The run-up to Christmas was the usual frenetic chaos, with to do lists as long as my arm and possibly even more things not getting done. (I can't remember the last time I managed to sit down and actually write all my Christmas cards.). Christmas Day itself goes by in a haze of cooking smells, and whether the kids are with me or with J. (we take it in turns), generally by Christmas Day evening I collapse in a heap on the sofa in my pjs. This year 11yo was actually off school on the last day of term and although he recovered pretty quickly, he kindly passed it on to 14yo and then to me on Christmas Day, which I ended with the worst sore throat I've had for a long time. We had 12 people around for Christmas Day and out of those 9 have now had (or still have) the same cold - my sense of taste and smell have only just returned.
As it was my mum's 70th birthday on 1 January, and as New Year is a much bigger thing in Holland than it is in Britain, I booked the ferry on Boxing Day to spend a few days in Holland. But I didn't actually much feel like going until last Monday. Fortunately by Tuesday morning, when 11yo and I saw the sun come up and reveal the familiar Dutch landscape, I finally felt happy to be 'home' again for a few days, and it turned out to be a good visit.
We tried to stay awake till midnight on New Year's Eve (and didn't all manage it!),
We watched some fireworks
And we did a bit of cycling at our favourite place, the Hoge Veluwe
We made the most of the little bit of sunshine we had
We did some 'alive boarding' down the cycle path in the woods near to where I grew up
We did some admiring of the light
We played with dog and ball
And we did a bit of sentimental journeying (this is my university city)
Today's the last day where I can relax on the sofa, in my pyjamas and my pink 'fluffikins' (very pink and very fluffy jacket that was a Christmas present from B. as a joke but has turned out to be super comfortable), woodburner lit, tea and computer and lots of Dutch magazines nearby. Tomorrow is bike ride day and then back home to the kids and normal life.... but I'm ready - 2014, roll on. Happy New Year!