The past month seems to have been a solid round of excessive everything, but with a few of the liveaboards departing for Christmas a tadge quieter than usual. First it was our Anniversary, back to our cellar restaurant to celebrate 34 years of marital bliss, we must start to spread our foodie wings - a good Thai restaurant is next up.
Then Angie's birthday, Peter was going to cook a birthday cake but keeping anything a surprise on a barge is impossible (and he couldn't afford the candles).).
Then it was on to Christmas - the weather was fantastic as you can see from these photos.
As usual, Christmas Dinner was on the 24th, a bit strange as it was only the second time in 30 plus years we haven't had at least one of the children with us. Angie displayed her usual skill, but we were flagging after the Christmas pud. Luckily one of Angie's stocking fillers was a a course of Pilates sessions.
Full of good intentions we decided that New Year's eve would be quietly spent with a Scrabble board and bottle of champagne, but we were invited out for a couple of drinks at the Irish pub with the residual bargees. Somehow, that turned into celebrating the French New year there (though Peter didn't enhance the Entente Cordiale when he declined to kiss a stroppy french male) and then celebrating the English New Year on Kotare - at 3am after solving the problems of the world we all fell into our respective beds.
The onset of 2012 (12 weeks to the cruising season) removed Peter's dilatory attitude to boat maint - so the engines have been serviced and he is busy working his way through the 'to do' list. He is saving a couple of the difficult jobs for Colin (Linda) to provide assistance/advice. The first boat movement since the end of October as two plaisanciers travelled westwards. Peter has also been in gardening mode, planting up all the bulbs for next Spring. It has been so mild that all our Geranium tubs are still thriving, with a solitary marigold still flowering. Gardening deprivation is one of the minus points about a barge life, somehow Farmville on Facebook isn't quite the same.
Climbing onto the scales for the first time in 2012 meant Peter went a bit pale (as did the scales) but he will be able to diet in solitary splendour (maybe) as Angie is off to England for 10 days soon for a round of medical checks to see if her knees can be rejuvenated. As it is Epiphany - Angie is busy taking down the Christmas decorations and next up are the external LED lights.