My day started around 6.30am when I got up to have my coffee, and sit quietly for a while... before doing a few things around the house to prepare for later. Tim and Richard had cooked and carved the turkey on Christmas Eve, and Tim had peeled potatoes and carrots. Gradually the family emerged, and by 9.00 we were ready to open parcels:
Stephen and Dulcie will be opening most of theirs back in the UK, later on, and unfortunately ours to them had not yet arrived in the post... but they had one or two things to open, Tim had more, and the majority was for Richard and me. Mostly books, DVDs and chocolate from relatives - what more could anyone want? In addition, a hand blender - which I hope to use for soups. Plus a couple of generous cheques. My present to Richard was a hand coffee-grinder for the boat (and something else which also hasn't arrived yet..). Richard and Tim gave me something I've been wondering about for months... a Kindle!
At 9.25 Tim left for St Helena's Church where he was playing for the morning service; ten minutes later, Stephen and Dulcie and I set out. Richard would have come, but was getting over a flu-like cold, and coughing quite badly. So he stayed at home.
It was 11.15 by the time we were home, and Tim and I set to work in the kitchen whipping cream (for a trifle), preparing brussels sprouts, organising the potatoes for roasting, and so on.
Around 12.30 our friends arrived, and Dulcie was immediately captivated by six-month-old Elisabeth:
Stephen held her for a while too:
Richard and his youngest sailing buddy Jacob were looking at something on Richard's phone:
Elisabeth decided she was happier on Dulcie, and they discussed some Duplo:
I put the camera down during lunch, which was a mistake as I'd like to have caught twelve of us (plus Elisabeth) sitting down to eat. There was plenty of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and potatoes, and four types of veg; the only thing we ran out of was sausages, but Tim only had room to cook 24. I don't think anyone went hungry. We moved seamlessly on to Christmas pudding, mince pies, trifle, satsumas and dried fruit, and then to coffee.
The children asked if they could watch a movie, so Richard put the classic 'Miracle on 34th Street' on for them, and after much discussion the adults decided to play some board games.
Elisabeth is fascinated by toys of any kind, and tried to grab at Dulcie's Rummikub tiles (successfully in a couple of cases)
Jacob decided he would rather play a game than watch a film, so he, Tim and Jörn played Settlers of Catan at one end of the table, while Stephen, Dulcie, Sheila and I played a few rounds of Rummikub. Then the film ended; Lukas appeared and thought he might like to learn Rummikub, while Tim and Sheila played a two-person Settlers game:
Jörn kept an eye on Lukas's board, to advise if necessary, and Jacob joined in the Rummikub end of the table:
Marie, meanwhile, had found a book to read:
I wasn't needed for any of the games, so I took Helen to the study to play with some Lego:
Actually we blew some bubbles from my birthday bubble mixture, and then I read her a couple of books.
Since by this time it was about 6.30, we cleared away the games and I put various bits and pieces out on the table - pitta bread, and cheese, and tomatoes, and hummus, and a few leftovers from lunch.. and also the Christmas cake, which I remembered to photograph before cutting into it. I just rough-iced it this year:
Everyone (other than Jacob and Helen) had claimed that they weren't hungry, but most of us had something to eat. Richard - who had gone to lie down for a couple of hours during the afternoon - took Tim out to spend an evening with some of his old friends, and as the children were getting tired, we gradually wound down.
Katie managed to persuade Stephen to read a book to her and Lukas, which kept them occupied for a while:
Richard was looking at one of his new books, chatting to Jacob about it:
Helen posed for another photo with Dulcie and Marie:
Then, while everyone else finished getting ready to leave, Marie picked up the Discworld Companion book again:
By 9.00 the house was peaceful again after a very enjoyable afternoon. The cats emerged from seclusion, and we phoned - or attempted to phone - a few relatives in the UK.