Hey, I'm back. I've been enjoying the gorgeous summer sun and Christmas festivities, not so much on the computer recently...
We've been up to a few bits and pieces. The traditional catching up with whanau at Christmas - my lot on Christmas Day for a very mellow afternoon tea/very late lunch/very early dinner - anyway, it was food about mid-afternoon with various members of the family and it was good. Hubby and I had collaborated on our first version of big bro's world-famous Christmas pudding and made a couple of puds: a smaller one for Christmas Day (for six adults and a child) and a bigger one for Boxing Day when we were catching up with his family (8 adults and a child). And they were wonderfully good. And we've had requests - so that sorts Christmas presents next year....
It sort of worked quite well: we had our traditional seafood Christmas, and on Boxing Day it was the English version with turkey etc. Although they did insist on serving devil droppings (aka brussel sprouts) I was able to avoid those. The turkey was good though.
Christmas at church was slightly less successful this year: we had planned to go to the Cathedral - we even got there for the carol singing at 10.30pm on Christmas Eve - but by the time the service was due to start at 11pm, small daughter was about to completely melt down so we headed home. Oh well, we sang carols. Pity: I was looking forward to hearing the mass they were singing as it was a setting I didn't know (Charpentier: Messe de Minuit), but it was the right call.
New Year's Eve was a non-event for us - in fact, I can't remember the last time we went out on NYE, but I wasn't worried. We pottered around and played games together. We've also been teaching our small daughter Canasta, and her card-playing genes are showing pretty well - she's picking it up like a dog does fleas. Or some other slightly nicer simile!
We've also caught up with a lot of good friends and family after Christmas too. And managed to excavate some of the dark sneaky corners in the house that tend to accumulate stuff (I had a massive throwing day in the study yesterday. It felt very satisfying!).
In terms of fun holiday-type stuff, we've done a few bits. There's an exhibit from the Victoria and Albert Museum at Te Papa at present called Unveiled - of wedding dresses, suprise surprise. We went last week when we had a grotty rainy day. I really enjoyed it, especially looking at some of the older dresses, with the intricate embroidery and incredible lacework. Some of the more modern stuff left me pretty cold, but there was enough wow there for me to be happy. Daughter enjoyed looking at the dresses, and we were looking at what inspired some of the more modern dresses (particularly the celebrity dresses). I was disappointed though that there were no male wedding costumes, especially from the earlier periods when men wore tights and women were scared....
The day before we'd spent at Dowse, one of our favourite rainy-day haunts. Again, this one was a dress exhibition, but of ballet costumes from the Royal NZ Ballet productions of the last few years. Really amazing to get that close to the dresses and see the details of how they're made to be both worn and danced in (we could get closer to this than the V&A exhibition, which was all in glass cases).
And today we went to the zoo. Lots of critters to see, and some great work being done to revamp everything. Lots of zoo babies to eye up too, including some very cute baby meerkats, baboons, and chimpanzees.
Oh, and we bought an exercycle, and we've been beating it up daily. And it's good!