Click HERE to see photos from past Christmases
Fed up with our traditional female angel, I made this "alternative one" using a hunky charity shop doll, some tartan from Edinburgh, a safety pin, some feathered wings from a card, and a black balloon for his vest.
OUR HOUSE stuffing
Every year, I make cornbread stuffing with cranberries, sausage, and pecans. The recipe can be found HERE.
My Christmas Goodies business continues to grow. I made this cake and all the marzipan fruits on top.
Christmas cake 2
This is another cake for a friend who prefers royal icing. Nick has to help with the icing, because I don't have the patience!
The chocolately yule log was this year's alternative to those who don't like fruit cake. I made the marzipan mushrooms based on (poisonous) ones we found on our mushroom hunting forrays.
Speaking of mushrooms, I was thrilled to be able to get Antonio Carluccio to autograph his book for Nick when I was in London in November. Gorbachev subtitled it "the quiet hunt" after receiving his own copy of a previous edition.
G Turkey.jpg
I got up at 5:00 to go and get our free range, organic turkey from the butcher.
Here's Simon, our friendly, award winning butcher.
Movies Snacks
On Christmas Eve, we watched our favourites (shown left) and ate popcorn and nachos.
N Roof.jpg
Nick cleans the roof, ready for Santa Claus.
G Santa
Santa gets ready.
Christmas breakfast included gingerbread muffins.
B Beach 2
Then we headed for Bournemouth beach. I wore my kilt.
B Beach
These beach huts sell for thousands!
Beach hut
But their owners know how to party.
N phone.jpg
Nick wishes his mother a Happy Christmas...
N Frisbee
...before losing the Frisbee in the waves.
B Gifts 2
Back home, we exchanged gifts
I got all of the Booker Prize nominated books (winner on top).
Monopoly board RS
I made Nick this personalised Monopoly game featuring places we've been. Click for larger view.
B 20 Questions
We both gave each other the hot new game of the season: 20Q.
N Mushrooms
Friends Dave and Gillie gave us stained glass porcini mushrooms.
B Sale
On December 27th, we got up at 4.00 a.m. to rush to the Next sale. We went back at 9.30 to go to John Lewis for more bargains.
LONDON, December 29 & 30

As soon as we arrived in London, we headed straight for the Tate Britain, where we saw a fascinating exhibition of works by Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Walter Sickert, London & Paris, 1870 - 1910. The entire exhibition is viewable on the Tate's website.
Tate Degas.jpg
L'Absinthe is one of Degas most celebrated works.

Tate Toulouse.jpg.
The Clowness Cha-U-Kao by Toulouse-Lautrec
I had not heard of Walter Sickert before, and when I got home, I found out that the painter is one of the prime suspects for having been Jack the Ripper. Patricia Cromwell has done a whole thesis on the subject.
Tate Turner 2.jpg
We also saw the Turner Prize winning Shedboatshedby Simon Starling.
Tate Turner.jpg
I preferred the playful work of Jim Lambie.
I liked the name of this Tavern.
G Snow
We took advantage of the snow slide outside the Tate Modern.
N Snow.jpg
Because of the weather, we were the only people there.
St Pauls
St. Paul's cathedral from the Millennium Bridge
 Cock shirts
This shirt was found in Covent Garden.
Rachel Whiteread's EMBANKMENT, at the Tate Modern
Whiteread 2
We had fun walking among the white cubes.
Sunday 2.jpg
Sunday in the Park With George
Cone art
We saw this modern Christmas decoration in Soho.
Sunday.jpg Daniel Evans.jpg
The main reason that we went to London was to see Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The highly acclaimed production used state of the art graphic images and starred Daniel Evans, who wore a great wig.

Five months later...we returned to London on June 3rd to see the new production of Broadway's hit musical, Avenue Q, which happened to be showing at a theatre right next door to the one where Sunday in the Park With George was now playing. While waiting outside the stage door of our theatre, who should emerge behind me, but the two lead actors from Sunday! I was thrilled to get a chance to speak to Daniel Evans personally and to get him to sign his autograph. In fact, I am probably the only person in the world to have an Avenue Q program signed by Daniel Evans!
Zt Daniel Evans.jpg
Getting Daniel Evans' autograph in June, 2006
Zu Daniel Evans.jpg zv Daniel Evans.jpg
Autograph DE
Daniel Evans' autograph on Avenue Q program
P Jenna.jpg
Jenna Russell had replaced Anna Jane Casey as Dot in the show, so we weren't familar with her work, but Daniel Evans said she is great. When I got home, I discovered that Jenna had sung the theme to Red Dwarf, as well as appearing in Guys and Dolls with Ewan McGregor
Q Jenna.jpg
Jenna Russell signs another fan's program.
London tree
In Trafalgar Square, holding Reece's Nutrageous bars and standing in front of the giant tree, an annual gift from the people of Norway.
London guitar
Nick got a new acoustic guitar for Christmas.

NY Both.jpg
We spent New Year's Eve at three of our local pubs. Our friends dressed in a pirate theme, so we quickly put together outfits.
NY Elephant.jpg
I don't know this man, but his hat is great!
NY Coke.jpg
Making Nigella Lawson's "Ham in Coca-Cola" for New Year's supper.
Naked Boys Singing 2.jpg
I think this is the cast of Broadway's Naked Boys Singing.

Back arrow
Back HOME to