Ages since I posted anything, and in the intervening days I have had my pre-Christmas mid-week break, part of which was spent back on the south coast meeting up with friends for a meal and to exchange seasonal cards.
In reality it was a reunion of the owners of the long-closed independant Munnery's Wine Stores in Kemp Town, Brighton, where I worked on and off for about 11 years - them and other members of "staff". It's interesting that our friendship has continued beyond the closure of the shop, and we meet several times during the year, usually around a birthday or some such celebration. Our meal this time was taken at "The Badger's Watch" along the coast road at Peacehaven where there is a superb Carvery, and we dined well.
It's good to have these get-togethers, and there's lots of chat and memories shared. Driving down on the Sunday afternoon I get to stay over with two of the group until the Tuesday, so the journey, which is 166 each way, is not too strenuous. I know the route well by now, and once the Dartford Crossing is past (about 2 hours away from home) there's roughly another hour to go, and I often take a break at either "The Old Ship" or "The Cock Inn" just north of Lewes before the final sprint down into Newhaven.
On the return journey the break takes place at Ipswich and the Tesco store at Copdock. This gives me a chance to buy supplies for home, and the last hour's drive goes quickly.
Now the Christmas season has started in these parishes, and the first 3 Carol services took place yesterday. I was responsible for just one of those, which was the "Carols and Capers" service at Rumburgh that is organised by the local Morris team. I am simply the host giving the Welcome and Bidding Prayer, and then the Blessing at the close. It's the third year this has been running and it provides an unusual start to the Christmas sequence.
On the home front I've made some chocolate truffles, some stuffed dates, and the "pigs in blankets" are in the freezer. I'll start looking for a turkey crown tomorrow after my regular visit to the gym.
Christmas is a-coming in!