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Family Christmas

Well, I hope you have all had a lovely holiday this Christmas - and if you don't celebrate Christmas I hope you've had a nice time too :0)

We've had a great time of it..... and I don't think either of us will ever need to eat again! At least not for a couple of weeks after the amount of food we have crammed down our necks these last few days!

Friday morning I banished Yorkie from the house at 8.30 to go to town and finish off his Christmas shopping. I started to pack up the suit case and gifts, and keep poor puss cat hungry so she wouldn't skip off out on us. About 10.30 he came back laiden down with bags and sweating like a pig. We wrapped up the last gifts (with a quick trip to the local shop for yet MORE gift wrap!) and packed up the car. We got to mum's about 3pm.

Muppet was glad to be out of her box and was running about mum's house rapidly making it her own. She was snoozing under mum and johns giant christmas tree at one point, and I was dying to take a photo of her sat under there looking soooo sweet, but every time I got down on the floor to take a snap she woke up, mrupped at me, and came running over for a fuss. I never got the shot! Mum fed us a HUGE meal of soup, followed by pork and a multitude of veg, and then one of john's mammoth trifles - which would feed a whole small 3rd world counrty for a month all on it's own - constantly piling up our plates with more and more food!

After tea we sat in the front room with the fire blazing and me and Yorkie were instructed to open some of the prezies which were under the tree waiting for us (even though mum has signed over the house to us, and already given us £200.00 to play with). We got some nice smellies from mum, and a vast amont of chocs from john and antoni, and some more money off john! Winner! Mum and JOhn said they would open the gifts from us on Christmas day.

Christmas Eve morning and we had a bit of a feline drama! While we're away with Muppet we tend not to let her out of the house incase she goes missing. It's not like we take her to small places where she can't have a run about, and we always have a litter tray down for her so it's not cruel. However, she IS a cat, and cats are always curios about where they can't go. She's snook up stairs and into mum's bed room. She likes windows, and uses our front room window as a cat-flap, so we should have known better and kept a closer eye onher..... John had wanted to have a look at my new car, and while I was out fron showing him (still in my PJs and Yorkie's slippers) we heared a pained "Meeeeeoooooowwww!". Now, mum and john have been telling us about a local tom cat which they have nicknamed "Top Cat" who is a bit of a bully boy, and having heared this meow I asked john if that was said tom cat. The cry had come from the side of mum's house, sowe wondered down the drive way. John had said it didn't sound like top cat, and sure enough, it wasn't. It was muppet!

"What are you doing out here?" I asked. Her tail was fluffed up and she looked a little dazed. I assumed she was got out of the back door while Yorkie was out having a cig and tried to pick her up. She was having none of it and shot off into the garage under mumand johns cars. I opened the door into the house and called her, she shot in. Yorkie appeared and said "Was that muppet?" Yeah, I replied. Had she got out the back? Yorkie just laughed. He'd been in the living room and saw a small white and black blur drop past the back window "like a cartoon or movie where they throw a dummy out of the window, all arms and legs".

What had happened was she had climbed out of mum's bedroom window onto the steeply slanted plastic roof of the sunlounge, which is very slippy,and has no where for little paws or claws to get a grip. And she's slipped down it, and off the end. A good 10 foot drop onto the lawn at the back!

Stupid animal! She was un-hurt though. Just a little shaken up and embarased! Hee hee hee!

John set off early to visit one of his daughters, and mum made me and Yorkie one of her breakfasts..... they will go down as legend! Cereal, fruit & yogurt, a full english mixed grill with hash browns and beans, toast and jam, coissonts and honey, fruit juice, coffee.... we were full before we were half way through and yet she still brought more and more food! Two hours later she was trying to feed us lunch too! AND YORKIE SAID YES! So she was bringing him tuna sandwiches too..... Talk about bloated!

Before we had time to get dressed and were still padding around the house in our PJs old family friend Tony turned up with yet more gifts. It's the first time I've seen him in about 10 years so it was nice to have a good long catch up before he had to get back to his family, and then it was time for us to make a move too. Mum begged us to call back in on our way home after Christmas and we said we would.

So the car was packed again, the cat was shoved back in her box (which she was unhappy about as she had been sleeping happily on my mum's lap), and off we went. The roads were unbelivably clear of traffic and we made it to Yorkie's family home alomst 2 hours earlier than we thought. Jenny was out, but Bob was in and the three of us settled in for the night with plenty of booze and chocs and computer games.

However, since we were there last Tony had moved out into a place of his own closer to work and Jenny has had most of the house ripped out so that she can have it all done up again. It's not finished. In fact, there was no central heating, no fire in the front room, and was generally bloody cold! She has all new double glazing put in, but no window ledges so the heat is creeping out through the brick work, and the old is creeping in! BRRR!

At night me and yorkie were not only in our PJs, but also bath robes, under ware and slipper-socks! Under 3 blankets and the cat, and were STILL cold! Still, it was very sweet clinging to each other all night to try to keep warm!

Christmas day and Yorkie cooked up a brilliant christmas day breakfast, as seems to be tradition. Jenny was still out having spent the night at her bf house (I assume) but me Yorkie and Bob had a feast of bacon, eggs, sausage, beans and mushrooms, closely followed by many many cups of hot coffee and choc biskets. Jenny arrived shortly after breakfast and we opened a couple of gifts each before being bundled into Jenny's car and off for Christmas Dinner at a very nice country pub.

Loads of us tuned of for dinner! Me and Yorkie, Rachel & Garry and their kids Chris & Nick, Jenny, Bob, Katie, Dave, Tony, Dave's sister dawn and mother Eddy, Daves kids Richards and Clare, Joy and some people I don't think I even got chance to meet! The meal was HUGE! Two starters each, then the main meal of turkey or beef, and then pud, and then coffee chocs and mince pies, and more drink than we knew what to do with. At the end of the meal we were presented wih gifts from the pub! Whisky for the guys, chocs for the girls, and hot chocolate sets complete with mugs and marshmallows for the kiddies. Yorkie ended up with 2 and a half dinners (which I think is why he and Bob were at different ends of the table, as they tend to sweep up what ever's not been eaten by every one else).

After the meal we went back to Katie and Daves where we opened gifts and sat round drinking, eating and talking. Garry, Rachel and the kids had gone back to their own house as they nippers were shattered. Chris had been ill on xmas eve, but just about everyone joined us there.

Christmas day with Katie is great! Apart from "Who's In The Bag" which I hate with a passion, but like sprouts, it's aprt of Christmas which cannot be avoided! It wouldn't be so bad if I actually had ANY general knowlege when it comes to famous people, but I don't. My history sucks and I hve no intrest in ploitics or celebraties. This means I am CRAP at this game! But we did also play Baulderdash, which I have never plaied before, and while I came joint last with Katie I did actually really enjoy it!

As - what seems to be - usual Dave fell asleep part way through the games. This would seem to be a family tradition as his sister also fell asleep on the kitchen floor! Much to the amousement of the rest of us (well, most of the rest of us).

I have to say that much of the day was a blur to me as I got merrily trollied as is the norm for such occasions, but I do know that we had a lot of fun. Jenny drove us home at about 2am, only to find that her head lamps didn't work on her car.... it was full beam or no beam on the drive home, and it had stared to snow as the evening had gone on. (Does that could as a white christmas?) So that was fun! Plus the boys had started farting for Britain! Blame thr sprouts!

Boxing day was a nice lazy day. I think I slept through most of it! We called round to see Rachel and Garry and the kids for tea, and were fed huge amounts of sausage and parsnips with onion gravy and yorkishire puddings (You even get yorkshire puddings with your christmas turkey on that side of the hills - yuck, ethnic food!). I got some great shots of Bob and Yorkie playing with the boys toys, and of Yorkie feeding Chris his dinner. Rachel and the kids had been to see a panto and the lads where shattered when they got back in, playing with their light up wands and wirly gig things they had been bought while they were out. We got loves and hugs and kisses off them both before Nikkie desided he was tired and wanted to go to bed (but not before leaping on me totally nacked and demanding to be raspberried!), Chris went up about an hour after and as poor Rachel looked fit to drop too we left.

There was a moment there that I thought we might have called in to see Yorkie's dad. I still haven't met him, and Yorkie had been mussing over calling in on him. But at the last moment desided not too. His reason was "It's be unfair to drop in without a gift when he's bought us stuff the last few years" but I know the real reason is he just didn't want to. I don't know if he's still mad, or if he's nervous or what. But I'm sure he'll come round to the idea one day. Even if it is years down the line. I just want to meet my futur father-in-law, after all, he's going to be a genetic link to my kids, and I'd just like to meet him. We don't have to spend vast amounts of time with him or anything.....

The day after boxing day and the snow came. Thick and heavy and hard! I really thought we wouldn't be able to get away to Leeds to see my dad, but it did eventually clear up just enough to get on the road - and then it started again! Typical isn't it! But the roads were clear enought to get going so we carried on. It took a little longer than we expected, but we still made it in planty of time.

Dad was his usual over the top self and insisted on shouting conversations with us rather than talk, and had us unwrapping gifts from him before we were throught the door with our stuff! He bought us some chocs which went down very well, and a pair of matching grey his n hers le cock sportif car coats..... ugly as sin, and not likely EVER to be worn after we tried them on for him. But I'll keep them in the car in case we're stuck in a blizzard some where, or in case we need to pretend we are chavs in order to escape certain death....

Muppet was not happy about being at my dads. The whole time were at mums she was happy, she loves being at jenny's, but at dad's she hid in our room and only came out to use her litter tray and eat. We tried to coax her into the living room for some snuggles and play time, but she wasn't having it (mum asked if maybe she could feel the atmospher wasn't good, and she might be right on that one). It was another MASSIVE feed at tea time, with pork AND beef for tea with all the veggies and vast amounts of wine again. The we settled in to watch some DVDs and chomp on some chocs.

We left a little after lunch the next day - and lunch was another monster feed with every kind of food imaginable. I've given up trying to list it all, it's obsene! And got to mums about mid afternoon. John was out at work still, so mum made my and Yorkie a "small" meal of sausage and chips. 10 sausages! BIG ones! I swear our families think we don't eat the rest of the year! Even Yorkie couldn't finish off all the food, and turned down the last two sausies, and couldn't even eat the last six chips in the dish! When john arrived he and mum and their tea, and then tried to force feed us some more. I got away with saying no as I have been trying to diet, but Yorkie got no peace! Please eat this, try some of that, can I get you a something else.... and so on. The poor boy had the worst gut ache in the world by the time we got to bed last night. We desided to take mum up on her offer a a night at her house last night. I was so shattered from the driving over the holiday that I doubt we would have got home safely if we had carried on much longer.

We left mums before mid day today, after another huge breakfast - we talked her into JUST the mixed grill and toast and honey this time, two courses is enough for ANYONE at this stage of the holidays, and stumbled home. We have no food in, but we don't care! We've had some soup, and even after half a bowl I'm suffering with a full tum! I read to think how much weight I've gained over the last week, although I am impressed that I can still fit into the same size 12 jeans I was wearing at the start of the holidays. There's still a ton of chocs to get through - and don't get me wrong, I WILL be getting through them before the diet starts again one week from Saturday. We have another big meal looming in the form of our New Year's night out, and then that's it. No more food! Until next year!


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Recipe: Pigsty Pie

This is one that we made up, although we are far from the first or only people to make a pie using pork or pork mince and call it a Pigsty Pie. So let's just say that this is our version of it. It smells great and reminds me of stuffing at Christmas, making it feel much more "naughty" than it is! This serves four people and it a nice 9 points per serving. You will need these for the mash: 400g potatoes 400g sweet potatoes 4-5 good sized carrots Salt Pepper Nutmeg Simply chop the roots, boil in salted water until tender, and mash! Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. The pie filling: 10 sprays low fat cooking spray (e.g. 1 cal) 1/2 lb lean pork mince 2 onions, finely chopped 3 apples, diced 1 leek, chopped 5-6 big mushrooms 2 tbs plain flour 1 tsp sage 1 tsp parsley Salt Pepper 1 vegetable stock cube 1/2 hot water 2 tsp English mustard Fry the onions in the cooking spray until they start to soften, add the mince. Once the meat starts to colour add the apple, leek and mush