First of all, I wish you all a happy new year - full of health, wealth and happiness. I hope your Christmases were good too. My break was lovely with the boys and their wives plus a friend coming over for Christmas dinner. I didn't make turkey but cooked a sublime filet of beef - which was more thanks to the quality of the beef than anything I did to it - but it really was good. Because I love my kids I also tried to make yorkshire puddings but while they were better than usual they were still a bit soggy to my liking. Oh, well, keep on trying I guess. We exchanged presents, played a few silly games and then just had a really nice time chatting and being together for a few hours. Now that's my idea of a lovely Christmas. I actually also finally showed them my blog so if they want to take a look at it they can. After everyone left I plonked my unwashed self down on the sofa and read for the next seven days as while I had all kinds of wonderful plans for the rest of the week in the end it was just too, too inviting to do bugger all. I kinda looked like Phyllis Diller by the end of the week (how's that for showing my age)!
After that, no plans for New Year's although I did stay up until 1 a.m. French time to watch the fireworks in London and Edinburgh. Lovely, but I'm also glad it's all over too. I think it's all the celebrating/partying you do during the month of December with friends and colleagues and so on that wears me out so like many people I am glad to get back to a routine and slow down, even if it does mean back to work!
On New Year's day I actually decided to go through all my "favourites" from my blog lists and can you believe it took me over two hours to delete those I was no longer reading (shows you how many I had been following doesn't it)! I found that my favourites list was just so long that I was getting swamped so I went through all of them and just kept hitting delete if I couldn't remember why I was reading them in the first place! It's not that I don't like those blogs any more but sometimes the blog changes and no longer suits, other times my centres of interest have changed and so on, and then of course there are some bloggers who just seemed to have disappeared - I hope they are ok. Sonya Ann over at A Mom, Money and More you are sorely missed my dear. I hope all is well. I also like a blogger who has now disappeared and who had the absolute goofiest style that I loved. Hyperbole and a Half disappeared quite some time ago but I kept her on my favourites as she was such a character. I think, if I remember correctly, she sometimes talked about her struggle with depression so, again, I hope she is ok. On the positive side, by jumping through some of my remaining "favourites" and seeing which blogs they are following, I have discovered some lovely new ones. Since I enjoy stories about Britain during WWII I am really enjoying Carolyn's blog over at "The 1940s Experiment". Not only does she have some fascinating (to me) insights into the 1940s period but she has very bravely been using the wartime "rations" diet to try to lose a substantial amount of weight. It has come off and gone back on again but she is still heading in the right direction and is a real trooper!
Browsing through other people's blogs has also, on occasion, led to their book recommendations and as I am an avid reader I am looking forward to trying out some of these books! Win-win, I guess!
Oh, and talking of other people's blogs, I would like to thank Anne over at New Happenings for organizing the "international bloggers Christmas card swap" and also Jane in Ontario (Crabapple Landing), Kylie in Australia (I'll have to check back for her blog name - but it was really weird for this blogger to get a Christmas card with Santa in a cozzie carrying a surf board!) and Sue in California (not sure if she has a blog) for their lovely cards.
Anyway, this morning it was back to work for me in the pouring rain. It wasn't cold (about +5° I think) but the rain was belting down and the wind was howling, but again the wind wasn't cold and the traffic was fabulous as the kids haven't gone back to school yet. Just as I was about to walk through the turnstyle to get into work I spotted a rather large sticker that had been stuck to the ground outside which said "Bollocks to Brexit"! Since my company is very involved in things such as Brexit I guess there can be no doubt about the phantom sticker-hound's feelings can there? Short and to the point!
On a slightly different note I was reading in the UK press this week that a "man" (if you can call him that) has just pleaded guilty to murdering his wife with a claw hammer. This "man", as it turns out, had served prison time for murdering his first wife, had then murdered his second companion, and since he was now out of jail he had the opportunity to murder this poor lady! Dear God alive, how many chances do these people get! It seems to me there is something very, very wrong with the British justice system that this piece of scum has been able to kill three women. I don't often envy the way the US does things because I think we are very, very different culturally but just for once I wish this bastard had come up against the US justice system rather than ours.
And then this week we had the announcement of the next bunch of "stars" who will be appearing in the latest Celebrity Big Brother. Frankly calling most of them "celebrities" makes my brain explode. I think this time around "in honour of women" all the "celebrities" will be women, although I'm not totally sure of that. Most seem to be reality show trash and one who was hinted at as a possible contestant was someone who "had almost shagged a (total dumb ass) British footballer"! Some claim to fame eh! Now I admit I have never watched this crap, although I tried really, really hard for about 10 minutes once but I could feel my brain frying so turned it off. The other big joke was that a "rumoured Kim Kardashian confident" might be on it! Say what! What the hell has KK ever kept confidential. I give up. But one comment I saw in the British press said "from suffragettes to this lot. Where did it all go wrong? I couldn't have said it better myself!
And finally, because I can see how long-winded I am getting, I have to mention Mrs. Brown's Boys. For those that don't know, Mrs. Brown is supposedly an Irish widow with six stereotypically over-exaggerated kids. You know, a priest, a ne'er-do-well son who has been to prison, a "sensible" one, an "eternal spinster daughter" and Rory, the gay one. It is all over the top and there is quite a bit bad language but, while I feel it has gone downhill latterly because it just isn't possible to keep up that level of "funny", I still like it - for the time being anyway. The writer and actor who plays Mrs. Brown, is a man (Brendan O'Carroll), and when the actor who played the gay son, Rory, said he wanted out of the series Brendan had to come up with a way to re-write "Rory" as he was such a popular (if over the top and exaggeratedly camp) character. So they had "Rory" getting plastic surgery and coming back with a slightly changed face. Now the new actor does indeed look somewhat like Rory but I found him a bit stiff (nervous maybe) and waaaay too camp in the Christmas Day show. He was instantly slagged off by many in the press saying get rid of him, but I think, give the guy a chance and let him grow into this or a slightly different version of Rory. Anyway, I loved the original Rory because he was such a giggler and in the TV shows they left all the bloopers in. So here, for your greater pleasure, is "Mamie" explaining to Rory how "Dermott and Maria are going to Venice for the week-end". Enjoy!