Life round here is never dull - on Sunday Liz went off to spend the remainder of the year in Nottingham with Jon's family, and on Monday, Steph was planning to go up to Liverpool to Mark's family - and we were off to Rugby for the day, to meet up with Bob's family, then Wednesday to Norfolk to my family. That was the original plan anyway!
Except just as Liz left on Sunday, Steph said she was staying an extra day and would come with us to Rugby. But difficulties with trains meant she needed a lift to Birmingham New Street Station on Tuesday. And just as we left for Rugby, Liz rang to say she was really poorly and Jon's Dad was bringing her back to us on Monday afternoon because Jon had two gigs in Bristol and she didn't want to go back to a cold empty flat on her own. And could I leave a doorkey under a flower pot or something, please??!! Oh, and Bob was getting bothered because he still hadn't sorted out his tax return which ABSOLUTELY MUST be done by Wednesday.
Are you following this saga? I've just about got my head round it all - and my head was not in a good state on Monday morning [see below***]
However, we went off and had a super time with Bob's bro and sis and their spouses - Steph was the only one of the six cousins who made the Family Get-Together this year. Frank had made the Hairy Bakers' "Cranberry, Turkey and Ham Pie", which was fabulous. We also got to play on their new Wii.
When we got home,Liz was wrapped in a blanket looking very sorry for herself. meanwhile, Mark and phoned Steph to say they were going to Northumberland [where? what? why?] for a New Year's Party, and could she rustle up some fancy dress, on a Lord of the Rings type theme?
So I went into the loft and dug out the Official Family Cloak,some old curtains and two sewing machines [ignoring my comments 2 weeks ago about No More Sewing Till Next Year!]
And at the bottom, here she is modelling Mark's Elf/Pixie costume. Made from green Dralon curtains which I had secondhand in 1983! Women have been making clothes from curtains since Scarlett O Hara in 'Gone with the Wind' and Maria Von Trapp in 'The Sound of Music'
This is a tradition worth maintaining!
Charlie the dog was quite baffled by this outfit.
The hats are dead easy. For a tall wizard hat with big brim, you need to draw a circle pattern 50cm in diameter [blue IKEA tray!] and in the middle of that cut out a circle about 19cm cm in diameter [saucepan lid]
Cut TWO of these brims in black. Then use a pen and bit of string to draw a quarter circle 40cm in RADIUS on a large bit of paper [eg the Sunday Times] Cut two of those crowns in black.
Now sew two cones from your 'crown pieces, by seaming the straight sides
LEAVE A 5CM GAP IN ONE PIECE THOUGH. Pin and sew the crowns to the inside of the brims. You have two [almost] identical floppy hats now. Turn one inside out, then put them one inside the other, right sides together and sew round the outer brim. Turn the whole thing out through that little gap you left, and pull the hat into shape. Sew up the gap and put that on the inside of the crown.
For the pixie hat use a 35cm circle [smaller tray] and same 19cm pot lid - and the crown is one third [not a quarter this time] of a 35cm circle.[pattern made as before]
By 10pm last night, the dining table was back to its pre Christmas state !
I got Steph to her train OK, and Bob took Liz to our GP who gave her antibiotics.
Mark went to the wrong station to meet Steph and Jon has phoned at regular intervals to check on Liz. And Bob keeps muttering at his PC. There are receipts and bills all over the dining room - it no longer looks like this... trays and pan lids are back in the kitchen now and the sewing machines are away in their cases.
*** My head is confused because in August the Dr said my blood cholesterol level was VERY VERY HIGH. He gave me till Christmas to get it down,lose weight, and exercise more.
I have rowed miles on the rowing machine, I have dieted , I have drunk dozens of little pots of Benecol and Flora Pro-Activ and I have lost a full stone in weight - 14 whole pounds! I went early on Monday morning for the result of the cholesterol test taken the week before Christmas - and my levels have not altered AT ALL!!I Not one measly decimal place.
After all my efforts, this seems so hard - but the GP doesn't seem too fussed. He just said to keep up the diet and exercise and go back in another 3 months.
I had better go back downstairs and help Mr Micawber!