpool and the new Star Trek movie was action packed entertainment.  I’ve been doing some cooking as well which takes a bit longer – here is the pork pie I made.  Looks pretty good if I do say so myself!

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I’ve also been taking some time to learn how to put together little videos from my pictures – I made one for the Wirral Animal Sanctuary.  (You can check it out here – http://www.flyingcanadianphotography.com/Animals/Animal-Galleries/Wirral-Animal-Sanctuary/The-Animals/Videos/) It seems to have gone down well but I’d not like to think how many hours I spent pulling it together.  Never mind – the next one will be much easier.  The software wasn’t really that intuitive for me but I think I have a grasp of the basics now.

In the next few days, we are looking forward to ringing in the New Year with friends and food from the comfort of our own home. We use Stella’s fear of the fireworks that go off at midnight in the village as our excuse to stay in but it’s nice to have some company this year.

Happy New Year – hope 2017 is all that you expect it to be.

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