Night out at the Harrimans

Yesterday we had an afternoon play / evening dinner date (and stay over) with the Harrimans – Helen, Paul, Charlotte and Olivia.

The day started slowly as unfortunately we didn’t have our streamlined and organised heads on, but instead our “everything takes twice as long as it should” heads on…so it was a challenge just getting going and getting out of the house.  Mind you, it’s usually because we leave packing up until the morning of going, then Sophie merrily unpacks everything as fast as we can pack it…then waits til we’ve got her fully dressed, with shoes and coat before she fills her nappy and requires everything taking off again.

Sophie napped on the way over and on arrival Paul wandered out to help carry baggage and food contributions into the house, while the girls and Helen waved us in from the living room windows.  Sophie decided Paul had come out to give her a royal welcome and sprung into his arms virtually from waking, which is virtually unheard of for Sophie, and Paul was chuffed to get a cuddle so soon.

The girls played together nicely all afternoon, and Helen made them an early tea of wedges and sausages.  Charlotte and Olivia were ready for bed by 6.30 as they’d not napped in the day, and Sophie followed at 7 (although it took Guy a while to get her off to sleep in a strange place (as usual).

Helen made a super tea of indian marinated lamb & chicken, rice and salad and we contributed chocolate fondue with strawbs and pineapple for afters – yummy!

After much chatting, red wine and a cheeky Vodka Martini (made by Guy for us ladies) we hit the sack and luckily the girls all slept til 7am (hooray!).

This morning we scoffed piles of toast and crumpets and ambled back via Brighouse - Sophie had an early nap and then instead of waking, opted to stay asleep snuggled up on me.  I was then FORCED to watch telly and do nothing else of course ;-) Such hardship.

After lunch, Sophie decided she wanted a mid afternoon bath and then wanted to do some potty practice, so she’s now playing lego in her vest and a pair of pull up pants.  Although she is showing some signs of wanting to use the potty, she’s not quite got the idea of sitting down on it for more than 3 seconds, so we’re just letting her practice until the warmer months arrive and she can run around sans nappy.

Eventually, we’ll have a couple of photo’s to follow, but they’re on Helen’s camera, so not available today.


Well, we have had snow (or Scchhhnow as Sophie calls it) on the ground now for a month, and it is a very strange thing indeed.  The first big batch was before Christmas, and it was the stuff of childrens dreams. It fell for a few days, the sun came out and everything sparkled.  It was sticky and clumped together so easily that a small innocent snowball could easily become a snowman in mere minutes.  The first weekend after the snow, Guys sister Rachel and family were due to visit. With clear skys they travelled up the M1 with no problem.  We sampled lots of Uncle Pauls homemade beer, which by the way is stunning, and as usual, fed our guests til they popped.  Earlier in the year, we had bought Frank a sledge, which he brought with him.  The boys had a fab time sledging and even Sophie had a go…but bailed out on the floor as soon as she picked up speed! Quite suddenly on the Sunday, the weather changed.  We’d decided in the morning that an early dinner would help our travelling family get ahead of the weather but all of a sudden we were in the midst of a blizzard and happy faces turned to grave concern.  Paul and Guy quickley lobbed everything into the Ainley-Carrunthers family Bongo and off they went.  About 3.5 hours later we had a call to say they were home safely, and were relieved to say the least.  At New Year, we had another big dump (of snow) and Nanny and Grampy got a chance to play out in the snow as well.  Nanny taught Sophie to throw snowballs at Grampy and Grampy molished a sledge out of a plastic sheet so Sophie could get some impromptu sledging action.  So, a few pics of our scchhnowwwy month! 

Christmas Day, Unwrapped…

I think, for the first time ever, we awoke to snow of Christmas Day.  As Guys Mum and Dad were coming over from the farthest reaches of Huddersfield, we were glad there had been no fresh snow overnight, but just a blanket from a week of heavy and good quality “snowman  building” snow.

The house looked a bit sparsley decorated this year, as we decided not to put any decorations out below the saftey height of 4ft…for fear of general shredding and manglement.  As it was, the tree nearly came down several times and the baubles were frequently re-arranged (all onto the same branch usually).  Every bauble that was removed was accompanied with the exclamation “Oh No!” from Sophie, as if she was surprised it had come off after yanking it off the tree! Pic evidence provided.

With just the three of us in the morning, we started opening presents – well, Sophie started opening her presents.  She opened Auntie Rachels present first – a Duplo set with horses and a stable.  After that, she just wanted to play with the Duplo and present opening resumed on Boxing Day when Chessy came to visit.

For once, we had a traditional Christmas lunch – Turkey (from the sherry toting butcher), roasties, parsnips, etc etc… Guy cooked and it was very scrummy indeed.  This year Sophie joined us for lunch, rather than sleeping through most of it like last year.  Sophie throughly enjoyed having her christmas orange squash in a plastic party wine glass and cheers’d everyone who came within 4 ft of her for the entire meal.

So, thanks to modern technology we linked up with absent friends – Helly, Mum and Dad in the Big Little Sister diary room in Norwich and then later on to our New Zealand lovlies.  We were treated to much nudity from the NZ contingent, firstly with a naked Lucy Locketori running around, followed by a bare bottomed Emmie flashing past then a super pair of floury baps from Hosie. Stevie was the only one not to flash us…I guess it was too early on NZ Boxing Day for naked BBQists!

We finished the night by watching Catherine Tates Old Lady doing a christmas carol, which included a significant proportion of her effing and jeffing then crawled in to bed, completely knackered!

Sherry and Tow Cables

I decided that I’d get an early start and make the pilgrimage to Tesco for the last few bits and pieces. So I pulled into the car par at 7:00 am and made my way round the store. Thankfully they still had the things we needed.

Onward to join the queue outside the local butchers for our turkey order. By this time a blizzard had set in and we were gradually turning to snowmen. The genial butcher took pity and sent out his lad with glasses of sherry. Not my usual tipple but it’d be rude not to. Then to the fishmonger/grocer for our order of brown shrimp only to find that there was problem with the order and he would drop it round to our house later that day (more on that later).

Francesca and I had to brave Halifax town centre for last minute shopping. It wasn’t too bad although a little busy. Francesca was slipping on the icy pavements and kept on telling me she didn’t have any boots with grips. After an hour of nearly dragging both of us to the ground she said that maybe she should have worn her wellies. Yeah, maybe!

The fishmonger man turned up with our shrimp order and promptly got his Porsche Boxter stuck in the snow on the slight incline on our road. After much pushing, digging, a lot of lateral motion and not a lot of forward motion our neighbour arrived home in his Range Rover. One molished tow cable later he was pulled out of the worst of the snow and able to get on his way. All the that for 300g of shrimp.

After rolling a very tired Sophie into bed and some hard negotiations with S. Claus plc that Sophie had actually been a good girl this year we trooped off to the kitchen to reduce the amount of cooking we need to do on Christmas Day. So that’s it, to bed before He arrives :-)

New day, new blog…

Feeling the pressure to keep up with the Fitzhughs (you all know who you are), we have finally joined wordpress in the hope that it’s easier to use than blogspot.  The problem was the format of the photos I uploaded.  I like looking at everyones photos and know I’ll post some from time to time, so I wanted that facility – only it didn’t work – my uploaded photo’s looked like they’d been arranged by a drunk, half blind, one armed typesetter.

So, what next? Well, I will also need help finding a nice shiney banner to go across the top. I think I’d like some rugged countryside which represents our locality – but will have to consult Mr A of course.

Also, to forewarn the easily confused, we are going to attempt some time travel – backwards that is. Everyone likes a little nostalgia, so I am going to occasionally add historic blogs scattered with snaps from our archive of photos.

That’s it for the intro, will attempt to get it fully operational by the end of the week!