Happy New Year one and all! I hope that 2020 is proving delightful for everyone so far - if nothing else, we are FINALLY back in an actual properly named decade AT LAST. There are people drawing salaries, driving cars and indeed eligible to VOTE who have never lived in one, so to them especially I say welcome to THE TWENTIES!
Keen observers of this blog will note that it has been exceptionally quiet over the past few weeks, and this was because I have been away on HOLIDAY for much of it. I finished work on Friday 13 December and, after the events of the election the night before, I was DELIGHTED to leave the country a couple of days later to spend a BLOODY BRILLIANT nine nights in Tenerife with The Lounger By My Pool. I can HIGHLY recommend a pre-Christmas holiday, especially if you go somewhere where it is basically A Lovely Summer's Day pretty much EVERY day. We got into a lovely routine of sitting by the POOL during the morning, with BEER commencing at noon, then wandering down into town to GAZE at the sea, drink coffee, and do our shopping before heading home for SHOWERS, a trip to the BAR, and then TEA. We did go on one trip, to La Orotava (where we saw EVEN MORE Nativiy Scenes than we did last year - they bloody love their Nativity Scenes do the Tinerfinos) but otherwise it was a glorious week and a bit of sunshine, books, relaxation, high level intellectual discussion, and BEER (though not necessarily in that order).
We did worry before we went whether nine nights would be too long, but it turned out to be EXCELLENT, not just because we got two more nights than normal, but because we KNEW about it in advance. My BRANE turn out to be naturally attuned to the standard seven day holiday, so every time I'd think e.g. "Oh no, we are nearly halfway through our holiday" I would have the DELIGHT of realising that NO WE WERE NOT!
We'd also wondered whether it would be a good idea to travel home on Christmas Eve, but it turned out that YES IT WAS. For one thing, the plane was not quite as full on the return trip, so The Window By My Windowseat was able to ASK one of the stewards if we could move, and we got a WHOLE ROW to ourselves all the way back. The flight out had felt like it had taken FOREVER (partly because of headwinds, partly because we were in a metal tube with approx. 19 million people, 33 million of whom were TODDLERS) but on the way back it felt like we were in the EXECUTIVE FIRST CLASS. For another thing, it meant that we flew straight back into CHRISTMAS, rather than into WORK!
Our first full day back in the UK was thus CHRISTMAS DAY ACTUAL, and saw us wandering to Leytonstone for CHURCH. I do like CHURCH on Christmas Day, especially at St Johns in E11 where they feature Extremely Serious Rituals like making the whole congregation shout "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" to make the Christmas tree lights come on. When we got home we had our diligently pre-planned Store Cupboard And Freezer Christmas Dinner which was GRATE because a) it was easy b) it was delicious c) it was diligently pre-planned and worked out PERFECTLY.
All in all, it was a GRATE Christmas - I very much hope we do the same again next year!