Christmas Eve - My journey down was a mild headache rather than a nightmare. The only lines open on Southern rail were to Uckfield and East Grinstead (phew - that's the one I wanted). Unfortunately this meant that passengers for Gatwick, Brighton, Eastbourne and other coastal towns were all being sent to East Grinstead where they would then get onto coaches for the rest of their journey. This meant that the train was packed out, even with the extra coaches that had been added.
When we got to Oxted, our train was held there for about twenty minutes as East Grinstead was dangerously overcrowded. On our arrival it was still overcrowded and it took my dad about 20 minutes to locate me in the crowd. It might have been quicker if he'd bothered to tell me he had a new car as I had been looking out for his old one.
we decided to chow down on fish and chips rather than cook. Jolly good it was too. Afterwards we settled down to watch TV after putting up some decorations in the living room and hallway (my dad never does anything before I get there).
Christmas Day - after a delicious breakfast of poached smoked haddock with poached eggs, followed by toast and marmelade all washed down with fortified (whisky) coffee, it was time to watch a Carry On movie while we waited for my sister to collect us.
Lunch was the usual fare - turkey, pigs in blankets, roast spuds and parsnips, carrots, Brussels, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, sage & onion stuffing, chestnut stuffing and Tamsin's Extra Special Xmas Gravy (2013 variant) preceded by copious quantities of champers. My sister and brother in law were on Chablis, the rest of us were on Chateau Neuf de Pape "Croix de Pape" which I'd bought - very nice indeed.
Xmas pud with brandy butter was followed by the Her Majesty then it was a delicious fruit salad. We then relaxed for an hour whilst waiting for the cab home. I did take the opportunity to check in on the Challenge at this point and was pleased to see my Swiss halberdiers were up and receiving lovely comments.
Dr Who was, inevitably, watched in the evening. Although the visuals were as always great, I was rather disappointed with the story, much as I was with Day of the Doctor.
Oh, yes, my pressies:
Talisker from my dad, Dove travel smellies from my sister
Boxing Day - after a lie in, late breakfast was a fry up. We mostly watched TV during the day whilst snacking on crisps with dips and drinking bucks fizz. We had a lovely roast gammon joint in the evening followed by some rather scrummy crusted port (we were forced to strain and decant it as the cork had crumbled in the neck of the bottle).
Today - as my sister had phoned to say that the station at East Grinstead was chaos again, we decided that the best plan of action was for me to get my return train from Lingfield to avoid the crowds. Smart move - the train was relatively empty and I got home in good time.
Since getting home I have spent several hours catching up on blogs and TMP. I've also made a start on my next 15mm painting project for the Challenge. I'll be doing this alongside the Berserkers. Or the other way round, depending on how I feel.
Quick pic of my painting bench:
You can probably work out what the 15mm figures are.