Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Incoming...

22:29 Yep, not a blog entry, just a marker of the terrifyingly inexorable passage of time.

So what's happened in 2010? Well, plenty of stuff as you've probably read. Lots of it good, lots of it bad, and lots of it fondly remembered with a rosy-hued drunken haze.

As time counts down to 2011, what have I been up to? Well, tidying up mostly, helping my nephew find the latest in a long line of missing bits of lego, and drinking surprising quantities of Earl Grey, even though it gives me a headache. I think I'm acquiring a taste for it.

Soon I'm going to stick Knightmare on, and watch that with my lovable nephew (he likes it cos it has dungeons and stuff in, I like it cos I used to like it when I was tiny), eating delicious pork crunch that my brother did get me (it's become a miniature tradition - watch Knightmare with pork crunch).

22:42: Well, my ickle nephew is demanding my attention, so I'm going to stick Knightmare on, drink nice cold cider, nice hot tea, and listening to the fireworks.

Back later, maybe. If not, see you next year. I won't be going anywhere in the meantime :-).

23:55 Right: Off downstairs with the family. See you next year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day 2010!

01:07: So I'm sitting here in a nice fresh clean bed with delicious Xmas beer, watching Dilbert on my iPod, relaxing and generally being cheerful. The only way things could be better is if I wasn't full of cold, but even that seems to be receding.
Ahh, I bet the lil dude is having a hard time sleeping hehe. I'm gonna sleep soon, but for now, I'm happy just to chill out.

08:57: Well, after a couple of false starts, I've finally been shouted awake, as the family have started arriving.
For my part I've downed a couple of flu plus, and I'm hoping they'll stave off this rather annoying headache of mine, for the rest of what is hopefully going to be a lovely day filled with cool gadgets, gizmos, and happy family members :-).
Now, to get dressed...

12:56: Well, that's all the pressies done with. I'll go into more detail soon cos I'm kinda busy enjoying a nice family Christmas at the minute. I've got plenty of cool stuff to go on about which I'll do later.
Looks like we're getting ready for dinner so I'd best get on with that.

21:10: Well, the day is finally beginning to wind down.
Sooo, what happened?

Well, from the me point of view, I got some really cool stuff. One of the first presents I opened, appeared to be something like a large sweater or some other item of superfluous clothing, only to turn into a humongous and very cool multipack of pork crunch, made of only the best win and caek. Or something like that.

I also got a really shiny 72mm polariser, which is pretty awesome.

One other gift that definitely got my attention this year, was a lovely cheerful happy little gift for all those lovable scamps with a sense of humour, an electric shock pen.
Basically, it's a rather cheerful device that's disguised as a pen, and when some fool presses down on the clicker, it gives them an electric shock.
Now I'm generally reluctant to have anything to do with electric shocks, but nonetheless, I reasoned, to have the moral authority to subject other (admittedly unwilling and uninformed) people to its various voltages, I should at least be aware of what the device itself did. So I picked up the pen, and pressed the clicker, expecting something like a mild/moderate tingle.

The effect, much to my surprise, felt more like being thumped in the shoulder really really hard. The shock travelled from my hand, up my wrist, up to my shoulder, before travelling down my left-hand side, and disappearing sideways up the tent pole. 20 minutes later I was still feeling the after effects.

I also got some other cool stuff, including a Game gift-certificate-card thingie which will get me £20 off Formula 1 2010, Toblerone, Terry's Chocolate Orange, some very amusing books (indeed one was so good, I received two copies of it!), and some truly sensationally coloured socks, that I have admitted I might one day wear, provided I wear a second pair of socks on top. Also included was plenty of smelly stuff which is always good cos I've been running out.

I also got some awesomely comfortable new slippers, and an awesomely awesome new bath robe dressing gown thing (cos both of the old ones were falling to bits) which cheered me up too. I also got a lovely football shirt from my sister :-).

But yeah, christmas this year really is the christmas of identical presents: My mum and my bro both got Monopoly Revolution, and my mum and I got three copies of "A simples life" between us.
But it's all good fun.

We had dinner after a while, which was incredibly yummy, and the soup was excellent as always. The day was really nice all in all, so yeah.

I have to admit to being more than a little sleepy though, which is why this whole thing might read as being a little vague or whatever. I didn't sleep particularly well this morning - something I hope to rectify later tonight. So yeah, sorry the whole entry is a bit perfunctory, I've been busy all day in one sense or another and now I'm sitting here more or less too tired to do anything.
I think I'll have a lovely bottle of Hoegaarden, and some yummy Pork Crunch! I think I can stretch to wearing a paper hat at the same time :-).

In the meantime, here are some nice pickatures. I'll prolly elaborate on this more after I've had some sleep. Hope you all had a good christmas :-).

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve!

06:02: Well, after waking up for the final time, ending a period of sleep that was not so much broken as shattered (It was like this: Sleep, wake up, roll over, cough violently, sleep again - repeat ad infinitum), I've finally decided to get out of bed so that we can get the next part of Christmas to a start :-). I admit, I feel better than I thought I would.
I'm still not sure which supermarket we're going to (generic boring one vs christmassy one that looks like a castle) but I guess I'll find out soon.
After we get back, I've got all my bedclothes to wash, 4 final pressies to wrap, and I need to take the lil guy to see Father Christmas, give him his special Christmas surprise, and put him to bed :-).

But that's a good 15 or so hours away.
Ciao for now :-).

06:13: My nephew's cutest Christmas-ism of the day: "If you open all of the windows on your advent calendar early, is it Christmas before Christmas?" Hehe, cute.

10:09: Well, we went to the "supermarket that looks like a castle" which was a pleasant surprise; that part of Christmas had looked to be under threat for a while until I pointed out how much my nephew loves going. Of course, I'm a great stickler for tradition too.

The lil dude went up and down the travelators, and we had a fairly cheerful time buying yummy tastyness and whatnot. I even managed to find some "buenos" (lil chocolate bars) for the lil guy, and, figuring that a nice huge drink of very cold orange juice might help my poorly throat, I went and got some of that too.

We disappeared afterwards into the cafe for a bit of a sit and some toast, before heading home.

I've not been in long, just got back from delivering the Christmas cards :-). Now I'm going to have a nice nap.

16:00: Shouting comes from downstairs "Don't get another quiche!"
Yep, my mum has produced, as is traditional, a load of lovely quiches filled with the traditional lovely christmas gloop, which seems to include mushrooms, bacon and possibly onion. And as usual, people seem to be eating them more or less as they come out of the oven. She definitely makes good quiches, my mum.

Well, I managed to have a nice sleep, and got pretty relaxed laying about watching Dilbert on my ipod and generally recovering from my Christmas cold, thanks to some rather clever (and expensive!) stuff.

Later on - not much later on, actually (!), we've got to take the lil' guy to see Father Christmas on his sleigh, and after that, he's going to spend the might at his dad's, which gives me the opportunity to tidy my room, put clean bedding on my bed, wrap those last couple of presents (now the 2 missing ones have finally arrived!), and have a nice bath. After I've done that, I think I'll relax with my nice Christmas beer, a couple of mince pies, and my nice chilli chocolate that I bought at Gainsborough.
And maybe a quiche or two. More to follow :-).

16:45: Well, there are about half a dozen people in the queue to see Father Christmas. We're getting changed to go down now.

17:22: Well, the queue expanded pretty quickly, with people queueing almost all the way to the entrance to the park. It didn't take too long for my nephew to get to the front of it though, and once there, he was given a lovely mini fudge bar.
On the way back we exchanged Xmas pleasantries with our neighbours.

The way things are going, Rudolph isn't going to be the only one with a red nose this year. I hope this medicine works as advertised heh.

Well, onto more Christmassy things.

20:55: Well, the uncle and cousin have just disappeared after coming round to catch up on old times. Nice to see em, as their visit is always part of Christmas.
I've got a few pressies to wrap up, then I'm gonna make my bed, have a nice bath, and relax with my nice Christmassy beer, a couple of mince pies, and maybe a nice ice cream. At some point, I need to get the presents down from the loft too. But hey, it's all falling into place.

23:47: Well, the pressies are down from the loft. They've all been sorted into their awesome christmassy paper bag things, and we've worked out a kind of seating arrangement for tomorrow's festivities. All that's left for me to do now, is to make my bed with nice clean sheets, and to have a lovely bath.
And drink my lovely Christmas beer, of course. I'll have an ice cream with it. I'll skip the quiches though, had five already and it's not even Christmas Day yet.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmassy Goings-On...

Well, as a result of the traditional Christmas Cold, which at least one of our family must have at Christmas, I abandoned last night's Christmas beering and had an early night instead.
After waking up about 3714 times during the night, I was finally roused from my (not that long, actually) sleep, by my mum blasting very loud Christmas music around the house.

Looking out of the window, the first thing I see is a lovely load of Christmassy snow! Snoe! Snow! Sneau etc etc, yep, it's back again just in time for christmas, mum is hard at work downstairs assembling various quiches, dad is in his office doing whatever he does in there, my ickle nephew is in his room surrounded by Lego, and I'm sat here considering going to the shops for some nice ice creams for my throat.

Apart from the three sat on top of my wardrobe, all the presents have been wrapped (even though two of them have yet to arrive :-\), and are chilling out in lovely festive present bags in the loft waiting for Father Christmas to arrange them in the living room. We did the Christmas Pudding last night, and it's merrilly simmering away in the big huge cauldrony thingie that only ever gets used to do the Christmas Pudding :-).

Part Two: Yesterday Was Nice

Yesterday had to attend an appointment in a building that was part of the "Supermarket that looks like a castle" complex (which I would link to but wiki is being crap again), which seems to be my ickle nephew's favourite supermarket. After said appointment, I had a little wander round inside the place, bought a few essential things (like cheese and nuts), and had a cheerful time.

See, we only go in that particular supermarket at Christmas, and so through years of doing this, visiting on a cold Christmas Eve morning seems to be as much a part of the Christmas experience as any other part, so there I was, cheerfully wandering round, listening to the beeps of the checkouts as people did their Christmas shopping, and to the cheerful Christmassy brass band, playing traditional Christmas tunes (as they always do there, over Christmas), and I have to admit, it definitely cheered me up.

The Human mind is weird like that.

Last night, we finally got the house nice and clean, and the very last little bits of the decorations went up. Now the house looks wonderful.

And now, I think I'm off to lay on my bed and try to feel ill and cheerful at the same time, if that's possible.
Talk soon!

16:55: Yep, in 24 hours, assuming the snow holds off, Father Christmas will be round on his sleigh to distrubute small fun-sized confectionery to happy and excited kids :-).
Also, my final two missing Christmas Presents have finally turned up in the mail. Great stuff!!

21:44: Well, I'm retiring to my bed fairly early, for three reasons. One, I feel a bit crappy still. Two, I have to be up at 6 tomorrow to go to do our traditional Christms Eve shopping, and three, I can't wait until Christmas day :-).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Extra-ness (the sign goes up)

I'll be honest, I wasn't really planning on writing another entry right now, but hey, here we go. It's only a short one, mind.

Yep, the sign that indicates Santa's imminent return to these parts upon his Toyota Hilux-driven sleigh, is merrily tethered to the lamp-post, gently soaking up the lovely december rain.
Yeah, halfway through december, a week or so after snow brought the country to a halt, and it's piddling down with rain, and there's no snow or ice to be seen.

But not for long apparently, yep, we're told that we're due some incredibubbly heavy snow later this week, which apparently will take us all the way through to Christmas. Which is a bit of a bugger, because half of my Xmas shopping remains to be done, and some presents that I HAVE ordered, have yet to arrive.

I finally caved into the christmas spirit and bought the ickle dude a bigger submarine to go with his ickle submarine. Admittedly this was my plan all along (no, really!), and it goes with the even bigger submarine I strongly hope his dad has bought him.

So um.

Well, the majority of the Christmas lights are up, the tree is standing proudly and shinily (although slightly leaningly) in the living room, and we have only uh, four more sets of lights to put up. The first in the hall, now that my mum has bizarrely and unilaterally changed the entire layout of the Christmas illumations in the hall... Er, the retina-burningly bright neon blue lights that seem to have become all the rage in the past ten years, that need to go up in the living room, some lovely good old fashioned bulb lights that need to be wrapped around the tinsel on top of the wall unit (30 metres of lights around a 12 metre rope of tinsel, not impossible but bloody difficult to arrange!), and the lovely shiny colourful stars that go in the front window.

But still, there's plenty of time to get it done, and we hope to have the house all decorated and finished for this Friday. Which is the weekend before Christmas eve.

One week to go, more or less!
What the heck! Where did this come from?! Christmas has always been a far away thing and it's skipped "approaching" and "nearly here", going straight to "RIGHT NOW!"

Still, assuming there are no major ballsups, I should be ready in time.

I leave you with some cheerful tunes from an artist I have recently discovered (and by that I mean some dude credited them for the music in one of his youtube vids and I thought "I like that", and seemed to find quite a lot more of their stuff on the interwebs. 1 (angry), 2 (dramatically eerie), 3 (cheerfully awesome).

PS: Bloody hell, you know what?
I think Blogger might have finally got the hang of tables! [Hahaha, I just reviewed the entry - it's still as clueless as ever hehe].

PS PS: Something I feel I should mention, assuming any readers (assuming I have readers) out there have ickle kids, my nephew got a rather wonderful and personal video message from Santa Claus himself.
I wasn't lucky enough to see him the first time he saw it, but apparently no one has ever seen him so wide-eyed with excitement before. I suppose for a six year old to receive a personal message from Father Christmas, must be akin to some kind of religious experience.

Here is the link, go here, make your own. I hope it makes your kids' Christmas like it seems to be helping to make the lil dude's, here.

I guess I'll be in touch before the big day. Merry Christmas all the same :-).

Super PS: I also ordered a new sound egg a few days ago. It arrived in the post today.
It's nice to have awesome sound back, since the bastards at Bassingbourn blew up my old one by playing it too loud, the arses.

Turbo PS: (This was a normal paragraph until I dared blogger to let me put it in a logical order).
And here are the aforementioned pickatures. In no particular or logical order whatsoever. Among them are my nephew's awesome supper, the awesome shiny snapperons I ordered the lil dude, the shiny cool book I got my mum from amazon, a few pretty snow pictures, the lil party we had together after his original christmas party was cancelled, and a rather pleasing picture of a rather angry looking sky.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Down come the Decorations...

15:00 I'm in a rush and didn't want to sit about for ages thinking of a cool title.
Well, I've just put the hatch back on the loft, having got all our shiny and sparkly christmas decorations down. And so far, with the exception of mine(!), they all seem to be working quite happily.

Why am I in a rush? Because I've lost my bank card. Yep, I went to the shops with it a few days ago in huge piles of snow, bought something (A ham and cheese sandwich and a can of monster lo-carb, if you're curious), and didn't come back with it. So now every time I want to buy something, I have to walk to the bank and take some money out at the counter. Which is tantamount to a load of old crappiness, actually.

Once that's done, I've got to make sense of these weird christmas decorations, decide how I'm going to wrap up the Armouron Snapperons that have just arrived thanks to the beleaguered postman who apparently nearly/actually fell on his butt thanks to huge amounts of Ice earlier, and I've got to tidy up the place too. And find bulbs for my non-working candle arch. Bugger!

17:48: Right, I'm back now. Actually I've been back a good hour or so, helping my dad put away a truly sensational (£305!) amount of shopping, including various goodies such as all the ingredients for the yummy Christmas Pudding. My sis has also come over to visit which is nice.

I had a rather cheerful wander through the park to the bank, where I took out just enough to buy something to guzzle, something to munch, and something chocolatey for bedtime. I also had occasion to nearly fall on my ass in front of a group of schoolkids, and had just enough time - between going from walking upright, to being a flurry of arms and legs, to being upright again - and them bursting out giggling hysterically, to put on a very confuzzled face, and shrug.

Yep, there's plenty of ice out there, inches thick in places, and where before it was lovely and snowy with 6, 8 or even 10 or 12 inches of deliciously snowy snow, it's now just bitterly cold, and every solid surface is covered in a layer of glasslike ice. I even took the opportunity to fall on my bum on the way back home, walking down a path down a hill through the park, the universe decided I'd benefit from a closer look at the ground.
I landed with a hugely satisfying crunch on my backpack (filled with super noodles (mild curry and southern fried chicken flavour)), and once up again, hurried to a bench to check that the two pressure vessels I was carrying (containing a volatile flammable liquid!), hadn't ruptured.
Fortunately they hadn't and they are now in the back garden, in the snow and ice, cooling down nicely :-).

And the Christmas decorations?
Ah well, turns out my mum's workplace is being inspected by its governing authority tomorrow, (basically an audit of employee competence and whatnot) so after the epic struggle of getting the decorations out of the sodding loft, the majority of them aren't going up tonight after all. Or tomorrow. Not unless I do them myself, which is one option I suppose.

So now I'm just sitting about, I may well try to put my own lights up. What I am going to do, which would be a bit cheeky if we weren't putting "ours" up another day, is to take a functioning lightbulb from the big candle arch, and substitute it for a nonfunctioning lightbulb from my little one. So at least we can get one room set up today :-).

So I think I may get on with that now (18:15).

18:20: Okay, the little candle arch doesn't have any defunct bulbs, what it does seem to have is a loose connection. Nothing the occasional gentle tap won't fix :-).

20:02: Well, after 56 minutes (I timed it - putting up lights always felt like it took forever so I wanted to see for myself hehe) of arsing about, my nephew attended the Grand-Turning-On-Of-The-Christmas-Lights and got to press the button (on my remote control plug sockets) himself :-). So now here I am sitting about in my nice sparkly christmassy room.
Having had a word with the lil guy's dad, it seems perfectly possible that we (the royal we, meaning him) may well be able to get the lil dude Spikes after all. That way the lil dude can pick and choose how to customise his awesome armour.

On a completely unrelated note, you may have noticed that blog entries about either the Kelham Island Christmas Fair or the local Christmas Concert [are noticable by their abscence], because both have in fact, been cancelled, due to the weather.
Yep, too much of a good thing (snow), really does leave one wanting less, it is a bit of a disappointment as both are generally cheerful and happy family occasions, but hey, at least we've had plenty of awesome snow to keep us occupied instead.

Not to worry though, now the roads are usable again, the various Xmas pressies I've bought should start arriving :-).

For now, I'm going to tidy my room, and have a nice relaxed night.
I'll post some pictures soon :-).