Well I’m relieved to know that I have got to day number 365 and that it matches with the last day of the year. There were times when I thought I had miscounted and would have to track back over half a year’s worth of posts. I will always see the year in with some champagne and will be sharing this with some friends later in the evening as we see the new year in with food, games and the above.
(In line with current blogging practice, I should point out that I am not being paid by G.H. Mumm to mention their product or brand).
I have a number of friends across the world where I don’t have a physical address I can send a card. I therefore decided to create an e-card that I could send, and dug out a photo I had taken earlier in the year when there was snow on the ground. I chose this image for a number of reasons. Firstly its got snow on it, but also you can see that it is still snowing. While white Christmas’ in the UK are rare, snow and Christmas always go together on cards. The second reason I chose this photo is for the image of the footprints and the play that I can make on the more famous footprints in the sand message story that is told in churches. (I’ll let you look it up if you don’t know it). For me its a nice way of having the Christian message of Christmas on the e-card.
With less that two weeks to go until Christmas, the cards from friends are starting to drop though the letterbox. One of todays arrived in a plastic bag with a ‘sorry note’ that it has been rather damaged. Thankfully although the damage was more than half the card combined (the damage at the bottom of the card is harder to see on the photo) I was still able to read the update message from my friend and with some carefully placed sticky tape on the inside it will be presentable. It’s ashame that it happened on this card which has all the correct messages about what Christmas is all about.
After my disappointment for the London Baseball matches I decided to ease my woes by making sure that I was going to a ball game before the London matches take place. I’ll be visiting Seattle next year to see a friend and while I’m there, the Mariners will be playing at home. I’ve therefore snapped up a ticket (there were loads available to be fair) for one of the days I’m in town. It did also have the benefit of considerably cheaper than any of those at the London matches and in a considerably better location than the cheap seats.
A decent number of presents have now been purchased and while there is little chance of any of them being seen before they are wrapped up, I decided to have a mass wrapping session. Gift wrapping seems to be a bit of a dark art. Sometimes I seem to be able to have mastered it, other times I’m wrap as if I was missed out on opposable thumbs! I wish I could say that it was just some of the very odd shaped gifts that cause problems, but even the regular ones seem to leave behind a ball of messed up sticky tape and incorrectly cut paper. I do at least like to think that where I have options, I think carefully about what people will like, and I hope that I have hit the mark again this year. There were certainly a couple of moments of inspiration was I wondered around the shops, especially the ones that are for friends where I have more freedom to choose.
As I suspect many have noticed, next year’s calendars are in the shops already. Normally I’m terrible at picking one of these up, leaving it to the last minute, or often a few days in the the year, before getting hold of one. However this year I saw one that I wanted to buy and thought I would break a habit and buy it early. I don’t have a pet myself (other than the fish) but I have a friend who has a pug which is full of charachter and I thought this calendar would be fun to have and an alternative to the normal calendar I get.
OK, so I wasn’t really out on the town, but I did venture out to the local throat emporium on a week night which is uncommon now-a-days. I was though meeting up with friends who I hadn’t seen for a while and what was a drink ended up being a meal as well. It was a good time catching up after a number of years, though one friend wasn’t able to make it. We also agreed that we needed to meet up more often so hopefully the other friend will be able to make it next time.
Each year my and a friend get to have fun letting off some fireworks on or around bonfire night which is on 5th November. This year was no different and this was one of the boxed of fireworks that I bought for the ‘display’. We’re both fairly well versed in how these need to run and preperation such as water tubs for any failing fireworks, and tubs for soil for those that need to be put into soild for stability is done in advance. Everyone seems to enjoy them and I enjoy the lighting of them as well as their display so I fully expect this will repeat next year as well.
Obviously I would like to stress that great care is taken with these home displays and would encourage people to carefully follow the instructions on the box, or if in any doubt, to attend a display put on by professions.
Weekly meetings with friends have recently been moved to a Saturday from a Friday (and yes that does leave my Friday nights feeling somewhat odd at the moment) and tonight was video and takeaway night. This mean taking along not just the film to watch, but also the TV, player and stand. It’s not a hassle as I am picked up on such a night. Unfortunately, and not for the first time (though first time this year), I brought everything except the player remote control, which given that the player had no manual buttons to override left the film on the select language page.
Well in reality it’s another day, but officially I’m into the next year of my life. It’s been a working day. I’m not one for big parties and don’t really see the point in taking a day of leave just because it is my birthday. I’ve had some nice presents, some expected, some surprises, but all of them welcome and useful. I’ve seen family and friends over the weekend and into today, and there is still more family to see later in the year. All in all, it’s been a good extended birthday.