Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The rush of last weekend is over, as planned Rachel came to us on Sunday and Becky and James joined us for a lunch which included home made Soda bread, if I say so myself was a great success I'd never made it before but I'll be making it again over the holidays, it was perfect with homemade Leek and Potato soup. It was easy to make, I used a Creuset casserole (the only wedding present that I use on a regular basis after almost 34 years!), look at Purple Podded Peas blog for the recipe. That wasn't all we had for lunch as Rachel does eat fish on the odd occasion we had Salmon en croute and a Heston Blumenthal Black Forest Buche (don't be too impressed the only thing I made was the bread and the soup, but I do take credit for the menu and the defrosting and popping in the oven at the right times) And no smoke alarms went off!

Ready to pop into very hot Creuset

Done and Ready for the Butter!!!!!
After lunch we gave Rachel her Christmas and Birthday presents, we'd already given her a Kindle so she had time to load on her books for her holiday! For my birthday Rachel had looked through a suitcase of photographs I took from my Mum's house when we were sorting out. While we were  in France during the summer Rachel stayed here a few nights and sorted and scanned  photo's of my Mum and Dad from when they were young up until their 25th Wedding Anniversary, my Dad died a few years after that, Rachel never met him. She included photo's of my Nan and my Grandparents, and photo's of my brother and me when we were young. I don’t think I have to tell you there were a few tears! She'd taken such trouble to sort the photos and have them printed into a book, it's volume one, there are so many photos left, I've not opened the case since I brought it home, I don’t think I can at the moment. When the time is right I'll make volume two and three, maybe something for the new year!

Monday we were up at 5.00 am, even before Betsy! It took me 2 hours to drive around the M25 to Heathrow airport, we'd allowed lots of time.  When Rachel had checked her bags we grabbed breakfast before she went through security, we said goodbye and she disappeared through the doors and I started my journey home. The return journey only took 1 1/2 hours, I phoned Rachel when I got home and she'd just taken her seat on the plane. At 0.38 the following morning she text to say she was at Singapore Airport and was waiting to reboard for the next leg of the journey, at 11am yesterday she text to say she was with Mark and in his apartment ( I've seen a photo it looks beautiful overlooking the water at Kirribilli, Sydney) and going out for dinner. Dave heard from her this morning she's spent the day on the beach and they were going food shopping. Mark has arranged for them to go camping over Christmas. Looking out of the window here this morning, it's wet it's dull and I wish I could spend the day on the beach.

Friday James is 30, Becky has some lovely things arranged for him during the day, in the evening we are going to theirs for a family celebration. Then it's all systems go for Christmas... I do feel a bit at a loss this year, everything is done shopping etc, just need to wrap the rest of the presents. Still not 100% sure what Dave's Dad is doing, I think it's a matter of watch this space. I've had an idea Karen Ruane is leaving the frozen North to spend Christmas with her daughter, just a few roads away from Dave's Dad so maybe..............


  1. Joe should be in Sydney by now too - he was flying there today. The soda bread looks delicious.
    Have a wonderful Christmas. x

  2. I too have a Le Crueset casserole that was a wedding present nearly 30 yearly ago and it is still going strong. A bit discoloured from some cooking disasters but otherwise fine.

  3. What a lovely gift for you from. Rachel. Happy memories!
    I'm impressed about le crüeset. Not only have you kept it for 30years but after 30years you can still lift it!