Well it's all over with for another year, and I've had such a wonderful Christmas I thought I'd do something different with a little round up post. I've been run off my feet since September with my new class. I'm in my 2nd year teaching at a fantastic school now - I taught Reception for 6 months, then Y6 for 6 months, then I was given my own Y3 class for the whole year. I've really tried to throw myself into work since starting and it's paying off. I'm enjoying work and reeping the rewards of getting to know the kids and staff really well.
However, we finished school on the 21st and I decided to try and treat myself to a little break. I've socialised with my friends, had quality time with my family, had lazy days watching films and cookery programmes, did my Christmas shopping and all in all felt like an actual real life normal person!
The first highlight of this festive season was the get together I had with my friends for a meal. We always try to organise one but it often ends up falling through as it's so hard to get us all together. So this year Clur and Jeni, who've recently moved into a flat together, offered to cook. They served us a proper old fashioned roast with trimmings to please all! Highlights were the pigs in blanket so delicately hand wrapped, and the juicy chicken. We all had a right laugh and suggestions of a come dine with me style cook off were even bandied around. Ooo I'll have to think about that one... it's not like I have my fictitious CDWM menu already planned out in my head... I've never even thought about it... at all.
Every year we have a right good knee's up in Wigan town centre on 'Mad Friday' - the last Friday before Christmas. I know it's not everyone's bag and everywhere's rammed, but we've never failed to have a cracking night. You've finished work, been paid and the there's always a good atmosphere. This year was no exception. This is us in Bentleys - our favourite bar. I've been going there 8 years now and even have a 'usual'! So proud
And finally the big day arrived. My sister is a nurse and was working half 7 - half 12 so my parents and I started the day without her. We went and surprised my Nan who thought she'd be home alone until she went to my Aunty's later. Then we came back and had a laugh watching Only Fools and Horses and getting the dinner sorted. After a visit from my Grandma it was time for the main event. My mum did us proud as usual. Everything was top notch. Especially the gravy, which I think makes the Christmas dinner. It gives it that taste that sets it apart from just your ordinary roast. I did say that I wanted to make it next year as I think I could do with the practice and it's a lot of work for my mum. We shall see if she relinquishes control though - I can't imagine it!
Oooo, close up.
After dinner we shared our presents. I've got to say I was a little annoyed by this point at the amount of smug bragging on facebook about presents. And I didn't bite by tongue about it. I really don't mind people being thankful for their presents and appreciating what they have been bought, but some of what I saw was just disgusting. Pictures of just a designer label on its own and the word 'Spoilt.' underneath. Not even a picture of whatever the present was! Just 'be jealous please'. We're all supposed to be impressed that someone can spend a lot of money on something, regardless of how much thought was actually put into it. I even saw pictures of just wads of cash people had been given! People who complain about their family all year! How vulgar is that?? I just think some people needed reminding that Christmas should be about the joy of giving and sharing and having special memories with your loved one. Not showing off and saying 'spoilt, spoilt, spoilt' like a big grown up brat!
Phew, glad I've got that one out, felt like I had to explain my little Christmas day rant!
Anyway, I was so excited to give presents to my mum, dad and sister, and I received some lovely thoughtful ones too. I was particularly excited to give my sister these sunglasses, as I'd been sneaky and found them on a wishlist she'd made on pinterest and she wasn't expecting them at all! The look on her face was priceless! Little Christmas shopping hint for any lads struggling out there next year; check your missus's pinterest!
In the evening Gav came round so that we could swap our presents. He'd really thought hard about each present and I was well chuffed with what I got. Whenever we stay at a hotel I always emerge from the bathroom wearing the free shower cap for a cheap laugh, and he got me my very own Cath Kidston one as can be seen modelled here. I love it, and have used it already! Cute AND practical! He also got me the Ministry of Sound 90's Dance Anthems CD which is right up my street and I've had some right old raves to it - WHY isn't there an old school dance night round here?? He got me a new leather jacket and Alan Partridge's Mid Morning Matters on DVD - I've watched one episode and it was hilarious. And I got 'Oliver!' on DVD which was my favourite childhood film =) He also tracked me down some Nocellara Olives which I had once at Piccolino's in Chester. They. Are. Scrummy. After visiting Gav's parents and coming back to a couple of 'Lost' episodes Christmas was over for another year. Well almost...
In Wigan, it's a tradition for everyone to go out on Boxing Day in fancy dress. I've no idea how it started, but this was my 8th year and I LOVE IT. It's a night out like you've never had before. Everyone's your best mate and you have an immediate talking point with anyone you bump into. You can spend ages just looking round at everyone's weird and wonderful costumes. Plus, the best night in the world ever - Northern Lights, do a special night and it's always excellent. This year was actually the funniest, daftest, bestest one yet. Roll on number 9!
Hope everyone reading had a fantastic Christmas, if you celebrate it, and wishing you all a happy and healthy new year!