Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had a nice holiday season! I can’t believe it’s 2018! Where did 2017 go?!
So a week after I last wrote, we celebrated Thanksgiving here in Cardiff. In a fantastic show of neighbourly love, we split the cooking responsibilities with Paul and Anurag who live two doors down. The more the merrier so we also invited Morgan’s best friend from nursery, Zeke, and his dad Matt (Zeke’s mum Beth is an A&E nurse so was at work unfortunately).
In addition to the amazing food, I love Thanksgiving because I think it’s so important to pause and reflect. Besides being thankful for fantastic neighbours, family and friends, it also occurred to me this year that I am grateful for modern day plumbing and sewage systems, our public health system, and a warm house. And for my health. It’s so easy to take all these basics for granted.
And after that…. the British Christmas craziness began. I call it craziness because IT’S REALLY CRAZY! I have concluded this is because the British don’t have that many other “celebratory” type holidays in the year. In America, we’ve got Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, and even Halloween which gets people excited and having parties. But here in the UK, it’s mostly just Christmas … and so (from what I’ve seen) the British really go a little bit nuts around this time of year with celebrating — lots of eating, drinking, and getting dressed up for parties…
…as you can see in this pic. If you don’t recognise him, that’s Aled heading out for his Christmas work party. He never gets this dressed up for me so I made sure to get a picture of him in his black dinner jacket for the record!
For the kids in Britain, there’s the Christmas play to look forward to, which I’m learning is a strong British tradition (oh joy!). Sorry the pic isn’t the best — you can spot Morgan in an angel costume in the middle somewhere — look for the bright blue Nike sneakers. Like most of the little boys in the nursery Christmas play, Morgan was so distracted by his surroundings and all the parents snapping pics to really pay much attention to his lines or the songs they’d been rehearsing. Of course all the little girls were singing and clapping as instructed which I found really infuriating Anyways I’m not sure we have a future Broadway star on our hands, but hey, as my Dad says “It builds character”. ?
Snow fell on the Brecon Beacons in the middle of December which was really awesome.
We all had a blast on the sled! I love this pic:
Christmas isn’t Christmas without gingerbread cookies! Here’s my trusty helper/excess dough eater:
Here we can be seen making wreaths at the Roath Park bowls pavilion. Many thanks to my good friend Becky for alerting me to this event — I absolutely loved it!
And here we are on the way to Paul and Anurag’s amazing annual Christmas mulled wine evening. Those guys are fantastic hosts and we look forward to this gathering every Christmas now! It’s so nice to catch up with the neighbours and enjoy the festivities.
And then it was time for Christmas… annoyingly I came down with a horrible flu/cold on the 19th. Luckily the fever and cold shakes abated after a few days but we still delayed our trip to Norwich in the hopes I’d recover enough not to pass anything on to Hefin, Emma or Elis in Norwich. By some miracle, it sounds like they didn’t come down with anything (thank goodness!).
So here’s Morgy and Elis on Christmas Eve, leaving out some carrots, mince pies and beer for Santa.
Christmas was fabulous — Emma put on an amazing Christmas dinner! Here she is, proudly displaying the turkey. Well done Em!!
Here we are at the table, with Emma’s mum Jane on the left.
The pile of presents was pretty incredible… unlike my own childhood Christmases in which presents were all opened within an hour of waking up, this pile was still being worked through in the afternoon! What an amazing display of will power and civility.
All in all, it was a very nice day, and we just want to say thanks to Hefin and Emma for such a lovely Christmas.
We stayed in Norwich until the 27th. On Boxing Day, we went for a stroll around Norwich. First through the arcades, which I love. They are similar to the ones in Cardiff and are just beautiful.
We stopped for a coffee en route to warm ourselves up. Check out these cool dudes:
And then it was onto Norwich Cathedral, which is a really fantastic site. I’ve just read on wiki that it was started in 1096! Wow. Seriously — what are we building this day and age which will last over a millennium? Now there’s a good challenge…
Then it was back to Cardiff for a couple of days at home. We celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on the 28th and then went to work on the 29th. I could really get used to a one day working week
And then it was down to Cornwall for New Year’s but this post is getting too long so I will save those pics for the next post. Big hugs everyone and hope you had a nice December. Let me know if you have any amazing plans for 2018! And thank you everyone for your cards and presents! It is so nice to hear from you and thanks for all of our Christmas presents. XOXOXO