December has been a busy month for our household (as is usual in the run up to Christmas). We all went to Spa-wars which was a celebration of 40 years of Star Wars in Leamington spa and was very good, we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was the first Star Wars event that the organisers had put together and I hope that they do another one. My daughter went dressed as Captain Phasma and the Boy was in some Star Wars clothes though I was unable to go in my Darth Vader outfit as it’s still in storage. As I said we had a lovely time and we picked up some nice artwork for the house and saw some amazing droids that were all custom made. I quite fancy making one myself, there is a club and plans on the internet but apparently they can run to around £15K to build which is an awful lot, so I may have to start with a replica Dusty bin which I reckon may be a bit cheaper!!
Since The Boy's release from prison he’s had me chasing him all around the house, usually for the purpose of removing things from his mouth. I think he thinks he’s a shark and anything he gets his hands on he has to put in his mouth to taste. This includes cardboard, cat hair(plucked straight from the cat), fluff, hair, baby wipes, tissues and charging cables the lot goes in there and when you remove them or take them away from him it’s the end of the world, the tantrum he throws is world class, a true aural assault, ear splitting screams into the high decibels that must make the neighbours think I’m committing a murder every five minutes! I’m surprised the police haven’t turned up yet he is absolutely inconsolable for about a minute and then its over and on to the next taste test. The Boy also hates the word no and I mean literally hates it, as soon as you tell him no it brings on the tears and another world class tantrum, and we’ve been saying it a lot since the Christmas tree went up! It looked so nice when my wife first put it up and now it looks like its, well it looks like its been attacked by a toddler with most of the decorations randomly attached above the height of 2 feet and the beads and lights are hanging all over the place.
Whilst I’m on the subject Christmas I had what I thought at the time was a genius idea. My Daughter wanted to make some Christmas cards for her friends and teachers at school and I agreed to help her. She had some glitter glue and pens that she received in her monthly surprise box from Fred’s box and had been dying to use them. Now I knew that it was going to be a time consuming affair and so I had an idea of my own to speed things along. After doing my morning chores and wearing out the word no I spent the afternoon carving out some Christmas themed shapes for her to print onto some cards, the only problem being that by the time I had fed and watered The Boy at lunch time it was about 1 o'clock and I had to do the school run at 3. I knew it was going to be a bit tight but I was confident that I could get it done. I nearly did it but I was caught out by a snowflake (after all this is England and we always get caught out by snowflakes) which took an absolute age to carve, I couldn’t use my Dremel as the carving tool was too big and the design too fiddly. So after about an hour with a Stanley knife I had a beautifully hand carved snowflake ready for use. Now those among you will realise that I now
had an hour left to finish the remaining stamps and they were pretty simple designs, but as always time was not on my side and it was time for the school run, and then before I knew it dinner time was here then bed time for the Boy. After all that we had an hour to finish the carving and get the cards made, and so I made a decision and told my daughter that making cards for the whole class was not going to be possible (as in my role as super dad I had left all of this until the day before she broke up for the Christmas break). I said it was a genius idea, a bit last minute but still a genius idea! I said we could make four cards and we set about printing the four designs, a star, a candy cane, a bow and the infernal snowflake. Once that was done she went to work with the glitter and by the time she had finished it looked like someone had been exploding fairies all over the table, the floor and herself.
After putting the finished cards to one side to dry and prepare for bedtime I proceeded to gather up the fairies ashes (I thought I got them all but after breakfast the next day my wife asked why the Boy’s nether's and bottom were covered in glitter earning him the nickname “Glitterballs"). In the morning the cards weren’t dry as she had put so much glitter glue on them in great big piles like sparkly volcanoes, so in the end it was all for nothing and she ended up taking none to school (which was good as I had no envelopes for them anyway as I hadn’t had time to make any) but it wasn’t a complete loss as she now has four lovely handmade cards for her to give to family members. I have also learned a lot about what I need to do for the Easter cards we are going to make, I think that I should probably get carving now so that we can get started so we get them done in plenty of time!
I tried my new idea for mince pies this week. Usually we do crumble topped ones which are really good, but this year I fancied doing something a bit different and so I had another of my genius ideas (I have these from time to time and some are pure genius some not so much, like the sock wash fiasco when, fed up with the odd socks I hunted down every sock in the house and washed them all. We then spent 30 minutes sorting them out and still had a bag full of odd socks WTF). My idea was to have cookie topped mince pies which were absolutely delicious but a little fiddly to make as I didn’t have any ingredients to make cookie dough, but had a packet of ready mix cookies in the cupboard, but it was choc chip and I didn’t really want them in there so I sieved those out and made the mix up and topped the mince pies with it. It was fiddly and I realised that I should’ve chilled the cookie dough for a while as it got very sticky and hard to handle but I persevered and the result was some awesome mince pies. Next year I want to make my own mincemeat as I used a jar of Robertson’s this year and although very good I have a few ideas that I want to try.
I am thankful that this year I have been able to spend some good quality time with the family preparing for the festivities and this year I am less of a Grinch (as my daughter tells me).
Finally I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!