January 05, 2011
Well, hello again, and a very Happy New Year to you!
I am catching my breath, sorting the laundry and inching myself back into normal life after the whirlwind that was the Christmas holidays.
Christmas was a very happy, noisy celebration at my inlaws, with most of the extended family. A lot of love and delicious food and gladness, on my part, that I married into such a lovely tribe!
New Year was with some very dear friends, in Norway.
They are another family of six, with kids the same age as ours, and our Max is lucky enough to have Wenche, one of my most beloved friends, as his Godmother. She looks like a Nordic goddess but is actually a firearms trained policewoman, awesome skier and can do over 400 keepy-uppys with a football!! Oh, and bakes bread and makes jam to die for. Needless to say Max is impressed with our choice of Godmother for him!
Their home in the south of the country is idyllic, a white clapperboard house, with the sea at the bottom of the garden. I learn't my love of cosy partly from this woman, who is without doubt the queen of cosy. Every surface has lit candles, flowers, and decorative touches that make you so glad it is cold outside and Wenche has been baking!! Come and have a look around...
It totally avoids being twee by lots of stunning contemporary paintings on the walls and the use of industrial style materials like zinc, iron and roughly hewn wood. And of course, the Skandis have a special skill in making white seem warm rather than clinical,
We spent a few days with them in the mountains further north, at a gorgeous and very luxurious cabin belonging to Wenche's parents. There was plenty of room for the twelve of us and the roaring fire at the end of a day's skiing was perfect. I hadn't skied for 18 years, it wasn't pretty but it was a lot of fun!
New Year was seen in with a feast for eighteen of us, including twelve kids and teenagers, and fireworks in the snow at midnight. Norwegian after-dinner games are hilarious, and kept us all entertained until the small hours. Happy times.
Our return home, to a house with a broken boiler, no heating or hot water was less amusing but we made copious pots of tea, (always the first course of action for a Brit in a 'situation'), threw duvets around us, lit a huge fire and, as any sensible family would do in the circumstances, hunkered down and watched The Italian Job on the TV! It looked lovely and warm in Italy in 1969...
Anyway we are all sorted now, and I am seeing the kids off to school, one by one, and wondering what lies ahead in 2011. My head is still not clear or focussed, seeming slow to pull out of holiday mode!
I hope your holidays were good and 2011 will be choc-full of happiness for you.