The Christmas break was good. For once, I had managed to book my ticket early enough that it was significantly cheaper to go 1st class than I was expecting it to be to standard class, so I treated myself (although it was actually a Rail Replacement bus after about half way!).
Christmas Day was spent at home with 8 of us round the table and was very nice. Lots of silly games and quizzes, as well as much enjoyment of giving and unwrapping.
Boxing Day was at Nan's house for tea with 12 adults and 2 tinies. Here's Nan with her most recent (5th) great-grandchild. She's 81 in this pic, but she turned 82 last week. Jonathan is 4 months here.
I then spent a few days at home before travelling 250 miles north to the Lake District for the New Year.
As last year, we did something of a whistle-stop tour, taking in Kendal, Threlkeld, Keswick, Derwentwater, Coniston and Ambleside, before dropping in to visit Michael's mum's Godmother in Grange-over-Sands on the way back home. All apart from Threlkeld were in YHA hostels and were all excellent. If you haven't stayed in one for a long time or haven't ever, then I would recommend them.
- Seeing a real, live, wild Red Squirrel on the birdfeeder outside while having breakfast at Derwentwater YHA.
(No, I didn't take the picture - it came from Wikipedia).
- Feeding crackers to several quite brave chaffinches before our walk on Jan 2nd. They came within 5 feet of us, but then would realise it and scoot off. They did come back though.
- Getting to the top of Latrigg on Jan 1st and managing to see the views of Keswick just before the mists came down.
Lowlights (is that a word?):
- Not managing to take any decent pictures from the top of Latrigg before the mists came down:
- Sliding a short distance down Latrigg on my behind in the mud.
- Realising (as we were getting off the once-an-hour train from Kendal to Oxenholme) that we had left a bag of walking boots on the back seat of the car when we dropped it back at the hire-car place. We then had to wait 20 minutes or so for the train to go back, walk back to the car place, collect the bag and then sit back on the station platform in the pouring rain for the train to come back and once again get to Oxenholme. Thankfully, the tickets we had for the rest of the journey were still valid and we actually travelled on a nicer train (albeit probably a lot more crowded!).
In other news:
My 24th birthday was 9th Jan, which I celebrated with a lovely meal out with Michael and my brother, Tim. We went to the Punch Bowl on Stonegate (not to be confused with the Wetherspoon's on Blossom St, also called the Punch Bowl!), which is a really lovely pub/restaurant. Not too pricey with decent-sized, delicious, quite simple meals. We then came home via the Three-legged Mare (aka Wonky Donkey) where we got ID'd. Harumph.
Since then, not a lot has happened, although on Friday I did have my first sick day off from work/school in nearly 8 years. I managed half an hour, before concluding that I really wasn't well and came home again, suffering toothache and severe nausea. I spent most of Friday in bed feeling sorry for myself (Michael came over to my house and looked after me, which was nice). By Friday night, I was still in a lot of pain, so Michael suggested I call NHS Direct to find a dentist who was open on Saturdays. They were very helpful and this morning I had an appointment with a very nice dentist (yes, really!) who told me I had an infection under my gum where my wisdom tooth is coming through, so I'm now on amoxycillin 3 times a day for the next few days.
Work at the hospital continues. I screwed up on the closing date for a job I really wanted, but at least I now have a good personal statement prepared and have updated my CV, so when I find something else it won't take as long to fill in the forms.
I think that's all for now. Once again, I'll try to be more prompt with my next update!