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Posts Tagged ‘Patricia’

Well, it’s all over for another year!!!

It’s been a really hectic week.  How did I do this in previous years when I was going off to work daily?  I just seemed to be so disorganised this year, or did I just try to do more?

Christmas started for real on Thursday (23rd) when we set off to meet Dad from the station.  Dad had rather sensibly decided not to wait until everyone else was travelling on 24th but to avail of his free travel and come by train and in comfort.  We set off from here at mid-day on Thursday to collect him from the 2 p.m. train in Athlone.  The plan being that we could perhaps get some of the grocery shopping done prior to meeting the train.  That never happened!  The roads were unbelievably bad.  Farmer Alfie (luckily) was doing the driving and in the space of 10 miles we had skidded 3 times!  We had to think fast what to do…. Dad was already on the train, we had also arranged to deliver our last Bronze Turkey to Aine in Athlone.  We opted to switch destinations to Tullamore – this worked for Aine, and Dad could get off the train there instead.  So we changed direction and headed for Tullamore.  The journey was not so bad that way.  It is incredible to think that the route we were taking was the main route from Limerick to Athlone and it had not been gritted!  What were the responsible County Council thinking of?

So after a slippery start, collected Dad, got back to Birr and started the Christmas grocery shop.  Why do we feel we need to get so much food?  I could not believe how much money we spent – especially when you consider I did not have to buy turkey, ham or breakfast things?

The rest of the family were leaving Dublin at various times on Christmas Eve, and all had very different journeys.  Patricia, Alexander, Daisy and Juliet left Dublin at mid-day which was the advice being given by AA Roadwatch.  However, it seems the rest of Dublin decided to leave at the same time….. it took them an hour to travel just over a mile!  The finally got here at 3.30 p.m.

Seamus left at 3 p.m. and arrived unscathed at 5 p.m. – having had the easiest of journeys.

Sarah had to wait for Chloe to finish work in Brown Thomas, so it was 5 p.m. before they were leaving Dublin.  They had the worst journey, battling icy roads and freezing fog to finally get here at 8 p.m.

Sarah and Chloe arrived just in time to see the video emails that Daisy and Juliet got from Santa!  And needless to say Daisy and Juliet were well pleased that Santa knew they were spending Christmas Eve in Tipperary!  We even managed to spot Santa out in all that freezing fog talking to Buddy!  Farmer Alfie always seems to have gone upstairs or be on his computer and miss these things!

We all sat down to Beef Malay (as per Des Cahill’s recipe) that night, and it was good fun to have everyone there safe and sound…. and the kid’s really liked the beef….. I should have made more!  Not a drop left!

Christmas morning was bright and white (ice rather than snow) but still really beautiful.


Santa had left so many toys…. there was an enormous doll’s house for Daisy, Go Go Pets (a new phenomenon for Farmer Alfie and I) for Juliet and a new camera and computer games for Alexander.

We all then headed off to mass at our local church here in Redwood… the scene was very much winter wonderland everywhere was so white and the early morning light was so beautiful.  While Farmer Alfie and I went off to wish neighbours a Happy Christmas, the rest of the family came home and started cooking breakfast.  It was nice to sit down to breakfast (cooked by someone else) and knowing that it was all your own produce – sausages, rashers and eggs!  (The last of our own eggs for a while as the fox had come visiting while we were away collecting Dad on 24th and taken our last two hens.)

Christmas Dinner also consisted of all our own produce.  The starter was Farmer Alfie’s Beetroot Mousse (again grown by us).  Main course was Bronze Turkey, Saddleback Ham, home grown potatoes, carrots, parsnips and leeks.  And OK dessert wasn’t our own produce…. but I haven’t mastered the art of growing cocoa beans here yet!

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