I don't actually like "New Years Resolutions". They seem a bit ridiculous to me. Why should I wait till the 1st of January to improve my life? New Years Resolutions seem designed to fail. However, since I happen to be getting this blogging thing going right at the new year....
My goal for 2008: to keep this blog updated weekly.
In the spirit of my new goal I guess I should start off with the first week's activities. To ring in the new year I hosted a Murder Mystery party.
The guest list consisted of (left to right in the photo) Jenny, Mom, Dad (seated on the floor), Russ, Claire, Nicholas, Sebastian and me. The year was supposedly 1925 and we were at Lord Lew De Behavioure's country estate. I was Baby Doll, an American Socialite and former dancer in the Follies. We had fun, even if the mystery was a bit lame. The clues were the exact same pieces of information that had been given at the introduction. Only my mother got the murderer right, and it must be said that it was blind luck. But everyone got into their assigned roles and we had an enjoyable meal.
The 1st found us getting stiffly and grudgingly from our beds. I was vertical around 9 in the morning. Dad beat me by half an hour or so. I don't know what time Nicholas (who'd stayed the night rater than driving back to Nottingham in the wee hours of the morning) or Claire made it up, because the first thing I did was hit the supermarkets to get cold medicine. I had to go to three before I discovered that the Tesco's at Highwoods was blessedly open. Claire and Nicholas were both up by the time I got home, though. Mom didn't see light of day till close to noon. We picked at leftovers from the previous evening and worked on a puzzle. Nicholas took off for home around 12.30, and Mom, Dad and I met Sebastian (who'd stayed with his aunt overnight, rather than going back to London) for an afternoons bowling. We played two games. Mom got the high score, 139. We dropped him at the train station to catch the coach back to London and then headed home.
Our plan for the late afternoon and evening was to make a Gingerbread House. I'd wanted to do this before Christmas, but time was just too restricted, and it hadn't gotten done. So we mixed up the dough, but as the evening wore on, my cold got worse and worse. I ended up in bed by 9, but couldn't sleep. I felt sick to my stomach. Eventually, around 11, the nausea got the better of me. For the next 2 hours I was up every twenty minutes giving an all out attempt to lose my my stomach. Or maybe my toenails. Eventually my tummy calmed down a bit, and I was able to get an hour's worth of sleep between sick sessions. My Dad sat with me till sometime after 2, and my Mom came up around 4 and stayed for another hour. My last round of toenail extractions took place at 6 in the morning. From that point on my stomach behaved itself. I was able to fall asleep until 9.
I spent the whole next day curled up on the sofa watching TV. Claire dropped my parents off up at Colchester Castle Museum. They had a good time seeing all the history Colchester has to offer. I would so have loved to go with, as Dad is very fun to go to museums with. He really enjoys them. But everyone (including me) agreed that me staying home was the better part of valour, even though my cold had subsided and my stomach had called a cease fire. We had Cottage Pie for dinner (homemade by Claire) and finally got to make the Gingerbread House. Mom had brought over frosted mini wheats to use as thatched roofing. I had the idea to use piped icing to make a 'half timbered' house. It turned out very cute.
The 3rd was a lazy day. We spent it kicking around the house not doing much. We went to Tescos some rediculous number of times, had a quiet lunch, threatened the bird (for destroying several of the keys off my keyboard). Dad and I went into town for a bit to get some souvenirs for people at the plant. We ended up with 30 Tiptree Jams! Mom spent a lot of the day sleeping, as she was afraid that she was catching this cold that I had. During lunch we videoed the conversation so that I can use it as part of my trial run on my PhD. Don't know exactly how useful it's going to be, but I guess we'll find out. For dinner I made taco casserole, which is one of the best foods ever. Mom and Dad had brought over 50 boxes of the key ingredient (corn bread mix) which you just simply cannot find in this country! Claire and I decided that once/week was a pretty good number of times to have it!
On the 4th I sent my parents home to Mississippi. I miss them terribly. Living over here is not all that different from living in the US. I wouldn't get to see my folks much more if I lived on the East Coast (or really anywhere other than the Deep South), so I'm not really missing out on that by living in England. However, I still don't like having to say good bye to my family when it's time to send them home. We got the car packed (poor Dad like a sardine amongst the suitcases!) and took off for Gatwick. We'd allowed 3 hours, though it doesn't usually take more than 2, and it shouldn't take that long, but London Traffic being what it is.... We ended up getting there so early we decided to drive by the London Temple (which is one exit before Gatwick) and drive the back roads to the airport. We were all very surprised to find that the London Temple's car park was all pulled up and they were doing a bunch of construction works. (Found out Sunday that the Temple is closed most of the month.) But that didn't stop us from being able to see the building. Mom and Dad had both seen the Preston Temple on their previous visit together, so this completes their English set. We got them checked in and I said good bye. I really hate that turning to walk away alone bit. I'm terribly sentimental, and I'm also very close to my family. Not a good combination! Managed not to cry, though. *sigh* Someday instant teleportation is going to be a viable option. I just hope it's during my lifetime.
Saturday and Sunday were kind of catch up days for me. I'm still not really feeling 100%. The cold's still there a bit. But I feel pretty good. I got the Christmas decorations down and boxed up. Now all I have to do is get them into the loft. I have spare linens in all directions. I can't figure out how I managed to have them all put away in the first place... but obviously I did. I really must figure out how I managed to do that. I also have plans (and paint) to paint the upstairs bathroom. It's a bit dingy, and could really do with a fresh coat. I also picked up the woodwork paint, but that's going to be an ongoing project. Not something that gets done overnight. Unless there happen to be some brownies living under the stairs. Hear that brownies? If you have the urge to do a bit of redecorating, the woodwork all needs doing ;).