AS: Tea and biscuits and GIN, the British thread

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  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    It was very windy, wet and miserable here yesterday too. We got out for a wander in the freezing horizontal drizzle, came back frozen, then watched the rain turn torrential and stay so for hours.

    Today it is looking lovely outside, so far. I've been as far as the church to attend the Christingle service, but only two of our Guides were there, with another leader, one more due to arrive, and all the seats were taken, so I gratefully abandoned the loud blaring Christian pop and screen masking the chancel and altar triptych and came home.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    We were wandering around Covent Garden & environs in that wind yesterday - it ripped my scarf from me but fortunately blew it into someone else, who rescued it for me!

    We were staying in London as we had been to a matinee of the Nutcracker at the Coliseum on Friday, followed by roast beef and yorkshire pud at Simpson’s. Always a pleasure & a lovely way to start Crimbo.

    MMM
  • Windy and wet here, although quiet at the moment. Looks like our outdoor flute playing is cancelled - phew.
  • Yes, please - black, with lots of sugar.....
    :grin:

    Calmer here today, but a bit overcast now - should be OK for those attending our Carol Service (with Christmas mini-Bazaar to follow) at 3pm.

    I'm afraid I'm dipping out - (a) I loathe 'Carol' Services, and (b) I'm just too tired and weary. We had some good, objective, Advent hymns at this morning's Eucharist, though, and a noticeably youthful congregation!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    It's a cool (-2°), sunny day here, but we've got a snowfall warning for tomorrow and into Tuesday, with over 6 inches on offer.

    :cry: :cry: :cry:
  • The rather soggy weather this afternoon turned out to be a blessing for the orchestra at the Christmas Market because we were able to take refuge in an extended archway (more like a tunnel) which not only gave us shelter but also rather splendid acoustics.
    Back now for some festive sloe GIN.
  • The weather here on Saturday was filthy – 3° and freezing rain. I went out for a bit of essential shopping, and it was not an enjoyable experience.

    The advantage of this is that it rather dampened the enthusiasm of the gilets jaunes. I work in the 8th arrondissement where most of the damage usually is, and I don’t think they’ve done much smashing and vandalising this time round. Apparently rampaging through Paris demanding revolution is a fair-weather sport.
  • July would seem to be a better time, no?
    :wink:
  • Piglet wrote: »

    Unfortunately, getting the brake-pads replaced on the Pigletmobile wasn't quite so inexpensive ($$$), and the bloke told us we need to replace the tyres as well ... :cry:

    They'll have to wait until the pension money comes through - I don't think D's too worried, as he doesn't think the tyres are as far gone as the bloke said they were. I suppose he was just doing his job, trying to get another sale ("It's not worth getting cheap tyres - I always buy the top of the range" - you get the idea).

    Tyres are your only contact with the ground, so it's not something I'd scrimp on, nor would I delay changing them if they are down to 2mm or less of tread (UK legal minimum is 1.6mm, is there a local / regional equivalent for you?)
  • In other news, I went to a recording of Children's BBC show "The Dog Ate My Homework" at the BBC Scotland studios on Saturday with my daughter and one of her pals
    The show was good fun, and it was interesting to be part of the recording process, watching all the bits they had to do again, practicing our happy "ooh"s and sad "aah"s and applause etc.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I'm not sure what the tyre rules are here - they may be different because they're studded winter tyres (an unfortunate necessity over here).

    The promised snow has started and is drifting down quite gently, but in small flakes ("wee flakes, big snow", as the saying here goes); if it carries on as long as they say it will, there'll be Much Shovelling*.

    We had a very jolly evening yesterday with some friends, who invited us over for supper and (mostly seasonal)
    poetry/reading/singing. Everyone took something - I read the John Betjeman poem again - and the readings** were interspersed with delicious food.

    * Sounds like a quaint little English village, doesn't it?

    ** D's contribution was a song rather than a reading - Flanders & Swann's Ballad of the Figgy Duff.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Much Shovelling*

    * Sounds like a quaint little English village, doesn't it?
    Much Grovelling would work too. :smiley:
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    There really is a place called: https://tinyurl.com/y86jhsyz. I've passed through it many times.
  • Piglet wrote: »

    ** D's contribution was a song rather than a reading - Flanders & Swann's Ballad of the Figgy Duff.

    Any chance of a link, O Piglet? YouTube proves barren....
    :wink:

  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Piglet wrote: »
    We had a very jolly evening yesterday with some friends, who invited us over for supper and (mostly seasonal)
    poetry/reading/singing. Everyone took something - I read the John Betjeman poem again - and the readings** were interspersed with delicious food.

    I love this idea and am making a note to try and do something like it next year. It's a bit late in the day for this one now.

    In other news, it's a dark miserable evening here and I've got to go out shortly. Already looking forward to being back home in the warm.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Piglet wrote: »

    ** D's contribution was a song rather than a reading - Flanders & Swann's Ballad of the Figgy Duff.

    Any chance of a link, O Piglet? YouTube proves barren....
    :wink:

    It’s there, albeit in a poor recording at a school concert. Try ‘Wassail of Figgy Duff’.
  • Had a most scenic bus journey today on my way to a job interview/informal chat for a side gig to my self-employed self (which looks like it will come to something, yeah!). Saw the dark depths of Kirklees, the part of West Yorkshire which includes Huddersfield and Dewsbury. I now know what Kirkburton, Lepton and Shelley look like, before ending up in Skelmanthorpe. Then did a spot of Christmas shopping in Huddersfield on the way back. A surprisingly peaceful, if soggy, day.

    Can you tell I just like the place names?
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Firenze wrote: »
    ... Try 'Wassail of Figgy Duff'
    Thanks, Firenze - when I typed "ballad" I had a feeling it wasn't quite right but couldn't think why.

    I've been quite a busy piglet (by my standards) today: we got about six to eight inches of snow last night, so after D. went out this morning I went and dug out the drive so he could get the Pigletmobile back in (just as well it's only a little car and doesn't need too much space). I think I might have overdone things a bit - my right arm is complaining if I raise it above shoulder level (although that may just have been due to sleeping the wrong way).

    Made chicken fricassee for lunch; there's a pot of chicken stock cooling in the kitchen, and if I can be bothered, I'll make some chicken SOUP later for tomorrow's lunch.

    Currently chilling out and messing around on here though. :smiley:
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Piglet wrote: »

    ** D's contribution was a song rather than a reading - Flanders & Swann's Ballad of the Figgy Duff.

    Any chance of a link, O Piglet? YouTube proves barren....
    :wink:

    It’s there, albeit in a poor recording at a school concert. Try ‘Wassail of Figgy Duff’.

    Thanks, Firenze! Most Seasonably Seemly and Edifying, and I can just imagine F & S rendering it.....
    :lol:
  • We've invited those neighbours who welcomed us so warmly back in May, for (boring) mulled wine and mince pies on Sunday afternoon. In spite of putting RSVP and our phone number on the invitation, no-one has called, though some have left Christmas cards and others have intercepted us en route to the village - I said to Mr. S that perhaps they thought that was the type of port we'd be serving!

    However, since the house's previous owners were seen as 'stand-offish', I think they may all come, just to see what the house is like inside :lol:

    Mrs. S, the perfect hostess (cough)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I hope you get lots of people, Mrs. S., or you'll be drinking mulled wine for a week.

    Actually, that's maybe not such a bad thing ... :mrgreen:
  • We're up into double figures now - and one of them did actually ring! The funny thing about that was that although I was in the house, I didn't hear either the phone ring, or the answerphone message. I was putting stuff away, wondering if the 'beep' was someone reversing v e r y slowly down the lane - only to realise that there was a message on the machine...

    Mrs. S, having another Senior Moment
  • Wish me luck. I'm about to go join the local Churches Together group to sing carols outside of Sansburys and it's persistently precipitating out there.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Ah - soggy wassailing ... :cry:

    Good luck!
  • We are ensconced in our cosy flat in Heidelberg. Thank goodness we weren’t flying from Gatwick yesterday!

    We had a nice meal with my sons yesterday evening then wandered round the Christmas markets - very festive :smile:
  • Sounds lovely! (Sighs with envy, then repents.)
  • Cathscats wrote: »
    (Sighs with envy, then repents.)
    For being envious, or merely for sighing?

  • The Christmas markets must be lovely.
    I have a tutorial to prepare with another tutor today, we have been given a tutorial on the first Saturday back after the 2 week holiday so are rather short of time to prepare it! Then it’s tidying up my admin and catching up on module materials in preparation for the new year.
  • Cathscats wrote: »
    (Sighs with envy, then repents.)
    For being envious, or merely for sighing?

    Envy is a sin, but I am not aware that sighing is! Though you do meet people who seem to sigh before every remark, and dealing with them surely sets you on the path to sainthood...
  • I've an errand to do that would be so much easier if there was a willing Shipmate in Newcastle. Just wondering if there is anyone here from there.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    TICTH my brain, which is Officially Wonky, and means that I am now a proper Raspberry (Cockney rhyming slang for Cripple, aka Raspberry Ripple).
    :rage:

  • WTF? That should have gone on the TICTH thread - shows how Wonky my Brain is.....

    I'll get me coat, and then go and heat up some SOUP.
  • Wonky Brain Syndrome - I decided on a BACON sandwich, rather than SOUP.

    It's early yet - SOUP (Mrs. Baxter's delicious Beef Consomme, with cask-aged sherry) may follow later, if I stay awake long enough....
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    We're having quite a busy day. The weather's taken a dose of the head-staggers: after weeks of fairly frigid minus numbers, it got up to 0° this morning with freezing rain causing Patches of Treachery™, and it's still gettung warmer (currently 6° and rising). This had a rather detrimental effect on the audience size at D's recital, but the audience that was there was mercifully generous. Afterwards we had a cheap-and-cheerful Chinese lunch, did a spot of food and drink shopping and then went and got haircuts (long overdue).

    Then to a drop-in 70th birthday party for a friend, and now having a quick break before heading out to do a spot of carol singing at an old people's home not far from where we live.

    It's all go ...
  • Is it ever going to stop raining? Wail.....
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    If it's any comfort, it's tipping it down here, but that's fine by me - it'll clear away some of the sn*w.

    We had a very enjoyable carol-sing: the residents really seemed to enjoy it, and where we were singing was under a sort of atrium, with fabulous acoustics, even though the place had carpets and heat cranked up to "tropical".
  • I was in the audience for the BBC Radio 3 In Tune Christmas Special last night, which was brilliant. I hadn't been paying attention so was surprised to see Jackie Oates and delighted to see John Spiers playing with her. He was part of Spiers and Boden and Bellowhead and I've paid for tickets and missed him twice since Bellowhead broke up - once because I had shingles and secondly in March this year which I lost entirely, as Knight and Spiers. There was also a surprise appearance by Aigul Akhmetshina singing a couple of arias from Carmen, including this one.

    We (and the artists)* spent ages waiting outside as the BBC was locked down for a peaceful climate change. They protesters came and apologised for keeping us locked out, which was impressive.

    * John Spiers tweeted about it.
  • Fredegund wrote: »
    Is it ever going to stop raining? Wail.....

    It's stopped at the moment - it was torrential in the middle of the night.
  • @Curiosity killed , a friend's son is one of the campaigners in that group and is in a photo in the article you linked to. I think the group has some interesting ideas.
    Sounds like you had a good time when you managed to get in.
  • Our Heidelberg Christmas dinner has been purchased.

    Baked Camembert with Black Forest cherry glaze. Broccoli and blue Bavarian cheese soup (all home made by Mr Boogs) followed by veggie sausage and many varied nibbles. Followed by Christmas pud and brandy sauce which was brought from the UK, they don’t sell it here.

    Lots of Rot Wein to go with it 🍷

    :)
  • The sun is out! Looks like it might be a good time to tidy the garden up a bit! Oh no! Its gone in again. No gardening, looks like yet more of the wet stuff :(

    Tonight I am treating myself to an individual Christmas Dinner - all done by me, I might add. I have a small turkey breast, and I will do roast potatoes and parsnip (I only have one here!) plus the traditional sprouts, and gravy. 'Proper' Christmas dinner is being provided by my grandson, who has not, to my certain knowledge, cooked a Christmas dinner before! My daughter and I think he has an over-ambitious menu, but we will see! I am sure it will be fine, if a little later than advertised! My other grandson, who is visiting merely to join in the Grand Present Opening, has to go back to his partner's family for their Christmas dinner.

    For once, I'm just sitting back and letting everyone else do the work!
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Boogie wrote: »
    Our Heidelberg Christmas dinner has been purchased.

    Baked Camembert with Black Forest cherry glaze. Broccoli and blue Bavarian cheese soup (all home made by Mr Boogs) followed by veggie sausage and many varied nibbles. Followed by Christmas pud and brandy sauce which was brought from the UK, they don’t sell it here.

    Lots of Rot Wein to go with it 🍷

    :)

    Sounds delicious, though personally I'd like to have some Meat as well...
    :wink:

    I shall be engaging with the Cook Ing on Christmas Day. A small joint of Beef, with some nice Gravy, some Roast Potatoes (done in Duck Fat), courtesy of my lovely Aunt Bessie (let the reader understand), and some Pickled Red Cabbage.

    I may start off, however, with a bowl of Beef Consomme, and will follow up with CHEESE accompanied by Radishes.

    Christmas Pudding comes later, at tea or supper-time, along with more CHEESE, and probably some Fruit and Yoghurt, as I'm on a healthy eating regime now.
    :naughty:

    Dates and Nuts may feature during the evening, if I am still awake.

    Some WHISKEY or possibly ALE may also be partaken of at some point, or points...
    :grin:

    All this after Church, of course.

  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Dates and figs. Something else for the Christmas Eve shopping list. Thank you! And I might get some Yorkshire puddings too - we are having turkey, but never have Yorkshires at any other time and It Is Christmas.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Having got up in time to go to the market, was very pissed off to find that not only had they run out of the delicious CHEESE that we'd had at a dinner-party the other night and wanted to treat ourselves to, but also the nice smoked ham that we like when we just fancy something light for lunch or supper. :cry:

    I did get some triple-cream brie and assorted salami, but it wasn't quite what I wanted.

    Our mental weather interlude* continues apace: we had over 30mm of rain yesterday and it's currently 12°. A good deal of the sn*w has gone: as D. put it, if it carries on like this we'll have to cut the grass ... :astonished:

    * Sadly, it is just an interlude: it's forecast to go back down to -5° tonight, and continue getting colder, but at least there's no more sn*w expected until the end of the week.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Piglet wrote: »
    We're having quite a busy day. The weather's taken a dose of the head-staggers: after weeks of fairly frigid minus numbers, it got up to 0° this morning with freezing rain causing Patches of Treachery™, and it's still gettung warmer (currently 6° and rising). This had a rather detrimental effect on the audience size at D's recital, but the audience that was there was mercifully generous. Afterwards we had a cheap-and-cheerful Chinese lunch, did a spot of food and drink shopping and then went and got haircuts (long overdue).


    6°??? We are shivery right now. 15°C and a chilly, strong breeze.

    We can warm you up if you can get supersonic airflight. Sydney is supposed to be 33°Celsius on Christmas day, but warming up in the mountains to around 40°C by the end of the week for a few days. With the massive amount of rain we have had for weeks, this is a recipe for afternoon thunderstorms and extreme humidity. I pity the linesmen who have been out for days repairing damaged wiring. My niece had no power for just on 4 days. Many areas are similar and some places had huge damage from hail the size of tennis balls.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited December 2018
    Crikey! I think I'll take a rain-check (sorry!) on the invitation; 33° is well above my comfort zone. As for 40°, don't even go there!

    As our normal daytime high at this time of year is -3°, today's high of 14° (at 4 o'clock in the morning, accompanied by very heavy rain) was enough to raise eyebrows. :smiley:

    There's a pot of bacon and tomato SOUP bubbling away on the stove for tomorrow's lunch*, and a batch of loaves doing their thing in the bread-machine.

    * Tomorrow's going to be a busy day: we'll have a quick turnaround between D. finishing the second service in the morning and getting back for the carol service in the afternoon, so something easily heated up and quickly eaten is the best plan.
  • A rather damp, but VERY mild day here - and a larger-than-usual congregation at Mass, including two new families who have just moved into our parish!

    Mild weather is forecast for the next few days, so let's hope that it encourages peeps to come to the rest of our Christmas services - Crib service tomorrow afternoon, Midnight Mass at (just before) midnight (Well! Well!), and a simple Mass with Ims on Christmas morning.

    We had our Carol Service last Sunday, with only a sparse attendance, and we don't nowadays usually get the good numbers of previous years at Midnight Mass. Perhaps this is more of an Eccles subject, but I do wonder if perhaps we need to rethink dates/timing.

    IOW, what about post-Christmas Carol Services, and perhaps 'First Mass of Christmas' at (say) 8pm on Christmas Eve?
  • One of the team churches here holds its Midnight Mass at 8pm. It drew the short straw one year when there weren't enough clergy to go round and was the church that was asked to hold the "Midnight" service at the earlier time, with the promise that it would be shared around the different parishes. But it went so well that it has chosen to keep that time since.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    ... what about post-Christmas Carol Services, and perhaps 'First Mass of Christmas' at (say) 8pm on Christmas Eve?
    I reckon the cathedral in Newfoundland was probably the last place in Christendom to still have their carol service after Christmas, and in 13 years, I never got used to it. We couldn't persuade them to change it, but as soon as we left, apparently they did. <rolleyes>

    Ours is this afternoon, and as it's a beautiful, but cold, relatively snow-free day, I hope we'll get a decent crowd. Our Advent Procession was somewhat buggered by horrible weather (freezing rain and Patches of Treachery™), but the sudden thaw we had over the last couple of days has left it really rather nice. I hope nobody mentions to potential attendees that one of the boilers has gone on the blink, and it wasn't quite as toasty as it might have been this morning ...

    I don't see why a cold building should keep people away* - what do they think sweaters, coats and scarves are for??? Anyway, the more people that are there, the warmer it'll be.

    * but as you know, I'd much rather be too cold than too hot.
  • A cold building won't necessarily keep people away but it might stop them from coming back.

    We're taking some of the church young people round the area to see all our Advent Windows. A break in the rain would be nice.
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