Christmas Music Already?

logoWe went out with our close friend Philippa last night in part to celebrate my one year alcohol free.  We chose to go to Cafe Parfait in Southampton, which we went to once over a year ago and really enjoyed.
After a few bottles of Becks Blue, a delicious Spaghetti Bolognaise and some choice music courtesy of my iPod, we started to get ready for the evening.

After the girls meticulously applied their make up, decided what to wear with great difficulty and emerged from the bedroom as a stunning pair of beauties, I threw on a nice shirt, had a shave and put my dress shoes on in case the bouncers had an issue with the boots I normally wear.  We jumped on a late night bus which was running on time for a change (probably because it was about 2130 and everyone was already out).  We shortly arrived in Southampton and walked the remaining distance to Cafe Parfait itself.

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Christmas Preparation Underway

We have had a busy couple of weeks.

Not our bookcase! ;-)
http://www.morguefile.com/creative/SDRandCo

A while back, my wife Tracey found a cheap second hand bookcase on facebook.  When it arrived we then promptly spent the next two days sorting out all of our books into a large database and filling up the new bookcase.  We also went through the ornaments on the mantlepiece and in the cabinet and threw some out and others were moved to the top of the bookcase.  Figuring that the rest of the lounge may as well be done now, we then had a huge clearout and general tidy (not that we are untidy per se just a little cluttered).

Now, with a tidy lounge, my wife decided now would be a great time to sort out the bedroom, which quickly followed suit and now we are left with the fallout of all this sorting and clearing – a large collection of boxes, bags and assorted bric a brac in the shed all ready to be thrown out in the spring (when we have our huge annual clearout).  The amount of stuff we have to throw out would probably fill a skip! you don’t realise how much stuff you accumulate over time!.

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The Huge Winter Clear Out!

Well, the kitchen is finally complete and we have finished moving everything (well actually a LOT less than everything!) back in.

When we finished emptying the old kitchen, we had six 110litre boxes packed full of kitchenware and assorted odds and ends, plus half the lounge filled with various sauces, packets, herbs and spices.

We barely had room to play a board game or two on the carpet during the work, while the workmen did their job!.

When the work was complete and we started moving everything back in (which took about two days) before our cat Milo came home, we ended up with four of the six boxes full of stuff we wanted to get rid of!.  Including two from the cupboard at the top of the stairs that was full of stuff we hadn’t looked at in years and thought we may as well sort through while were at it!.

After all the sorting and restocking, we got our lounge back and then decided to go shopping while we were still in the zone!, so tired and achy we walked up to the big Tesco’s up the road and carried back two weeks worth of food before finally settling down for the night.

The following day, not being able to carry it all in one go up to the charity collection bins, we asked a friend who had recently moved if there was anything he wanted.

After going through all the boxes, he ended up taking nearly everything (three of the four boxes) which was of immense help to us and him, so off we went again to help him get it all home (fortunately he lives close by).

Finally, we all gathered up the last few items in the last box and proceeded to walk up to the charity bins up the road (where the carrier bags insisted on splitting halfway!).

Now we have a couple of hospital appointments to get out of the way and the Christmas shopping to finish (we started early this year for the first time!) before the Christmas Market appears in town (which we are looking forward to!) and the chaos of Christmas descends upon us once again.

Roll on Christmas!

Christmas Done for Another Year!

Well thats it.

We finally finished the last few things in preparation for Christmas.

After dressing up in waterproofs to brave the high street in order to do some last minute shopping, we have finally got in and i have  sat down with a cold glass of cider to relax.

The thought of a nice hot bath is now occupying the rest of my brain!.

Sadly, my (fairly) new boots decided to split on the bottom on both so everytime I step near a puddle, the ice cold water rushes in! thankfully, I learnt an old trick of wearing a carrier bag over my socks to limit the damage…unfortunately, the bags split and I got soaked anyway!.

Oh well, that’s everything done as much as possible anyway and all that is left is to grab some booze and wait for the big day!.

We missed Southampton lights being put on this year as we had to walk in as there were apparently no buses (then when we were nearly in town, SIX turned up at once! I kid you not!).

For all it’s faults, Southampton does do a good job with its lights, and the German market this year is HUGE! it’s the biggest I have seen in the seven years it has been here with all kinds of stalls selling everything from Mulled Wine, German sausage and handmade crafts, to roast chestnuts, candy floss and curry! (I recommended the ‘Taste of India’ stalls Chicken Tikka Wrap if anyone reading this is heading there anytime soon!.)

I just cannot believe that it has been six months since the wedding! where did this year go? we spent half of it preparing for the wedding, and the rest preparing for Christmas!.

And, if some of the 2012 theories have some weight to them, we may not even be here this time next year! frightening thought! should we get gifts anyway just in case it turns out to be another “Y2K Bug“?.

I wont bother with my usual grumbling about how commercial Christmas is, or how it gets earlier and earlier every year (I saw the first tinsel around the end of august this year…) or with a “Top Ten” Christmas songs of all time list as seems to be common this time of year either, all I am going to do is end here and wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!.