We left Musetta in Las Palmas marina while we flew home to England to spend Christmas with our family, something I was very much looking forward to having last seen them all in May!
I went to France to retrieve my car from the garage at La Grange as soon as we arrived back in the UK! Alan and I then went our separate ways! He had work commitments and I took time to catch up with my boys and their issue before Christmas!
13th – 16th December ~ To see Ian and his new apartment!
First of all I was so looking forward to spending a few days with Ian as he had recently moved into his new apartment in Bordon, Hampshire. He was very proud to show me round and for me it was very amusing to see him being ultra tidy and polishing his induction hob to within an inch of it’s life – a new trait in Ian!! I loved his apartment too!
A view of the lounge area ~ the neighbouring open space for a brisk walk!
I was due to leave on the Sunday morning and as it dawned cold, crisp and sunny we took the opportunity to go across to the land opposite his flat which used to be the army ranges in Bordon, it was perfect for a ‘pipe opener’! We had a bracing walk around the whole area and agreed that all his friends with dogs would be fine when they visited him.
Wednesday 19th December ~ George’s 4th Birthday!
How time flies! Where have the intervening years gone? Here we are celebrating George’s fourth birthday! This involved a birthday treat of a trip up to London, on a train of course!
The river bank near County Hall with the fountains and views across to the Tower of London!
It was a great day, we only managed three forms of transport this year due to the addition of Oscar into the party and the resulting difficulty of manoeuvring his buggy on and off and into buses and perhaps taxis, however the train, the river cruise and the underground were all well received by Master George! He loved it and to see his little face full of wonder, awe and innocence was a real joy for me! We were so lucky with the weather too, it was fairly crisp but the blue skies and sunshine were such a bonus!
Friday 21st December ~ Annabelle’s Nativity Play!
Kathleen invited me to Annabelle’s pre-school nativity play which was the final event of the Christmas term for them all.
Mary (Annabelle) waiting for her entrance and tending the baby Jesus!
How the staff managed to dress and organise all the three and four year olds to perform the play I will never know! The children all seemed to have learned their words and actions to the carols incredibly well, it was lovely especially as Annabelle was chosen to be ‘Mary’. She did have a few words to say but I didn’t hear them above the general chatter but I’m sure she spoke them perfectly!
Sunday 23rd December ~ The Bluebell Railway Christmas Special!
The Bluebell Steam Railway starts at Sheffield Park in East Sussex, the line is just 11 miles long and except for Sheffield Park it runs almost entirely in West Sussex.
It is amazingly well preserved and like the Water Cress Line in Alresford, Hampshire it is run by volunteers who are passionate about preserving this part of England’s heritage.
I mention The Watercress line because I took my boys with their grandmother (my mother!), on the Watercress line’s version of the Christmas Special many years ago! The line runs for 10 miles from New Alresford to Alton. Watercress is grown in great abundance in Hampshire and so the watercress soup my mother used to make for us, was always known thereafter as ‘railway soup’!
Wow, Father Christmas on the train too!
George and Annabelle were super excited at the prospect of meeting Father Christmas……!
At last they were able to talk to Father Christmas!
Once again, the weather was reasonably kind to us, a little damp and overcast but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the little ones, we all enjoyed the day immensely. There was so much to see apart from the train and Father Christmas. Lots of fun things for the children and of course Santa’s reindeer!
Looking forward to the BIG day now!
Tuesday 25th December ~ Christmas Day!
Guy and Kathryn hosted a wonderful day, laying on a delicious meal with all the traditional trimmings too! It was all lovely with a great atmosphere too!
The children were so good, it was all lovely. George and Annabelle are at that special age when they know what it is all about and believe implicitly in Father Christmas! Oscar of course has no idea that it is a special day but happily lapped up all the attention!
1st January ~ New Year
As the boys had various diary fixtures for New Year’s Eve, Alan and I went next to spend a few days with Jan in Bisley, a welcome and peaceful break after the hubbub of Christmas with all the little ones! It was so good to spend time with her, she’s so welcoming and such a good friend! I’m only sorry that I won’t be skiing with her this year, the first time for several years!! However, we have our own exciting plans for the new year!
On New Year’s Day we decided to go for a bracing walk at Runnymede, Windsor Great Park to blow a few cobwebs away! It turned out that hundreds of other people had the same idea! This totem pole was one of the first landmarks we came across in the park!
The Totem Pole was a gift from the people of Canada to HM The Queen in June, 1958!
The totem pole was cut in 1957 from a single log of Western Red Cedar! The tree was 600 years old and grew in the forests of the Queen Charlotte Islands, 500 miles north of Vancouver. In 2014 the Canadian lumberjack, Sam Haydahl who felled the tree and his wife paid a visit to the totem pole in Windsor. It was the first time he had seen the pole since he felled it!
We had a most enjoyable walk all round the lake in the park, 4 ½ miles in total!
And then….it was all over!
We spent the rest of our stay in UK either with Guy or Ben, also Alan had several meetings to go to. Finally we went to France to stay at La Grange and chill until it was time to return to Musetta in Las Palmas! We needed to get back and continue our travels, this will be the ‘big one’ when we aim to cross the Atlantic and cruise in the Caribbean until the middle of the year, so exciting times ahead for us!
I end this Christmas blog post with a picture of Annabelle heading off to school on the first day of the January (Spring) term 2019! So cute?!
Back to reality with the inevitable Paw Patrol character ( Rubble ) for company!
Wishing all my Followers a very Happy New Year and all good things in 2019!
Until the next time….
Happy New Year!