We got back last night, at 12.15. Amazingly, only a six hour journey, which I don’t really understand, considering there was a lot of traffic, several delays, and a minor hiccup when we missed the M25 turn off and had to double back up the M1. Maybe we entered a time hole.
It was a great few days, except perhaps the ending, when the Newcastle supporters amongst us headed off to St James’ in the certainty of an easy victory over Blackburn, only to watch a dismal performace turn sour in the second half. Toby buying me a sweaty pie was the highlight of the afternoon: scalding hot ‘meat’ and gravy and damp pastry. Delicious.
There were nineteen of us for Christmas lunch, with turkey, roast potatoes, brussels, pudding, profiteroles, cheese, coffee, wine, champagne. Later, we played Empires, which some may remember from Isola, and Canasta. Also, on the first evening, we had a long game of Monopoly.
We went down to the land on Boxing Day and built a bonfire, chainsawed logs, drove the two four wheel drives around and bombed about on the little motorbike. The bike was great, though changing gears was a struggle. It was a freezing cold day but we all got warm. Then, onto Granny’s for lunch.
I did the 8 mile bike circuit across the golf course and down the avenue of trees with Crip one morning and Jamie the next. There are two seriously steep climbs that strain heart, lungs and thighs; but arriving back and having a hot shower made it all seem most pleasurable.
Then there was the five a side game. I was in one goal, James in the other. Crip, Jul and Henry just lost to Liv, Jamie, Edward and Edward’s friend. So we had a numerical advantage. We also had another advantage which was Henry struggling with an injured foot. Henry was a nightmare when he got close enough to have a shot at goal. He reminded me of Geoff. I would be lurching in one direction, to stop the ball that looked like it was coming that way, only to see it roll past me into the net on the other side. Had Henry been fully fit, we might well have lost. All in all, both tense and satisfying, with much discussion afterwards and some jolly backslapping amongst the winning fraternity that Jul claimed was ‘frankly nauseating’.
Then, homeward in Daisy.