Friday, 27 December 2013

The Generation Game


Going over to Northern Ireland before Christmas can be a right old rigmarole, and everyone's exhausted by the time we get back home, but I'm so glad we go. Most of my family and my husband's live there, and the kids wouldn't see much of their grandparents if we didn't do a trip or two. My Mum's pretty much the only one who can travel to England now and I'm really aware of that. Over the last few years they've all slowed down considerably - hard to ignore, as much as I'd like to - there've been illnesses and operations, and the once unimaginable thought of them not being around creeps up on me more often. So, going over means a lot - quality time, and lovely moments like this one of the youngest playing draughts with her Grandpa.

I think I'm less intolerant too: of the tendency to dither, the lack of haste and the entrenched views. My previously prickly relationship with my strong-minded mother-in-law has mellowed - she still won't take no for answer and still tries to ply us with mountains of food in her insistent Mrs Doyle-esque way (aw, go on!) - but now I just agree, and go with it; and I do the cooking because it's a bit too much for her with all of us.  My new challenge is to work through a jam-packed fridge and half a freezer in two days..
And I love that she'll sit and watch a whole Arsenal match on telly so she can have a well informed team chat with the eldest. More than I'd do.

We had a bumpy trip back, only hours before the seriously bad weather set in and the ferries were cancelled. Really good to be home, but I'd been so focussed on getting things ready for the trip that nothing had been done for Christmas day. I mean no wrapping, No Nothing... At least we had Christmas Eve, but it was one of those days that just slip through your fingers if you know what I mean - though I made myself stop for a second to watch the 6 year old carefully arrange a table of treats for FC and the reindeers.


Lovely, relaxing Christmas day in comparison - my abiding memory will be sticking teeny tiny stickers on minute Sylvanian groceries...


14 comments:

  1. Christmas Hugs from Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  2. I'd love to spend a Christmassy weekend with an Irish lady filling me with food - I've heard many similar stories but sadly I have no Irish relatives! Glad you had a good Christmas x

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    1. couldn't believe it when I first went, she's relentless, the food just keeps on coming…Wondered then why my husband kept making jokes about throwing smoke and making a run for it. Understand now! She's a lovely lady and a very caring granny x

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  3. Lovely 'draughts' photo - you, and your little one, will treasure that photo in years to come. Glad you had a good Christmas Day. X

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    1. thanks Abby - so glad I took the picture, I'm going to try to take more family photos next year and maybe even tackle the photo albums…though I've said that before! x

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  4. I love both pictures, they are special for different reasons. I am glad you had a worthwhile trip home, it sounds lovely. I did so miss being surrounded by family this year. xx

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    1. really hard for you being far away, and I think times like Christmas can make it feel even further xx

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  5. What beautiful photo's Tracey, hopefully these will come out for Christmasses future. We had a slideshow, some of them going back to before my parents wedding...it was lovely but a bit emotional now Mum's gone.

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    1. such a lovely thing to do, Christmas feels like a good time to reflect, but must have been hard for you. Last year my sister gave us all a DVD compilation of my Dad's old cine films - happy/funny/sad moments - really should get it out again x

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  6. What a beautiful post, and lovely, lovely photos - just gorgeous.
    So true as well. As my mum says, at some point you "catch up" with your parents and maybe that's why you are more tolerant of the things that come with their old age now! (that sounds insulting but you know what I mean).
    And how gorgeous are Sylvanian family things. I spent a fair bit of time putting tiny stickers on tiny Sylvanian hamburger restaurant things this Christmas. (Tiniest napkins ever!).
    Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. aw thanks Jackie, it was lovely. Can't get over how teeny the Sylvanian stuff is! Just adorable though. Did find making up the little boxes tricky enough after a few Christmas drinks.. and some stickers appear to be upside-down...

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  7. Gorgeous and nostalgic photos, Tracey, I love them. Glad you got back safely, too.

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