Saturday, 29 December 2012

Fab Christmas Presents...

We spent Christmas up in Chirk, so Nemo cat was booked into the Cattery at Brinklow, Beefur spent a week in Brinklow marina, and we hired a car from Enterprise at Rugby, (who pick you up and drop you off).  I didn't want to mention these plans before on the blog, even though they were made months in advance, for fear of it all going pear shaped at the last minute.  Indeed, things didn't start well when we arrived in Brinklow Marina on the 22nd, as no one knew that we had booked in - and paid - I might add, in the beginning of November.  It wasn't a problem as there was room for us, we just moored up where we moored the year before.  After a couple of phone calls, we located the very nice Harbour Master and got a key for the gate.   There were far more boats here this year than last year, but with not much sign of life.  Enterprise picked us up in the morning, but the second problem was that SOMEONE lost the keys to the gate to get back into the marina.  So we turned the car around, drove back to Rugby, where said SOMEONE had dropped them on the floor when we went to collect the car.  We eventually loaded up the car, deposited the cat on the way, and we were off.  Dave was sweating abit by 12.30pm, as he had ordered himself a christmas present, to be collected in Oswestry by 1pm, and we were still on the M54 near Telford.  He made a phone call, and breathed a sigh of relief when told they wouldn't be closing at 1pm on the dot.  We arrived to pick up the precious package at 12.59!   And this precious package.......
Dave's Christmas present - to himself - A polypin of Stonehouse Brewery's Sunlander beer, which sits quite nicely on the front deck of the boat, now we're back on board (yes, it does travel well)
Back to christmas .......
Just the four of us for Christmas dinner - Dave, Tony, Mum & myself, which was very nice.  We came back to the boat with some of the remaining turkey, and have today eaten the last of the turkey soup.

Dave does the honours.  Lovely food, and very nice wines, thanks to Mum and Tony.

A lovely Christmas cake, made by Tony's daughter-in-law and his granddaughter
We made a good dent in the turkey, which, by the way, was raised by Nel's boyfriend Arran on Abbey Farm, Llangollen

We had time for a pint in the Corn Mill, with Hazel, Rick and Dai (not in the pic, which is rubbish by the way) who are our neighbours on our moorings in Froncysyllte.  Dai had come up by boat, the ex FMC boat Fern, who found it particularly difficult to get to Llan this time, and kept getting stuck.  The water level seemed to be OK, but I suppose the lack of boats up and down had something to do with it - and it being 70ft long and 3ft deep doesn't help!

View of the river Dee in Llangollen, with Dinas Bran in the background

Mum had two dogs staying over Christmas:  Cole, Rachel's dog, as they had all gone skiing for the week, and my other sister Bethan's mad spaniel George.  Cole is a typical labrador - he eats most things, including 2 puncture repair kits which were unfortunately left at nose height on a table in the garage.  Fortunately, he didn't puncture the tubes of glue contained in the kits!  Mum now has chewed spare inner tubes.  At least there were a few of us to do the dog walking, saving Mum & Tony from doing it all.

Dave and Mum - looking fantastic by the way Mum!

Dave's Christmas presents:  Pint of Sunlander - don't mind if I do.

Dave modelling his Christmas present from my brother-in-law John - isn't it brilliant!  I've included a link to their web site so CLICK HERE for more details and designs etc.  I'm sure John secretly wanted one for himself, but he's not old enough to wear it!

Another great present for Dave, this time from by Mum - can you guess what it is yet?
No - it's not a bong - although I did wonder when I first saw it!  It's an oil & balsamic dispenser, for those long summer evenings sat outside at our barbeque.  One day they will return. One day. 
The oil is the bottle, with the balsamic in a seperate compartment inside the bottle.  Genius. 
Dave does like his balsamic!  Very thoughtful.  Thank you mum.

Oh, and a present to me from Vodafone.  A new fancy android phone.  However, I don't think I'll ever get to grips with it - far too complicated, with too many button choices for my liking, most of which I'll never use.  Although I can feel more facebook "status" messages coming on .......
Thank you for all the Christmas presents, cards and messages.  We've had a lovely quiet Christmas.

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