So, despite not working Christmas Eve for the first time in ages, I was still knackered by the time we got to the pub, and didn't manage to achieve half the tidying up I wanted to do either. Of course, it didn't really help that on Friday I managed to catch whatever Paul has had for the past week or so, and have been coughing my lungs up ever since. (Yesterday and today it's turned into a cold and I didn't want to get up this morning. SO TIRED.)
I'm getting ahead of myself a bit, actually... Er, Thursday night we did the food shop at Asda, which was about £140. For once, this was mostly on food rather than booze, as Paul's mum was doing the family gathering this year instead of us, so we didn't have to buy a load of beer, etc. After Asda we got a taxi home, put things away, got changed and headed out again to my mum's for food and gift-swapping. David showed off their new 3D-LED television, which was very cool but weird...
Friday I was absolutely shattered. We had the option to leave work at 2.30pm and I left an hour after that when I'd finally lost the will to live. Got back to the house, wrapped the last present for Jade and Louis, then rang a taxi to get to Paul's mum's. I was the first to arrive, as it transpired. We had a very pleasant evening with Paul's side of the family, answering some questions from Jade's work's Christmas quiz (or at least the ones she actually remembered the answers to :P), before sharing a taxi home via Highgate (Jade) and Selly Oak (Darren, Andrea and Patrick).
Christmas Eve, then. We went out in the morning to pick up the goose from the butcher, which turned out to be twice as big as they said it was going to be (nearly 12lb) and £55 in total. We also picked up some sausages for breakfast and some Proper Suet (as in, a big lump of excess beef fat), which was free. ;) We then popped to the off licence to get champagne, as Asda didn't have anything particularly interesting when we were there. This year we went for Veuve Cliquot. ;)
We did have a bit of a tidy-up (washing up, etc) but I didn't clean the kitchen floor or the bathroom or anything involving any energy, so that will all have to wait until next week when I'm on leave. We headed out to the pub around 3.00pm or thereabouts and stayed until 9.30. I was not as knackered as usual, but didn't drink (except for one whisky that Dan bought me), instead sticking mostly to the lovely Wetherspoon's Belgian hot chocolate.
The funniest part of the night was Lloyd, wearing an eye patch out of a Christmas cracker, demonstrating his lack of depth perception by grasping desperately at objects on the table and missing by mere centimetres. I wish we'd filmed it, actually: instant YouTube hit! It also transpired Dan was a freak of nature as he could still see perfectly with one eye.
The Day itself was sedate, as usual. We got up earlyish, had breakfast (same as last year: portabello mushrooms with bacon bits and creme fraiche on toasted muffins; posh mushrooms on toast, essentially) and opened presents. We now have even more DVD's and books. I can't remember all of them now, but they included all eight Harry Potter films (from Paul) and the Frasier full-season boxset (from his mum to me), and lots of things off our various wishlists. Paul also got me some lovely Swarovski jewellery off the German Market (necklace and earrings set).
We had dinner around 6.00pm. The goose took three hours to cook and was delicious. :) It didn't even need basting or covering as it was so fatty. (We now have two jars of goose fat and about five pints of goose stock as a result - goose soup tomorrow!). It tasted vaguely like turkey but the meat was darker, with the skin really crispy like duck - almost like pork scratchings, in fact. The only minor casualty was the Yorkshire puddings (or Irish puddings, technically) because I had to put them in the very bottom of the top oven and left them in too long, so they were burned. The real suet definitely gave them a lovely flavour, though.
We will now be eating pigs-in-blankets for the next month again as I bought separate chipolatas and streaky bacon again, which provides about 12 portions. :P
Boxing Day was spent catching up on some Christmas television, including EastEnders and some of the Studio Ghibli films - some I've enjoyed and some have been a bit weird (Pom Poko was surreal, although I was quite ill last night so that might not have helped. :P) We still have loads to get through, though.
On Tuesday we did much of the same except for going out to the Bear of the evening with Alex and Dina, which was quite enjoyable. We played some games of pool and had a few drinks before going back again and watching Big Fat Quiz of the Year. They have yet to top Noel Fielding and Russell Brand as the Goth Detectives, although Eddie Izzard and David Mitchell came quite close. ;)
I'm now back at work until Friday, alas. Thankfully there is actually plenty of work to do, as there was some left over from last week. This morning I slept through all of my alarms and didn't want to get up, though I'm waking up a bit now... Just trying to get through today and tomorrow now.
Oh, except I can't do the Carmina Burana concert on Friday as I can hardly talk right now and don't want to attempt singing when I've been coughing for nearly a week. I'm hoping now it's turned into a cold it might work its way out of my system, if not I'll have to go to the GP for some antibiotics... meh. I thought killing off a three-day cold in early December was too good to be true. :P