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Christmas with the Curtises

I had a really nice christmas.

On Christmas Eve, I drove to my sister's in Cobham. This is an easy peasy journey that takes 20 minutes normally, half an hour tops. BUT, Guildford traffic was crazy, and there were two sticking points on the A3, caused by road accidents. Then I got to the Cobham exit, only to find the police had blocked it off- a lorry or van had crashed. Which meant getting back on the A3, round the M35 and trying to get in via the Leatherhead route. So far so good, but it meant I had to stop for more petrol, as I was getting close to the bottom of the red bit! Got as far as Cobham Mill, only to find more Police, because the River Mole had burst its banks and that road into Cobham was impassable. The last route into Cobs was what I think of as the Old A3, and thankfully I could access that road fairly easily. The policeman asked if I could explain the route to a stranger to the area, who needed instructions, so I told him to follow me, and I got him safely into Cobham centre. Two and a half hours (haha, I'd typed "years" by mistake, I think that's one of those Freudian slips) after leaving my flat, I got to Isabelle's. I was there in time to give telephone directions to Charlotte who was also embuggered by the traffic, telling her to go via the old A3 rather than by the river.

Once we were all together it was lovely. Youngest niece has now been named Eleanor Stormborn of House Targaryen, on account of her being such a headstrong child, but she is adorable with it. Older nieces are growing up far more quickly than feels entirely comfortable, but I suppose that's kids for you- they certainly show the passing of time more obviously than us. We had lots of lovely amuse-gueules, rather than an actual meal. Is had got some sloe gin in, and started making cocktails (Moll Flanderses, I think, I'm not entirely sure what she put in but I know there was sloe gin & cinzano rosso and angostura bitters), and that got us pleasantly tiddly. We missed Steph being there, because she & her family are in South Africa, having a Summer Christmas. They had sent photos and an email, and although we tried to facetime them, they didn't have good enough wifi for it.

Christmas Day started with doing a load of clearing up! Once that was more or less cracked it was time for croissants and bagels for breakfast, and present and stocking opening- we do a christmas stocking for each other, Secret Santa stylee. I had a lovely Christmas Stocking from middle niece Reb. She got me some excellent bling!

We were aiming for a 5pm christmas dinner, and the cooking started at 12. Is & I were doing the main roast; we made a pretty good team, there were no panics, and it all came together perfectly. Eldest niece was in charge of starters. She was doing Japanese gyoza (steamed dumplings), which were time-consuming in the preparation but utterly delicious! Pudding was a gorgeous raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake that Is had made the day before. To be honest, after the cocktails the night before, we went very easy on the wine! It was really relaxed, which is all that I wanted.

I left Isabelle on Boxing Day so that she could have the house to herself, and chill out her own way. I got home and did a bit of chillaxing myself- after the buzz of being in a busy family house, it's nice to be back to my little quiet flat!

Today I'm doing a bit of tidying up and doing a bit of sewing, and sorting out stuff to go to Wales tomorrow. The Gentleman Friend, who had cancelled our trip down to Cornwall, on account of helping his friend A to move house there instead, texted this morning to ask me to go down there with them- the move isn't happening today after all, but they're still going. I pointed out I had arranged to go to Dad's instead (as I had said I would do). I deliberately didn't point out that going away with A holds zero appeal, because A is antisocial, rude and inappropriate, and it would not be a romantic holiday with A there acting as gooseberry. I'm hoping it's still ok for me to visit Dad- he worries if there's snow, but I'm pretty sure it is ok, otherwise he'd have phoned to say "don't come, it's not safe".

And I may open the Baileys later.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC)
Wow, what an adventure! Sounds like a lovely time.

(now I want gyoza...)
Dec. 27th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
They are delicious: from memory, she was using a filling of minced chicken, grated cabbage, spring onion (you'd maybe call them scallions?), carrot, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, chilli, and she bought the skins. She fried them first and then added water to the pan to steam them. She served them with a sauce made of part hoisin, part soy sauce, with chilli and chopped coriander added.

I asked her where she got the recipe from, and she explained she used to waitress at the local Japanese restaurant, and she picked up the general idea from the restaurant chefs, fiddled around with what ingredients she liked and came up with this.
Dec. 28th, 2013 12:43 am (UTC)
Dec. 27th, 2013 09:24 pm (UTC)
We got caught out by the floods in Leatherhead as well, ended up taking all sorts of weird back roads to get to Newdigate wher emy aunt lives.

Glad you made it okay and your sis wasn't one of those without power!
Dec. 27th, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC)
I am not surprised you nearly typed 2.5 years! What a journey. Glad you made it though
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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