Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
God was once dead, but no more will a mere man be able to bury the Alpha and Omega of all creation!
Hallelujah, for the first time in a few years, with the exception of the Arizona Christmas, we are facing Christmas day with all the Bells being sound and jolly!! Debbie perked up yesterday and ate a single bread bun!
Yesterday we celebrated with Anne`s father, John, and Iris - Ruth taught everyone how to gamble using a new card game Kings that requires a bucket of pennies (Mallons watch out - she`s a bad influence on children!). We ate Duck confit that we had brought from France. John brought his new paparazzi camera and took thousands of photos, including some for my portfolio as he has volunteered me as a speaker for a Methodist church mission in Kirkby Stephen in 2007. We'll see if the photos put the Minister off!
Today I am meeting up with my Uncle Mike in Barnard Castle to exchange presents and Dugald, my brother is visiting and we are having roast turkey in the evening.
Christmas day will be buffet of leftovers and Boxing day will be fillet of beef with some Angus the Bull cabernet.
Will be busy at work this week as have to prepare for a meeting in January where I have been summoned to the House of Lords to meet with Lord Carlisle to comment on the draft Mental Health bill, all this is in addition to preparing for an exam on Toyota Management theory ....ho hum! Still this does mean that I`m on for the trip to Seattle in March (could be close to the holiday in Arizona!!).
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Happy Christmas everyone. I wonder what crazy things are happening in your neck of the woods. Here in Guisborough as I sip a cup of coffee ground in our faithful Siemens coffee grinder given as a wedding present I am chuckling madly to myself. Why? Well how come people seem to eat so much more than at other times of the year - I mean the number of people remains the same yet the supermarkets are absolutely mad this year. They are only closed for 2 days at the most this year and yet yesterday the queue of cars to get into the Sainsbury car park backed out into the main road and as far as the exit road from our estate, blocking people getting to work!! Our neighbour Cliff who is the shop manager had to call in all the staff to cope with the frenzy. Meanwhile our intrepid shopper Anne reports that inside the shop it is like Soviet Russia - the shelves are bare. There were no frozen chips at all, fresh parsnips all gone etc thank goodness there is still some vintage champagne left!
So not only are we facing a chipless christmas but as usual at Christmas time in the Bell household "All is not still, apart from the mouse, as the sound of Debbie vomiting fills the house!" Yes the Christmas lurgy strikes again - Jonathan has just recovered, as has James, but Debbie has a horrible virus and hasn`t eaten for a couple of days. So I was woken up by the gastric noises last night as well as Ruth coming in at 3.30 am from her Clubbing festivities in the Boro'!! Still the coffe is good and I`m off to Lewis and Cooper's in Northallerton to shop for stocking goodies.
As we prepare our feasts I am giving thanks for the christmas truth that "the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with Us).(Is.7:14)"
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
lots of love x
Friday, December 22, 2006
Well we reached the milestone of 21 years of breakfasts together on the 21st of December and I planned a romantic secret break. Anne knew nothing, other than we would be going away on thursday afternoon - the destination was Middlethorpe Hall just south of York. We arrived in freezing fog to be greeted with the news that we`d been upgraded at no extra charge to the Deluxe Suite in the main house! It seems that when I ordered the 12 red roses to be in the bedroom that the staff took notice and felt that as it was a special occasion ............. So we had a huge bedroom (see pic) and adjoining lounge with open fire and christmas tree! I took some champagne and glasses to have after the session in the Spa (oh yes!) - chilled au naturel on the window sill. Dinner was sumptuous - Cepes risotto, venison on a bed of red cabbage, Queen scallops with cauliflower puree, and roast lamb cutlets with a mini lamb shepherds pie, we had the New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir to wash it all down - pudding for Anne was a chocolate delice with guinness ice cream, caramel tuile and malt sauce. Then today Anne had a surprise Luxury pedicure treatment.
So now, I can relax for a few years!! Normal service will soon be resumed! Happy Christmas to all!
p.s. After massive english breakfast followed by four pancakes with maple syrup this morning we are now ready for an evening curry.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Ruth's 19th Birthday pictures:
Here is flatmates Katie and Clare putting up paper chains they made for the cunning surprise party they threw me at midnight.
Here I am sporting the "very surprised to be suddenly dragged out of bed look". In case you miss it, I'm pointing out the cake.
Blowing out the candles.
Later on, my friends and I before we head out to celebrate.
Me, Clare and Libby.
Libby, Zoe, Katie and I at The Basement.
Libby, James, Jess, Katie, Jack and I at Attic.
Zoe, Clare, me and Louis with a drink that I later spilt on Clare!