Seriously, I haven't even wished you all a Happy Christmas - except those we saw and visited over Christmas. That will be most of you then!
We had a crazy Christmas time. Angus even started counting how many "Christmases" we had this year, and finally decided on four, although there was a debated five.
Our first Christmas was a trip to America to visit with Jo, Allan and the Boys. We had a fabulous time and the highlight for me had to be the joy in both children with Skiing. Jo was lent boots and skis for both of them and she very kindly gave them lessons. Isla wimped out after falling over but eventually even she wanted another go (although, sadly, too late. She had to suffice with the back garden. This was enough to whet her appetite for next time though: to hear her talk about skiing you would imagine Callum had taken her down a black run!) I would download the video Jo took of Angus going down a run but our Internet won't permit. Trust me, Angus was ecstatic. I was so proud of his determination and stamina. He is not known for his physical pluck but he was so keen on what he was doing and obviously being so well taught (who would have thought that steam engines could be a Incorporated into a skiing methodology? They can - really. Very effectively too.) that he kept at it in very cold weather and was happy doing so. He and Isla still talk about it and have it all planned out for the next time (are you up for that Jo?).
Our second was coming back from America when we stayed with Ken's parents. We had flown in and out of Edinburgh so acted as present couriers. A short but enjoyable visit with the main highlight being Angus and Isla's delight with crepe bandages given to expand Isla's medical kit.
Then we came home and were met by my lovely Mum who had come to stay for a few days and we had Christmas number three. Mum had a spare Dolls' House which she gave Isla for Christmas. Angus and Isla both adore it: the odd stories and characters which live in the house could fill a blog in their own right. Currently we have several pirates, Miss Fielding (Isla's nursery teacher. It's just as well that she doesn't know that her alternative reality is in our front room) and her teaching assistant Mrs McGuirk (ditto), a blind baby who doesn't want to see octopuses (!!??) in the local river and a few as yet unidentified and fluid characters. The house has already had several repairs mainly due to unforeseen volcanoes and earthquakes (I wonder who gave Isla those suggestions? Actually, I don't wonder at all.) and currently has red tape holding on the front door and broken banisters. Better than not being played with at all.
Christmas Four was in Gloucester with my Dad. All his side of the family minus us had met together earlier so we had a lot of presents waiting for us there still under a beautiful tree. The one sadness of moving to Newcastle is that we are further away from my side of the family and don't get to see any of them anywhere near enough, so it was particularly enjoyable spending the weekend with my Dad, his wife Jackie and Stephen, one of my brothers. Sadly for us, Stephen and Anya, his partner, have now moved to Uganda for two years with VSO, so we also had a chance to wish them well and say goodbye.
That all took up most of January!
Isla also started nursery, a milestone for her and me. I actually had a free afternoon last week. My goodness! She will be going two or three afternoons a week and mostly enjoys herself but due to illness and snow days we haven't had consistent attendance.
Let's see if we can load some pictures.
Okay, nope. Will have to try another day. Jo, do you have any photos I can link to or Angus's video? Trust me, we had a great time celebrating Jesus's birthday and I pray you did too.