That's another year over; another Christmas gone; and Edward is now 1.
Christmas was good but not great. Just over a week in Aberdeen was perhaps a little too long for everyone, and we didn't get the children taken off our hands quite as much as we thought we might. My parents came up to Aberdeen as well but having been offered the use of a car, declined it - my Dad said he wasn't sure about driving without 'proper' insurance (he would only have been covered 3rd party), which I can understand - but I think he liked being driven around and not having to do any driving as well. But it did mean that my parents didn't take the children out and about, which also meant that they (my parents) didn't see as much of the surrounding area as they could have done.
The children did get to go out for some walks with Dudley dog (Bella whinged a lot on one walk, which I also went on, to Blacktop or Countesswells woods - but she was cold) and also to Hazelhead Park and to Duthie Park. They really need to burn up lots of energy (don't we all, really) and unfortunately my parents are just not good at taking the initiative and getting them wet, muddy, and physically tired. They don't seem to realise that keeping Bella indoors sewing or doing sudoku and Alex doing lego or playing on the X-Box is not the option which keeps them relatively calm and stops them fighting. The children enjoy doing those things and will happily do them for hours, but at a cost to everyone else's sanity later in the day.
It was great to have so many people for Christmas though - there were 6 children, 8 adults and a dog on Christmas Day itself. Edward loved the dog and his cousin Jamie in particular, and was not especially interested in his presents until they had been opened and then only if they made noises or had lights or moved. I did nothing in the way of exercise and ate too much. Thank goodness I don't like dried fruit so I save some calories that way.
Yesterday we invited people round for a piece of cake and a glass of fizz for Edward's first birthday, and then had Julie and Jonathan and Chris and Mandy for dinner: biscuits with smoked salmon/smoked venison/pate as a starter; beef wellington for the main course; chocolate mousse with cherry sauce for pudding. Today we have had a winter barbecue!
I have also been for a bike ride with Penny, from here out through Castle Carrock and back on the other road, via Hayton Townhead. Beautiful weather and great to get out on the bike again: I'm now off to write thank you letters and enter Talkin Tarn triathlon in the hope that this year I will lose a bit more weight but, more importantly, get really fit again.