Nikki and Kate supplied turkey, James some truly delicious wine, and us the veg, the cooking space and the, uh, space. Our house isn't huge - but we managed to squeeze 5 around the table without too much difficulty - and thanks to Kathryn's careful scheduling the food all landed up being cooked and ready to eat at the right time. We had a traditional US dinner consisting of Turkey (one of the rare occasions we've cooked meat, although I let Nikki do all the prep ;) ), Sweet potato casserole, Sage Cornmeal biscuits (anyone know where you can get Cornmeal in the UK? We brought back an entire kg of it from the States - in our case), Home made stuffing spicy sausage and sage stuffing, Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, Gravy, Wine, Schloer & Root Beer... and for desert, made with fresh pumpkin - Pumpkin pie with whipped cream / pseudocream.
It was a vast amount of food. We have, as is traditional, a fridge half-full of turkey. Yesterday Kathryn made one of our pet meals, Artichoke and Cheese Tart - but replaced some of the onion with... Turkey. Today I'm going to have a second slice of tart for lunch and some... Turkey :)
We attempted to fob off much Turkey on Nikki and Kate, and later on James, as well as some of the remaining produce from the Fried breakfast for the day following (Pancakes, Sausages/Beans/Hash Browns etc, which Nikki very generously cooked).
So much food!
It was a delight, though, to see everyone and have everyone here. I have new admiration for dog owners though. Pepper and Eddie occupied our house for one day - and very well behaved dogs they both are too - but the amount of hair and dirt they left behind is truly astonishing. Our venerable and aged Dyson DC01 wept tears of frustration as it attempted to suck and beat the hairs off the carpet*; and the sheer quantities of hair that we swept up in the kitchen - well - I am much impressed by those who keep dogs and keep their houses clean. I've no idea how you do it. I do, vaguely** recall that when living with Daisy there was an amazing amount of fur-deposits around the house, and that vacuuming was often a multi-bag-emptying job (with the then quite shiny DC02).
Anyhow, we spent the evening engaged in a War on Terror which - amazingly - we (the coalition of Nikki, James, Kathryn and I) beat down the terrorists (Kate - who managed to at one point have Terrorist cells in virtually every country). James wishes it to be known that while the Coalition won, he won the most*** ;)
Sunday, Kathryn and I had a fairly lazy day (apart from the hoovering, sweeping and laundry) leading in to a week of work in which my shifts are 'not great'. Two long days**** and two late shifts. This weekend just gone was the last and final weekend I get off until after Xmas - the only reason I have a weekend off then is to prepare for nights. And to ice the cake of awful shifts - Kathryn is off for two weeks over Christmas - Christmas week - which I'm working (except the weekend after) and New Year's week - which I'm on nights. The day she goes back to work is my first day off after nights.
Bloody fantastic that is :(
The only compensation is that while December is a 3 week month pay-wise and January a convenient 6 week month (urk!) then the pay I get in January should be less painful for it because I should get a bucketload of enhancements. Making it through the December / January months is always somewhat difficult. I am faintly tempted to move my pay straight into my savings account when it comes in, and give it back to myself just before Xmas (an idea which only just popped into my head).
And, can we all have our 'make it a nice day and Kate-be-well' heads on for Friday - 'cos 'beccamog really needs a service, and however much I try and put it off it's time and I should do it. Even if it's bloody freezing (like today :( ).
As a side point - changing your name is complicated as a Registered nurse - especially when people randomly say things like 'hey; your civil cermony certificate isn't signed' and you go 'oh, no it isn't, arse'. Virtually everyone's accepted it except NHS Professsionals, which makes it doubly complicated because my name on the Register has now changed. Anyhow, jobs to do today include faxing my statement of entry (from the Nursing and Midwifery Council) to all and sundry and also ringing Cumbria's Registrars and saying 'oi, should our Civil Partnership Certificate be signed'?
* although I think its filters probably need changing again - what with us having had builders in and much dust being sucked through the poor benighted object.
** all too well, actually
*** Having all of North and South America under his control
**** Sort of my choice.