Saturday, 29 December 2012

Turkey, presents and family!

Wow, a flying 4 days! What is it that they say when you are having fun?

At the end of last week we were in a real tiz, running around trying to get the house ready for my parents coming to visit.  Clearing the “guest room” (where we put stuff that we don’t want to put in the attic) and generally trying to make the house pass the mother test J (To be fair she is not that bad! But it doesn’t stop you worrying does it?)

Once we had the house finished we still needed to wrap the presents, which takes an age. We use adverts from magazines for wrapping rather than just buying wrapping paper. It’s amazing how good you can make presents look this way, and also amazing how much longer it takes to actually do the wrapping!

But, we got everything done with 30 minutes to spare before we had to leave and pick up my parents from the airport.  Phew.  We made a cup of tea and sat down to relax, I checked the Schiphol site to make sure their plane wasn’t late and… Shit! They land in 2 minutes, ½ hour early!

Quickly throw the tea down our throats and jump into the car.  Now, we live close enough so that we can make it arrivals at the same time as a passenger if we leave the house at the same point as when the plane lands – but it is close!  We got to the airport arrivals about 20 seconds before they came through.  Timing J

Obviously there was a lot of catching up that first evening, we did a gourmet for dinner and spent a few hours cooking little bits of meat, drinking wine, chatting.  My parents had plane tickets where they could bring a suitcase each. Which they did not need for just 4 days visiting. And so it was packed for us, with things which are really difficult to find in Holland.

Christmas Eve was spent getting the last bits for Christmas dinner – the turkey from the butchers, bread and nibbles for the evening etc.

And then Christmas Day itself J  Me and my mum love Christmas day, something that we get from her dad, as he always used to love it too.

We got up, and had a traditional Dutch (I think) Christmas breakfast – Stolen, croissants and other small rolls with cheese, jam and hagelslag (sorry there is not a translation for that, chocolate sprinkles are the closest but they are not even close in flavour!).

Then we started Christmas dinner.  Prepare the turkey, vegetables, other meats and stuffing.  Make some batter for Yorkshire puddings, prepare two lots of potatoes for roast and mashed and finally wrap some asparagus tips in bacon.  Lovely…

After that we started to open some presents, whilst our present to my parents was their plane tickets we couldn’t not have them with something to open Christmas morning so we got them a couple of books each and something silly. My mum was not happy that we had spent more money on them...  I really wanted to get my dad an airfix Spitfire (seeing as he is rebuilding the real thing for me J), but we couldn’t find one…  So we got him a little radio control race care instead.  And when we went to the Christmas market we got my mum a couple of angel elephants.

We got through about half of the presents and then it was time to put the vegetables to on to cook, and to get the starter prepared.  So we all chipped in (it was great cooking with my mum again!) and sat down for the starter.

Afterwards I was given the job of carving the turkey (I don’t know why, I’ve never done it before and have no idea how to!) and after ruining one side my mum took over and showed me how to do it…

After the meal we opened the rest of the presents.  I had one gift that I knew about from Mrs Stace – a box of NYX Smokey Eye colours. I am boring when it comes to eye make-up.  I have two combinations that I wear; either dark brown or grey and then a beige tint.  I’d love to experiment, but don’t want to spend 5 euros per colour only to find I don’t like them.  But, a box of colours where I can try lots of combinations and then pick the ones I like best seemed liked a good idea.

And… She got me something that I wanted a few years ago but we couldn’t find! You see a couple of years ago there was a poll by Mattel to pick Barbie’s new career.  Some geeks managed to rig the poll and software engineer it was J But we never saw them in the shops; until this year when Mrs Stace spotted one!

So, 36 years old and I have my first doll!  With a laptop, smartphone, laptop case and Bluetooth headset.  I’m trying to work out whether or not to take it into the office and keep it on my desk, or whether to keep it in the study here.  But I love it J

I got Mrs Stace lots of Mayan chocolate from Mexico.  Chilli chocolate, normal dark chocolate, a special edition made for the end of the world (or to enjoy should it not happen – actually Mrs Stace said I should have given her that one before the 21st to enjoy, just in case…

And of course we got each other some jewellery, and bits and bobs.  It was wonderful watching her open her presents, and my parents open theirs.  And I imagine that they enjoyed watching me open mine as well J

All in all it was a great day, a wonderful visit and it was all I could do not to cry when they left to go through to the departure lounge. Or now whilst I’m typing this…

An absolutely wonderful Christmas J  


  1. Sounds wonderful, Stace! The Barbie is great, too. Any word on when tech writer Barbie is coming out? Maybe yours can help with the specs? lol

    The Black Holes & Revelations and The Resistance CDs arrived in the mail today. Only listened to Black Holes so far, but you were right: hearing them on CD makes a big difference. Thank you for the tip. They are a headphone band for sure.

    In case you missed this with your parents in town:

    It is ASTONISHING. Such a great, great live set. And the sound is stellar. Well worth the download!

    Off to down more cough syrup. Stupid holiday flu bug... ;c)


    1. It was! Still smiling from it! And the Barbie is wonderful. She is currently sitting on the sofa (and taking up more space then Mrs Stace and I put together ;p)

      Two amazing CDs there! I was listening to The Resistance in the car on the way here this morning :)

      Downloaded! I just need to make space on the USB stick in my car to listen to it on the way home tonight!

      Hope your flu's getting better, it's never fun is it?


  2. That sounds like a fab Xmas. Yay!

    Asparagus and bacon? Ooo! I'll have to try that later in the year. Ta for the suggestion. We tend to have Pigs in Blankets as a general rule.

    > NYX Smokey Eye colours

    They sound lush. I'm with you on the staying safe front over eye make-up. Most of my looks orbit around browns, although I have tried some toned purples (good for those with green eyes apparently). Have you had a look at Urban Decay at all? They do some very funky shades (Mrs J is a big fan).

    PS: Software Eng Barbie = LOLz... and why shouldn't she? We could do with a bit more glamour in well as someone who knows what she's doing.

    1. :)

      It's really easy too! 5 tips, wraped in thick bacon and put on a griddle for about 7 or 8 mins. Lovely!

      They're stunning - but not for outdoor use yet :) Actually, that's a lie. On boxing day I wore a lilac skirt and wore a colour that matched it for my eyes. Other than that it's a Sunday kit for now until I'm comfortable with it ;p

      The kit that she has is really cool. A laptop, smartphone, Bluetooth and smart watch. OK it is pink, but then it is Barbie so you have to forgive that. So far our computers at home haven't crashed, so she must be doing something right!