Right, let's do this! After multiple delays, and a whole new layout, I am finally going to write up my Christmas. And this Christmas was particularly memorable, for reasons which will become apparent shortly.
First of all, I went to visit Steve and Heather in Bristol, along with James and Eppa and Linda and Tom and Nick. Plus babies! Bristol was baby central. Ok. Maybe two babies isn't quite 'baby central' but it was exciting to see two little folks getting to experience their first Christmas. Rene and Alex are so cute! I don't think either of them could grasp the full weight of their meeting for the first time, but the rest of us enjoyed it. Here's to the start of a beautiful friendship.
Steve and Heather were excellent hosts and fed us well, as always. The star of the show, for me, was the chocolate cake that Heather apparently pulled out of thin air. It was really nice! HOW DO YOU DO THAT WITHOUT A RECIPE HOW.
The next day, we went on a walk to your friendly neighbourhood crematorium. Here it is:
So happy! Look at it! "Feed me your bodies <3"
After that, I was back home for a day and then went off to visit my parents. I arrived at my parents house on Christmas Eve Eve (also known as 23 December). It was proper exciting, because the next day we went and picked up this little beauty:
Hello! Isn't she gorgeous? I apologise now for all the blurry photos, but she doesn't sit still for very long. Now, just in case you're wondering, my parents had been planning on getting a kitten since about September, and she just happened to be old enough to leave her Mum at Christmas. This isn't a last-minute, crazy Christmas gift; don't worry!
So. It wasn't all plain sailing. She came back on Christmas Eve and was so scared that she refused to come out of her travel basket. The next day (aka Christmas), we came downstairs to find that she'd left the basket overnight and was now nowhere to be found. After a couple of hours, we found her hiding on a bookshelf behind the sofa. All was well again. She came out and let us almost stroke her for a bit. She was playing! And then she dashed under a chair and we lost her again.
We looked high and low but couldn't find her. "She'll come out when she's ready," we said to ourselves, laughing nervously.
Two hours later, she hadn't appeared. Cue more searching but we still couldn't find her. "She'd miaow if she was stuck and unhappy," we said, sweating.
A few more hours passed. We'd started cooking the Christmas dinner and were reluctantly opening Christmas presents, with a present for the kitten sitting, forlornly unopened, beside us. And that's when we heard it: one, single, plaintive miaow, coming seemingly from nowhere and from everywhere all at once. "Come on!" we called. "Come out! Where are you?" We were treated to one more miaow. And then silence.
More searching ensued. And we still couldn't find her! Where the bloody hell had than miaow come from? Presents and Christmas dinner were put on hold. We searched some more. And about an hour or so later, with almost every piece of furniture moved, we found her. She'd gotten behind a bookcase that hadn't been moved in about five years and couldn't find her way back out again.
So, back into the travel basket went a poor shaking little kitten. I was left to feed and entertain her, while my parents quickly boarded up every little kitten-sized hole they could find.
We didn't have any other scary moments after that. (Some pooping on the furniture accidents, but those were more annoying than scary.) She never got lost again, but she still liked to hide a lot.
My parents have called her Heidi. It seemed appropriate. Here she is, hiding amongst my Dad's comic collection:
Thankfully she seemed to settle in and stop being scared of us pretty quickly. According to my parents, she doesn't hide at all now. Instead, she's really come to love company. Her two favourite things are sitting on laps (even if you're perching on the arm of a chair, or if you're sitting, bare-thighed, on the toilet) and playing with anything she can find.
Playing with the blanket in her basket.
Playing with the camera strap when I was trying to take a picture.
Her energy is almost unending. She'll be sitting happily on your lap one moment, then suddenly she'll decide it's time to play and she'll attack the first thing she sees, whether that's your hair or you toes or your elbows. (So many times I've been on the phone to my Mum, talking normally, when suddenly my Mum's all, "Ow! Owowow!" because Heidi has decided it's playtime.) At this point, the only thing you can do is to distract her with her many toys until she gets tired out. AND IT'S ADORABLE.
Here she is with my Mum:
She is so precious, OMG. And she grows so fast! She looks so small in these pictures already! Augh. I stayed with my parents for a week and a half over Christmas before I came back home. I've been back to visit once since. EVERY DAY WITHOUT HEIDI IS A DAY OF PAINNNNN. I MISS HER LITTLE FACE. I forced my Mum to get WhastApp, just so she could send me pictures.
And that is why this Christmas was not very Christmassy, but it was rather magical nonetheless. (Apart from the pooping on the sofa bit. Because, seriously, could you not have waited until my parents got back home, Heidi? I am cleaning up your poo and you're not even my cat, and you're so cute I can't even stay mad at you.)
In other Christmas news, let's do the present rundown.
First of all, I received a lovely selection of cards, including handmade cards from my parents and from Steve and Heather. Nick's card wasn't handmade, but it did have a knob drawn on it in biro, so that kinda counts. Steve and Heather's card had boobies drawn in it, also. MY FRIENDS GIVE THE LOVELIEST GIFTS.
Mariya's card didn't contain any drawings of naughty bits, but as the only cat card of the bunch, it won my heart. I need all the pictures of cats! Give me all of them!
Speaking of Mariya, she upped the kawaii game with her gifts. Look at that cute fish purse! And that oven glove has made mealtimes 10x more fabulous. The crazy Japanese candy kit is now sitting happily in my stomach. It was rather fun. If you're interested, you can see it in action in this handy YouTube video.
Presents from my parents included this nice kettle and toaster set. My old ones were old, and the toaster had started making worrying buzzing noises, so I'm really happy with these new guys.
Other kitchen presents include two (count them!) two frying pans, and a vegetable peeler that I have been pining after for years.
And the miscellaneous presents include Christmassy pants, a fold-away hairbrush, and a hair doughnut. I have tried using the hair doughnut once so far; it was moderately successful, but not successful enough for me to share the photos online! More practice needed.
I'm particularly interested to read "Boy", the first autobiographical book by Roald Dahl. I used to love Roald Dahl's stories as a child, and I imagine this one will include a lot of interesting information about the early-20th Century. It's at the top of my 'to read' pile.
And that's Christmas. Only a month and a half late. Not too bad. Now I'm off to go look at pictures of cats again. Laters.