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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:44pm on 27/12/2011 under , , ,
Jane and I wanted to do something different than just going to her parents' place for Christmas day this year. We talked to each other's parents and offered to have them all at our house for lunch/dinner/some other mutually acceptable combination of food & drink. We thought it would be a suitable introduction to preparing a Christmas meal and hosting. Cooking for six - not too different to what I'm used to, and at home.

Well... this changed fairly soon. This changed in almost every imaginable way.

Jane's mum wanted to do it at her place, partly out of a feeling of being bound to do dinner for some family friends (they've alternated at each other's place for the last 5yrs or so), and partly because I think she likes having it there.

Then, as well as the six of us, there are the five family friends that Jane's mum felt honour bound to invite. So now instead of a nice cosy meal for a manageable number in a familiar kitchen, we're doing dinner for eleven in an unfamiliar kitchen.


Doing it there is not a bad thing, not at all. Our house is small, only a 2-up, 2-down but we could have fitted six in easily. We agreed to do it on one condition: Jane's dad promised that he would feed her mum sherry and keep her out of the kitchen.

Jane's parents offered to buy the turkey (a crown), and the wine. We would do the rest. Then at some point, they gave us £50-worth of Morrison's saving stamps. We got occasional phone calls from her mum telling us not to buy X, Y or Z as she'd got it, and then she went and won a 2-minute trolley dash around a local supermarket!

We made plans, lists, and bought stuff. In the end, we really only bought veg, and stuff for puddings. Everything else was provided for us.

Overall the food all went really well. We arrived at their place on Christmas Eve, and immediately set about preparing veg, making puddings (all cold), cranberry goop, and soup (easy to prepare in advance). Apart from a silly mistake about plain/self-raising flour (seriously: don't make a pie-crust with self-raising flour, it's just wrong) it all went to plan. No emergencies, no disasters.

My parents arrived at their hotel in Oswestry and threw our plans a little bit, asking if they could come to Jane's parents rather than going for coffee/drinks in Oswestry as we'd planned. Despite her mum flapping like crazy about the state of the house, a good night was had. Wine, carol singing and amazing ham (really need Jane's mum to write down what she did to it).

Christmas day came around, we had little to do now except actually cook! I'd planned out timings in my head and knew what needed to be done and when. We were calm, and bar occasionally needing to ask Jane's mum where X, Y or Z was, or how best to use the hostess trolley (things I'm unfamiliar with), and the gravy at the end, it was done on our own. Jane was ace, she claims to have just been a helper but in reality it would never have been done had she not been there.

I was pleased with the outcome. There were a few bits here and there that I would do differently were we to do it again. I would take the turkey out a little earlier (Jane's mum was a little over-cautious about this in my view), I would cook the broccoli a lot less and I would do one fewer pudding (in retrospect, 4 was too many. Even if 2 of those were fruit-based and therefore not really "pudding"!).

We got lots of compliments and fun was had. Hurrah.

I'd do it again, but I would do it at home and I would want to be responsible for buying everything. Using someone else's kitchen, someone else's equipment and not knowing exactly what you've got is more stressful than you might expect.
location: LL11
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
Music:: BBC News on BBC HD
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day 1 - your current relationship; if single discuss how single life is.

I am and have been for ~7yrs (more?) now in a relationship with [personal profile] pipsytip. For the past 4yrs we have lived together, moving in with one another in a lovely house in Chester, and have now moved to an almost identical house in Wrexham - just not one on a main road any more :)

Life is generally good, she drives me mental occasionally and I'm sure I do the same. We both have similar tastes in many things and when we don't, neither of us mind doing our own thing.

As neither of us know many people locally we do spend a lot of time in "our own company". Going on what I know of our other friends, this seems to be fairly normal.

She's still waiting for me to ask her to marry her, I'm still waiting for her to ask me :-)

30 days, 30 posts )
Mood:: 'drunk' drunk
Music:: Lunch Monkeys (ugh) on BBC3
location: LL11
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 06:06pm on 31/01/2009 under ,

Jane got a picture from her colleagues when she left Cheshire Council, of Daleks on the walls. It was just the pic, not framed or anything so I've been trying to persuade her to get it framed since then.

Seeing as it'd been at least a year I gave in and took it to get framed before Christmas. It was only last weekend that I got a call from them to say it was done! Looks like there's only a couple of framers in Chester and they're both hideously busy.

Here is Jane with the pic in question. The frame and mounting has been done nicely, I'm very pleased with it other than it took so long.

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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 12:02pm on 07/12/2008 under , ,
Jane and I went to the Trafford Centre last weekend. We arrived at about 11am on a Sunday, thinking things would be open and it would be quiet. Pah, I say to shopping centres in which the stores open at midday. We were remarkably close to the doors though, I've never been able to park that close.

This weekend we went to Manchester itself, taking the car to Broadlands and park & riding into town on the tram. If we'd have known Manchester United were playing we probably wouldn't have gone, or at least would have attempted to be out early. As it was, we arrived at about 1030 and got the tram out at about 1730, long day shopping. Admittedly we did stop for coffee twice and lunch at Wagamamas (with free pudding!!). Yum.

I think we've now got everything for everybody that we wanted to get. Checking my Remember the Milk lists I'm not sure about some of them, but Jane's the chief buyer here.

From now on things get a little busy. This coming weekend we're down in London. We're leaving as early as we can and staying at my parents' on Friday night, then off to Michelle's birthday bash on Saturday. Not sure what Sunday shall bring, as it all depends how Saturday night works out! The weekend after is free, then it's Christmas. We're then driving up to Elgin, starting on Boxing Day and staying over in a (really) cheap Travelodge room in Livingstone before continuing up on the 27th. I've got to be back at work for Friday the 2nd (grrrr - what's the point, I say?) so we'll be driving back down on the 1st. It's such a waste of a weekend really, as nothing's going to happen on that Friday anyhow.
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:05pm on 21/09/2008 under , ,
We've not done a huge amount, though I achieved lots this morning while Jane was in bed feeling icky and gross. I watched Finding Nemo first - you gotta have your priorities right! Then sorted out the mass of paperwork that was threatening to overtake the dining room table, washed up and cleaned the kitchen. Threw out some things which should have been thrown out ages back and put things in places they really shouldn't be but you know how it goes :)

This evening I have sorted out some money things, and made the decision to call Lloyds TSB (who are my current credit card provider) at some point during the week and ask them very nicely to reduce the interest rate on my card or I will switch the balance to another provider. The balance is high enough to be a significant loss of income for them (*cough*).

Yesterday was the bed shop encounter of course. Personally I'd like to go for either one of the Silentnight ones we saw in Bensons which were quite expensive or the divan+posturepedic mattress+posh headboard from "Discount Bed Warehouse" round the corner, but then again the frame in the other cheapybedwarehouse round the corner from both of those was nice but the salesman was a bit disinterested. Mmmm the Silentnight one was nice! I never realised how much of a variety there was in buying beds - it's mindboggling. The first decision (which nobody seems to understand why we don't know what we want) is divan or frame+mattress. I dunno? We're guessing at divans. Then the type of mattress - pocketsprings, foams, memoryfoams, non-pocketsprings, combinations of the above. Eh? I dunno!

I made Jane squee earlier by finding the interview with Milo Ventimiglio on the BBC Radio 1 Chris Moyles show :)

Oh, and I love the Nokia N73 + CoPilot. I'm not convinced the software is as good as the knockoff TomTom stuff I got but it's actually a lot more convenient. I was getting really miffed at not being able to text on the go - you got any idea how difficult it is to type using a tiny touchscreen keyboard while walking? Also - a phone I can use as a phone is like wow! Whoohoo!
Mood:: 'relaxed' relaxed
Music:: Milo Ventimiglia Interview with Chris Moyles - April 2008
location: CH3
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 12:05am on 24/08/2008 under ,
It started at about 5:15 when I got up to go to the loo, and I found the cat waiting outside the bathroom door meowing loudly at me, demanding food - NOW damnit. I followed said cat downstairs and hefted it out the door. Now when I say hefted, you have to understand that this cat is a pudding shaped lump and requires hefting if you want it to go outside and it doesn't want to.

Sleep was mercifully quick to happen again.

Then I heard Jane's parents return at well, I don't really know when but it has to have been about 8am. There was lots of noise which I ignored until eventually waking about 9:30. How her mum can be so darned cheery after a godknowshowlong flight from the other side of the world is beyond me. Today has been filled with stories, presents, money, and various cool things.

Then there was the Carphone Warehouse saga which has been detailed already.

Then tea, which I volunteered to cook - it's a small thing to do. The lasagne was yummy :)

Oh I can't be arsed to go on any further but it's been longlonglong.
Music:: Outnumbered - BBC iPlayer
Mood:: 'awake' awake
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:21pm on 17/08/2008 under , ,
Was up before 9 today making croissants and tea for me and Jane. She spent a good portion of the afternoon in bed with a migraine and I tried to watch Dune but failed.

Been making lists of things to do for holiday... it's quite a long list!
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:42pm on 28/07/2008 under , ,
Ahhhhahh! A little experimenting shows that actually, a USB wireless keyboard works perfectly on the Wii, so now I can update properly again! YAY!

This has been a good day again. I enjoy this new (albeit temporary) position at work - it gives me the time I want, the freedom I want and more to think about - more to actually do than regurgitate the same old thing over and over. OK there is some repetition but it's nowhere near the same level as before. I am once again happy at work!

Jane has been suffering from migraines, headaches, sore head things for a while now and we're in the process of investigating why and what may cause them. She desperately wants it to NOT be red wine - I suspect it may be a contributory factor myself. Other options are simpler - but harder to rule out. Stress, tiredness, eye problems, bad lighting, random pressure fluctuations, the phase of the moon! We'll see what comes.

We're off on holiday in just over a month's time. It's coming very quickly and I really don't think either of us know what we're in for. I truly don't. We've been buying what we hope are clothes suitable for a tropical environment and trying to find out what things there are to do in Brunei, but it's quite hard to find much info around! Personally, I think we'll just wing most of it.
Music:: The passing storm
Mood:: 'happy' happy
location: CH3
pmsumner: (webcam bored)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:03pm on 12/03/2008 under , , ,
What shall I be doing with this time off? Well I shall be taking the car to Manor Garage tomorrow morning to at last get my speedo fixed. It's not been working properly now for about a month, and I just don't ever have the time to sort it out! I have the part that I think I need, but don't know what they're going to charge to fix it. Hopefully it won't be as much as I'm expecting - expecting up to about £150.

Watching Sherrybaby. Loving it. Thought the music was done by the same person that did Secretary but IMDb disagrees. Maggie Gyllenhaal - how can you not love her? She's gorgeous. Not at all the type of girl I normally think is deliciously lovely but still. I think it's all down to Secretary. Anyone who looks that good with their arms in spreader bars and cuffs can't go wrong in my book.

Tonight I have beer, and tomorrow that isn't spent at the garage and crying over my credit card, shall be spent organising and tidying and cleaning in general. I am constantly amazed at how much cleaning this small house needs.

Now Sherrybaby's done, I'm wondering if I can get away with watching Bab5 S4 without Jane finding out! She might just kill me if I start.

Jane's at OMTC Committee meeting tonight. It's nice to be alone every now and then. Rehearsal on Monday was uhhm, interesting, as we were missing a lot of people - the 3 main principals (Lucy, Emma, Jekyll) and Spider. We did have a wonderful Jekyll stand-in - Mark's stepson, who has just been accepted to Guildhall School of Music and Drama, lucky thing. And he has a wonderful voice!

Awwww she's so sweet, Maggie. Watching interview with her (DVD extra) and she's just got it, the character, so well.

What else is on our list of DVDs that hasn't been opened yet then? :)
Mood:: 'hopeful' hopeful
location: CH3
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 12:48am on 17/02/2008 under , ,
location: CH3
Mood:: 'excited' excited
Music:: The Rage: Carrie 2