all the reasons why I haven’t blogged recently

The thing about this time of year, is that it's really, really busy, in the best possible way of course. We've done all the Christmassy things as thoroughly as family tradition demands – pantomime visit with family and friends, stockings at dawn, photograph of us all, including cat on the settee before heading out with gifts to Mama and Papa's via Good Friends en route. It was a quieter than usual Christmas, only one of my brothers could make it this year – family commitments and wives in advanced pregnancy (Cutesock's Mama) claimed the other two. We had goose – it was wonderful.

It has been even more wonderful to have Hairy Maclairy home for all this time, although I have to say, since he's been home it's even more obvious than normal that he's the really messy one of the family. I've got nicely out of the habit of having to pick up his stuff from everywhere, retrieve the (damp) towels from his room, and discovering that the washing basket has suddenly gone from empty to full in a nanosecond. It's a big washing basket, at least two machine loads worth.

We had a visit from the cousins and small-fry (although most of them are quite big fry these days) on Boxing Day, and then we played board games (Carcasonne) with the boys. I lost. Again. In compensation, I went geocaching with my baby brother – the perfect opportunity to wear my new walking boots that I got for Christmas… except I didn't, because I didn't want to get them dirty. At that point they were still very black and matt. I did wear them when I went for a constitutional with Handsome the following day, but only because it was all dry and frozen so I wouldn't get them muddy… they're still virgin boots.

I got a scanner in the sales – it's much easier to scan my old photos in at home than to do what I was doing previously, which was taking them into work and scanning them during my lunch breaks. Also, I have to say, it's a much better scanner than the one I have access to at work – quicker and more versatile. I've put a load more old photos of the boys into my album, and I've made a photo collage for Mama.

We've had freezing fog and very cold temperatures here for the last couple of days, and we've got family over tonight for Hogmanay, so I've got the fire laid all ready to be lit later on. We're burning the old dining room chairs… which have now been replaced with less scruffy dining room chairs. It'll be a quiet New Year for us as well, as a number of people who should have been here are suffering from the dreaded lurgy – including Mouse's Best Friend (causing Mouse to be a bit grumpy since we heard).

PS – As I edited, Good Friends called to say that although they are still full of plague themselves, Mouse's Best Friend is feeling much better, and can come. Mouse is now a happy bunny.

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