Drinking My Way to 2017

I’ve essentially spent the last week eating all the food I’ve missed at home and drinking an exceptional amount of wine and gin – classic festive season.

My last blog was posted on the morning of Christmas Eve and after breakfast I began wrapping all the presents I’d bought online – stickers for everybody – and then spent the day watching films on the TV with Else and my dad. Scrooged, Muppets Christmas Carol – so many excellent films. In the evening Roisin arrived with Blu but quickly took him out for a walk before heading home where we had Fish and Chips and watched We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with lots of mulled wine.

I woke a little earlier than Else on Christmas Day so after watching a little telly my Mam and I took Blu for a walk while waiting for Gordon and Karen to arrive and the rest of the house to wake up. By the time we got back everyone was awake and Gordon and Karen arrived just as we did.

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We ate breakfast – pigs in blankets and croissants – with Buck’s Fizz before opening presents. I was lucky enough to get an iPad mini and lots of other lovely things including this cross-stitched “Treat Yo Self” which is absolutely glorious.

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After opening presents we dispersed to get ready and my dad continued to prepare the dinner. Just after 1o’clock everybody else started to arrive and we sat down to eat. My dad outdid himself as he does every year -even with a bad back- and everybody left the table stuffed. After the mayhem of 4 small children opening presents and the adults doing secret Santa we all settled down with our drinks to play the game of Christmas 2016 “Jibber Jabber” – “I’m a sheet slitter, I slit sheets” was a definite highlight – and before long my cheeks were hurting from laughing so much. After everybody else had gone home we watched The Santa Clause before heading to bed. Glorious Christmas Day.

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We got up on Boxing Day and after breakfast and a little TV we headed out to the Angel of the North and Roisin wanted to take Blu and Else had never seen it. After a few wrong turns, we finally made it – always impressive – snapped a few photos and returned to the car as it was a little nippy.

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We decided to head up to Hadrian’s Wall and have a walk around but on arriving realised the visitor centre was shut so we had to walk across a boggy field before making it onto the path. Th walk was extremely bracing – a proper Boxing Day walk- but on arriving at the top we realised we couldn’t actually get the wall as the National Trust has it all fenced off.

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We returned to the car with the idea of heading to a pub for a drink and some onion rings but after realising we still had to pop in to Tesco for some bread and milk for my Dad this was put on the back burner. While filling up the car Roisin did buy us some snacks to keep everybody in tip top spirits. We headed home where we had some tea while catching up on GBBO before getting ready to head to Consett for a night out. It was nice to see people and catch up but Else continues to call it the weirdest night out of her life and proves why it is that I keep my trips to a minimum. We didn’t stay out too long and after eating some chips and garlic sauce, headed home to be greeted by Blu – good end to yet another odd night in Consett.

On Tuesday we woke later and after breakfast settled onto the sofa where we stayed until it was time for Else to catch her train. After Else was back on her way to Manchester I returned home to get dressed and make myself look alive before heading to Emma’s where we – Emma’s fiancé Lee, his friend and Vicky and Beka – ordered takeaway and watched Lion King and Harry Potter. Always lovely to catch up and I’m hoping to see her again next week before heading back to Vigo. My Mam and Roisin then picked me up and we were back on the fizz as soon as we were sat down.

I spent Wednesday in my pyjamas catching up on TV I’ve had saved for me on the box – Two Doors Down is an absolute joy to behold, neighbours in Glasgow and hilarious. In the evening we went to Mitzi’s for tea where we discovered that Joe knows most of the script to Home Alone so we sat for a while reciting the film – glorious. After getting back home Roisin decided to wash Blu who proceeded to soak the bathroom and cover it in hair after jumping out of the bath and then spent the entire evening in front of the fire wrapped in a blanket warming up while we all watched Finding Dory.

We got up on Thursday, showered and after breakfast set the table ready for visitors for lunch – Fiona, Dave, Silke, Laura and Claire. Dad prepared a seriously oversized lunch of lasagne, steak and ale pie or slow cooked lamb, which was glorious.

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After everybody had gone home I started packing my bag for Briony’s and once Roisin had walked Blu we all settled down for her last evening at home and watched Ghostbusters- the new one which is excellent.

On Friday I got up, finished packing my case, said goodbye to Roisin and Blu for a while and was on the way to the train station just after 8 o’clock. The train wasn’t too busy – there was always someone sat next to me, one person would get off and another would quickly take their place at the station but nobody standing – and I spent the 5 hours watching Black Books, starting this blog and playing solitaire.

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Briony and her friend, Victoria, were meeting Else and I at the station and then we set off to fill up on wine and food for the next few days. Once back at Briony’s we exchanged presents – excellent hip flask and gin from Briony – and caught up on life before cracking out the wine.

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After a minor pizza disaster – they needed to be put on trays and the pizza almost just melted through the cracks – we were all chilling on the sofa watching 13 Going on 30 and Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe with gin – classic Clan.

Our plan for New Year’s Eve is essentially a recreation of Galentine’s 2015 where Briony, Else and I became the Clan – we drank 1l of gin and a bottle of cava and spent the next 2 days dying – with a few other people coming round to celebrate. Hopefully the evening is just as glorious but the hangover is not quite as bad. Wishing everybody an excellent New Year!

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