Well, I justabout survived the day.
Up early as we had quite a bit to do before I went to work. The boys enjoyed opening their presents, our youngest pleased with lego and eldest pleased with money instead so he can go and buy a 'Wii'. Gill had found an unused table football game (quite a big one, about 3 feet long) in a charity shop for only £5, and they were pleased with that. They unwrapped the legs first and were just a bit bemused as to what they were for. Gill was pleased with her new frying pan (she'd dropped enough hints) and I was tempted to go and fill up my chainsaw's oil port immediately but just resisted! Probably the best gift was Simon's home-made pestle and mortar, created from sheets of reclaimed birch ply, glued together into a sturdy block and then turned and carved and sanded down. The pestle is made in the same way. We already have a pestle and mortar... it rarely gets used and it's small enough to fit in the back of the cutlery drawer. As for Simon's, it's massive and beautiful and I'm not sure where it will go or whether we'll use it... but it is lovely and home-made presents are definitely the best!
Gill made my sandwiches and I packed my bike trailer, and I set off for the Novotel to go and perform an hour of Fiddlesticks and then unknown amount of Father Christmas, a role I really dislike as it's not me..... Professor Fiddlesticks is more the real me than I can be when being just John, if that makes sense, whereas Daddy Xmus is acting and very hard work. David was just getting ready so I signed his 'release form' which allows him to use the images, and started unicycling round, devilsticking and making balloon animals. Several people recognised me from last year and were very friendly, kids excited and keen to do the various circussy activities. The hour went very quickly and I went for lunch in a bedroom, got changed and came down for 1.30, walking very slowly, making sure my beard and cushion didn't slip, and doing a variety of deep Ho Ho Ho's and assorted other merry greetings. I'm sure I pulled it off pretty well, but it was hard work! I only had about 10 presents to deliver, this taking only 15 minutes... and I was finished, Hooray!
I got changed back into John and packed all my gear into the trailer and panniers and came home via Freshways who were open, and I bought some Halva as a treat.
Found out no-one else likes it, apparently.
Gill had made a lovely Christmas tea... the boys wanted noodles, I had the rems of nutloaf, all with roast veggies and a tomato and leek sauce. Lovely and completely non traditional!
We watched the Wallace and Gromit 'Curse of the Were-Rabbit' film together but I drifted in and out of sleep until the news after which I escaped from the Dr. Who Christmas special and went upstairs with my laptop and did assorted things, including watching two extremely moving YouTube videos:
after which I joined the Aaron Fotheringham fan page on Facebook
as he's someone I really admire. Totally inspirational!
Came back down for a family viewing of the new Wallace and Gromit, 'A Matter of Loaf and Death' which was ok. The boys eventually went to bed and I prepared a big pile of waste mangoes for drying. Each one has a one or two small bruises or bad patches, with the rest of the mango being very tasty and lovely. Did about 15 of them... Two cake-racks loaded with mango slices, balanced precariously on top of the 6 gallon pan on the stove...