Saturday, January 09, 2010


It has now been snowing on and off for a week, we're mostly having a ball - last two days we have been utterly snowed in - may lose it's amusement factor when we run out of milk!

This picture was published last week and shows quite an astonishing image of the UK (pic credit NEODAAS/University of Dundee)

Along with the snow we had spring tides so the house was forever filled with wonderful reflected light from all sides.
Been tobogganing, digging caves in snow drifts, and generally doing stuff I can barely remember doing in this country in my lifetime - Stan less keen on anything that might make him cold, living up to his nickname of Mowgli, but Mouse likes it!

New Year's Day

We had our usual New Year's Day open House with the added excitement(?) this year that it was Michael's last day as a 30 something yr old. The usual starter of sublime Bloody Mary's - here is the full kit lined up and ready as taken by G.

Lots and lots of curries and tasty items - quail's eggs and cumin salt.

By 1.30 no-one was here and at 1.31 EVERYONE was!! It was the first sunny day for weeks and although utterly freezing most people had walked and once again the hall was piled high with boots, shoes, hats and scarves. Total blast, thanks to all who came for making it so!

Christmas Day

Doesn't need many words, children woke, stockings opened, smoked salmon and champagne for breakfast (bien sur!), pretty table, turkey and all the trimmings, more fizz, wine, port, presents - too many, family, love, laughter and togetherness - topped off with Poire William yum yum yum. Pictures tell the story

Christmas Eve

Let the madness commence!

When planning to have Christmas in our house I kind of thought/hoped we would all fit in, crossed my fingers and prayed - the children are all so much bigger than 4 years ago when we last did it - in fact there is a new Whelan since then! So whilst we managed it, I am not sure that we might not need a bigger house or perhaps to knock through between living and dining room if we do it again.

Everyone arrived on Christmas Eve - we had spent ages tidying, stowing, sorting and generally emptying the house to try and make space and in an instant it was full to the brim with noise, people and jollity! We had a fish feast, 3 doz oysters, expertly opened by Michael - I may have to invest in a chain mail glove for him as he does it so often and so well! Followed by lovely whole sea bass and much, much wine.

Katy and Kev had brought some sky lanterns - the last time I had seen these was in great numbers in a huge field at the Big Chill and they are utterly magical. So simple and bewitching and everyone loves them.
We launched several and each time held our breath as we waited to see if they would clear the vast poplar at the bottom of the garden, before floating off towards Faversham climbing ever higher.

Beautiful, thanks guys.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Long time

Life got rather hectic towards the end of last year, it seemed as though time was speeding and speeding up until we all collapsed in a total heap on Christmas Eve. So there has been no time to blog and there are lots of pictures and stories to tell. This then will not be entirely the correct order but hopefully brings it up to date.

First off Nativity plays and Christmas shows. There was a memorable afternoon when all three children did something, one after the other but in multiple locations which made the logistics a little challenging. As we rushed out of Georgia's carol service to get to Faversham in time for Raff's play to start the headteacher made a pointed comment about "people who will send their kids to different schools" - humorously-ish meant, but slightly barbed as he has always been annoyed that the boys stayed on at E/rd when it became a Primary school instead of moving them to join G. But as the amazing Christmas extravaganza by E/rd showed once again, it is quite simply the most magical, creative and unique school I have ever come across and I wouldn't have them anywhere else!

So, that memorable afternoon started with Stan's play called " A Christmas Recipe" - the Christmas story well hidden in amongst songs and dances all making up the "ingredients" for Christmas. Stan was a present!

Then we raced home for supper before G's very trad carol service with some really beautiful singing - she is particularly thrilled to now be singing the descant in 'O come all ye....' like her Granny always does. There was to be a candle lit lantern thing outside afterwards but we had to jump in the motor and whizz down to Faversham for the first ever E/rd Junior school Christmas show. Being Ethelbert road, no small measures - a performance by 8 yr olds of A Christmas Carol. Stunning of course, and Charlie Francis - the biggest boy at school in every way, played a fantastic Scrooge.
Raff was amazed and delighted to be chosen as one of the narrators and overcame not only his utter fear of the spotlight and having croup and nearly no voice (perhaps he should have been Tiny Tim) he spoke his lines clearly and with a real look of triumph as he came off the stage.
Well done you lot!