Charlotte and Lucas arrived in her new car (black Freelander) at Willow Bank on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, Suraj didn’t arrive until tea-time as he had to work that morning. At 7.30pm, all except Nan (broken wrist), travelled to Kettering for an evening of tenpin bowling at the Rock & Bowl. As usual, it was great fun and proved to be an excellent way to spend the hours before Santa Claus arrives. We left at 11pm, and by then we had won and drank so many bottles of champagne that the middle generation of the family had gotten quite silly, and it seemed wise that we should leave before we were ejected.
The following morning the usual family routine kicked in; breakfast, open presents, clear away/burn wrapping, dinner, play with presents, tea, play card and board games, watch TV, and bed.
This was race day. Late morning, we all travelled to Peterborough greyhound racing stadium for a spot of innocent gambling on the dogs. We have done this for quite a few years, usually with mixed fortunes but for once, this year I was hot! Out of 13 races I won on all but 3 and on one actually won £104.60 on a £1 stake (I was obnoxiously smug after that). A very profitable day for yours truly.
The next day, apart from Sue and I the rest of the family went shopping in Northampton to beat the credit crunch and came back armed with bags and bags of stuff. On returning at 5 pm, Suraj nipped to Woollies in Harborough to take advantage of their ‘everything for 10p sale‘. On his return, the family voted that I should spend my greyhound winnings of the previous day by taking them out to a Nepalese meal in Desborough. Pretending reluctance, I agreed and was pleasantly surprised that the meal was excellent.
The following morning, we took Lucas for his very first steam train ride to the rather short Northampton and Lamport Railway line. On seeing the monster of a train arriving at the platform he was a little unsure at first but soon warmed to the noise and vibrations of the huge machine and loved it. It was a very cold day and the mince pies and sherry served on board were very welcome. Unfortunately, later that evening Suraj had to leave us as he was due back at work the following morning, but before he left, we all went out for a pub lunch. The cats will be glad to see him as they have spent Christmas on their own (looked after by neighbours). The weather has turned very cold.
I have now used the paper log maker that I received as a thoughtful Christmas present, it is really quite efficient and easy to use.
On New Year’s Eve, Sue and I left those members of the family still at Willow Bank to go to a party to welcome 2009 in.

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