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Xmas 2009 – New Year 2010

This weather took some getting used to after India!I actually got back home, from India, at around mid-day on Monday 21st December. It was FREEZING cold!! You have to bear in mind that I had just had a month of consistent 32 degree heat during the day, dropping to a comfortable 22 degrees at night. Snow and sub-zero temperatures were unwelcome to say the very least. The other problem was that, apart from a couple of very small snoozes on the plane, I had been awake for around 36 hours. I piled everything I could find that was vaguely woollen, or textile, onto the bed, buried myself underneath it, and went to sleep.

Tuesday 22nd December, and oops – it’s getting rather near Xmas and I am nowhere near ready. The plan is to have Xmas with MBG, and then both of us will do a southern England tour visiting my family. I got dressed into every available piece of clothing that I could actually squeeze into, bearing in mind that I got bulkier and bulkier with each layer, and went shopping. I must have looked like a scaled-up version of the Michelin man, but at least I was not frozen. I had so many pockets that it was counter-productive, I couldn’t find the right pocket whenever I needed something.

I eventually (loosely) caught up with myself, including a vital visit to my local pub for some Guinness and to reconnect to the local gossip exchange. They have a good log fire in there, but I was still reluctant to discard any of my copious clothing. I was still feeling the cold. Rightly so, it was still snowing!!

One good thing about being home again!Xmas itself was at MBG’s, and very good it was too. Plenty of food and drink, and loads of presents. Very relaxing.

Like everyone else, I get a lot of spam emails. One of the more persistent spammers is Britannia Hotels who will email anything up to four times a day. I used to just delete them, but I have now learned to take a quick look before doing so. There are, occasionally, some very good deals and we needed a hotel in the Bournemouth area so that we could visit my family.

Bingo, Britannia came up with a deal, and we had three nights dinner, bed and breakfast at a ridiculously cheap price at the Roundhouse in Bournemouth. We travelled down on the Sunday after Xmas, and used the hotel as a base while we visited my mother in Somerset, my sister in law & nephew in Gillingham, and my son in Ferndown. It was nice to see them all. My mother, who is 92, had decided, quite determinedly, that she wanted an iPod Touch for Xmas, and was rather eagerly downloading Mah Jong, and other applications as we left. We travelled down on the Sunday, and back on the Wednesday. We were lucky on both days as we were not disrupted by snow

My son, Ben, with some old geezer, in BournemouthWhile on the south coast, I treated myself to a ‘sensible’ camera – the kind that most people use. This one is a Sony, it has a Zeiss lens, 12.1 megapixels, and most importantly, it is about the size of a mobile phone so it is easy to carry around. I missed a lot of pictures in India because I wasn’t prepared to lug my dirty great DSLR around all the time. Hence no elephant pictures!

MBG - the first picture I took with my new cameraFor New Years Eve we went to a party at MBG’s next door neighbours. Sounds pretty everyday, but it certainly wasn’t. Jason and Lori are both professional musicians plus Jason is a brilliant DJ. Quite a lot of their friends are also musicians, so as you can probably imagine, the variety of talent that sang (including MBG), or played, during the course of the evening was awesome. A brilliant night that stretched long into New Years Day.

Jason & Lori dueting - New Year's Eve


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