And That Was Christmas 2018

Christmas is over.  Normality is returning.  Sobriety is around the corner.

As usual, I went to Hull to see my parents and some of the extended family, for 5 nights.  About 1 night too many for me, about 360 nights too short for my mum.

It being time with the family, meant that the television was on much of the time – there is only so much I have to say before I start boring myself let alone everyone else (verbally, anyway).  I guess there is something kind of comforting about sitting around together on the off-chance that we can prise my mother away from QVC onto one of the few things we have in common.  Like Hull.

Conveniently, Hull City were on Sky so I didn’t have to find excuses as to why I didn’t want to go to the KC Stadium to watch them (I don’t want to give any money to the bastards who own us), and despite going 1-0 down, we came back to win an entertaining game 3-2.

Topping that, my favourite thing we watched was about Hull, called A Northern Soul.  A documentary about an ordinary working bloke from Hull, one struggling with the realities of life in Hull (and espousing the reasons that I escaped as soon as I could) but one who has a dream.  I won’t ruin it, but it was melancholic, funny and very Hull.  You should watch it.

Oh and we watched an early 90’s film called Point Break.  About surfers who become bank robbers.  You shouldn’t watch it.

Culture in Hull is a major thing, as you will likely understand, so we went to a photography exhibition at the university, about the end of the fishing community in a part of Hull called Hessle Road.  Some of the photos are here for the curious, and my favourite is below:

The other thing apart from Hull that we all have in common as a family, is enjoyment of food.  And roast dinners.

My mother cooked a banging Christmas dinner.  Definitely an 8 out of 10 – the weird frozen parsnips and crappy frozen stuffing balls took the edge off – but perfect roast potatoes, and I mean PERFECT, along with banging gravy (cheers sis) made it an awesome dinner.  Alas my mother still hasn’t got the hang of cooking beef, ie longer is not better.  And I cooked the Boxing Day meal, though I was disappointed with how my braised beef turned out too.

I received some presents too.  I was desperate for socks, and my appetite was sated.

Alas, my grandmother’s idea of good socks isn’t mine.  She asked if I liked them – and you know me, I am pretty rubbish at lying.  So she told me to give them to my Dad, and I said “OK, I’ll do that”.  Cue evil look.  Bless her.

I got a couple of great t-shirts too (well, I love them) and the piece de resistance – my mum knitted me a scarf.  And it’s actually an awesome design, just the kind of thing I would buy.

Envy is not attractive, my friends.

I couldn’t help thinking about those not as lucky as me.  Those without families to spend time with, or those on the streets.  I wish there was some kind of over-arching solution that I could enact, to resolve the difficulties of everyone, alas…there isn’t.  I’ll just have to settle for a donation to charity, and the knowledge that I made the most of the time with my family.  One day I’ll solve all the problems of the world.  One day…

As much as I was ready to go back to London by Boxing Day, craving the comforts of a double bed and a shower that is more than a pointless dribble – even if it did mean that I spent 3 hours on Hull Trains feeling like I was a piece of toast under the grill, I think I made the most of the precious time with my wonderful family.

I guess that’s all I have to say.  Time to go enjoy my last weekend on the pop until Easter, although not too crazily as I’m really craving doing healthy stuff now.  So much so that I’m tempted to stay in on NYE and just have a pie and a bottle of wine – being able to get up the next day and get on with whatever I deem necessary – like moving this shitty Blogger blog to WordPress and the 21st Century.

I hope you had as wonderful a Christmas as myself.

Oh yeah, why did I get 4 bottles of shower gel but no deodorant?  What is that about?

And That Was Christmas

I spoke to my French colleague today and she told me that it took her 3 hours door-to-door to get from her house in England to her house in France.

Well, on Christmas Eve, it took me 10 hours – 4 of those stuck between Grantham and Retford.

A joyous start to Christmas, but it was good to be back home, until my mother put on a church choir singing programme and I wished I was back on that train.  Things improved when we watched Caravan TV, which included the process for building a caravan.  Sky – 1,000 channels of shite.

Christmas Day was predictably pleasant.  I should start by thanking Mary and Moses for having sex 2,016 years ago, leading to this celebration of shopping.

I had some cracking gifts, including some new handkerchiefs and some pants.  I also got a bar of soap on a rope to keep under my bed until I move out.  Very soon hopefully.

One gift that was particularly impressive was this designer ring:

I’ve never had a ring before.  Do you think it suits me?  I’d be interested in your thoughts.

I should also mention that I am getting a tour of Westminster.  I have no idea why I have never been bought this gift before.  I do have quite some sister.

Speaking of which, I introduced her to cricket on Boxing Day.  I believe that she is now a big fan and that we are going to a 20/20 game in 2020.  Or maybe even in 2016.

We went to watch the football as a family.  I had planned on backing Hull City to win 3-0 but because the train was delayed by 4 hours, I decided that was a sign that we would win 4-0 so I backed 4-0.  We won 3-0 with a shot agonisingly close at the end of injury time to make it 4.  My heart hasn’t beat that fast since I was chased by fire-fighters as a teenager.

I was even allowed to cook the Boxing Day roast dinner.  My family were suitably impressed…the stuffing was particularly sensational.

Christmas was definitely good.

I successfully spent lots of money and ate far too much food.  Jesus would approve.

The Christmas Blog

I arrived home two days before Christmas.
“What have you done to your hair”, was the first thing my
mother said.  Quickly followed up by “you’ve
put on weight”.  Yeah I kind of know that
already given that I weigh myself about 6 times a day and record both my
morning and night weight every day on a spreadsheet.  I do know I have put on weight.
So I quickly popped out to the chip shop.  Can you believe someone asked for cod?  WTF?  Clearly
an immigrant.
 
That round thing is a pattie by the way.  Chip spice on the chips.  And a large haddock.  Better than sex.
I really love seeing my family and would visit every week if
I could.  For an hour or two.  But I was visiting for 4 nights and I always
struggle with the lack of independence and control that staying with my family
means.  There are other reasons than the
size of my belly as to why I am single.
Not to mention the crap TV that my family watch, like
Strictly Come Dancing and Emmerdale.  So
instead on the Tuesday night we watched Into The Storm – a movie about storm
chasers.  It made Emmerdale seem
realistic.  Worst movie I have ever
watched.
It was important to make sure that there was enough to keep
me occupied so my and my sister went for a drive and a walk on Christmas
Eve.  We drove past the anti-fracking
campaigners so it gave me an opportunity to shout “GET A JOB!”.  I only saw one person (not my photo).  Apparently the leader of the anti-fracking
camp is in Brisbane.  Too cold is
it?  GET A JOB.
Apparenly I am not the first to shout this.
On Boxing Day (yeah I know I have missed a day) we went to
The Deep – Hull’s premier tourist attraction. 
The world’s only submarium.  You
may not have heard this word before and neither had Google for the first 5 years
of use.  It has fish and stuff.

And penguins.
 
 
The penguins were absolute class.  Some of them were buzzing around the pool,
chasing each other, jumping into the air, and then doing crazy backflips out of
the water onto land.  Really adorable.  The others just stood there totally
disinterested.
Christmas Day can see us humans behaving like penguins – exciteable in the morning, fucking boring after dinner.
Of course I like giving and receiving presents.
Highlights included not 1, not 2 but 3 pairs of work trousers.  I now have 5 pairs of work trousers.  This is depressing.
My grandma particular excelled with these elegant socks:
 
Apparently I asked for daft socks.  I had actually asked for dark socks.  In writing.
She made up for that by buying me an egg beater:
Other highlights included getting a hippopotamus for Christmas:
“Only a hippopotamus would do.  No crocodile, or rhinocerouses.  I only like, hippopotamuses.  And hippopotamuses love me too.”
My secret santa bought me some gravy.
Clearly not someone who knows me very well as they bought Bisto.  FFS.
The most controversial present was this recipe book from my best friend:
What is my girlfriend going to think?
But you know what my best present was?  Seeing the smile on my mum’s face.