After a round trip of 650 miles, I'm done with my seasonal visit to the South West having covered numerous addresses in Tedburn St Mary, Plymouth, Bodmin and Penzance over the past few days. Needless to say that while I enjoy catching up with family members that otherwise I'd not see, the whole trip was exhausting. We arrived home at eight-ish last night and once the car was unpacked, my blood sugar levels fell, I had nothing I needed to stay alert for and my brain shutdown.
Today I'm more alert and I even braved the supermarket this morning, in an absolutely necessary foraging trip for food. I knew things would be bad when I had to queue to get into the car park and then spent ten minutes stalking shoppers returning to their cars, so I could nab their parking space the instant they moved.
Inside the store, negotiating past the little automatic gates next to the fruit and veg was bad enough - after that it was an exercise in extreme patience and trolley control. I survived and there is now food in the house, so we're not going to starve in the near future.
This afternoon, Dave and I sorted out the tree. We tend to opt for putting up the tree and seasonal decorations a day or so before Christmas Eve and keep them up until 12th night. Admittedly, if we're horribly busy they might linger for a day or two after that, but that is always the intention. This contrasts with most of my family who put their tree and decorations up by the 1st December and will have them down the day after New Year. Me, I guess I like them up later so they're more special... And I always feel kind of sad when I take them back down.
My brother drove up from Ilford this afternoon to collect the presents for his family that I'd retrieved during my Tour d'South West. It's the first time he's ever visited and was relying on a friends TomTom to get here, which coped admirably even if he couldn't remember any landmarks he might have passed. Navigating via SatNav tends towards concentrating on what it tells you, rather than your surroundings I guess. It was really good to see him, even if the rest of the family couldn't make it due to pressing Christmas shopping (this I understand and sympathise with, Christmas is the season of eternal shopping). My sister-in-law's parents are staying with them this year and they're determined to give them the full family Christmas experience. My brother is in charge of Christmas dinner and says that he's really looking forward to it.
So that's me about done on the Christmas prep this year. All presents have been delivered and all that remains is to wait and see what people think. I'm hoping my knitting and sewing goes down well!
By way of a final reminder for all of those who worry about Father Christmas as he works his way around the world, don't forget you can track his progress via NORAD.