We were able to hold our Christmas Carol Singalong this year, as Hagos and Rick were both around. I think we last held it three years ago. It is basically anyone who can play an instrument (and I use the term 'play' in the very loosest of terms) accompanying the singers. So we have Hagos playing guitar and trumpet (he can actually play), I play piano, Lynsey plays flute and Pete plays guitar. Rick did play guitar and possibly a drum(?) last time but not this year. We also have jingle bells and shaky eggs etc for the kids to make a racket with.
It was a riot this year! Summed up in Freya's facial expression above. What a cacophony! But it was great fun.
Hagos and I drove to Dumfries on Christmas Day. My nephew and his fiancée had offered to host this year and they did a great job. It took me a while to adjust to my sister not hosting. For most of my life my parents hosted Christmas, until my sister took over just a couple of years before my mum died. Moving to my nephew's house meant adjusting to accommodate my niece-in-law-to-be's parents as well. It was great to see my great-nephew and great-nieces, and I think my dad really enjoyed it as well.
Christmas dinner was amazing, and Martin and Stacey had obviously gone to a lot of effort to make it lovely for everyone and they did a fantastic job. Everyone loved it.
We also had about four days' worth of SNOW!!! Oh, it was so great to get up in the morning before anyone else was about, and to walk to the top of the hill behind our house and SLEDGE down it. I had such fun. I managed four runs before being unable to climb back up the hill for a fifth go. The view is - just - breathtaking. I love it up there.
Covered in snow at the bottom of the run.
This was the final morning as the snow was beginning to melt. You can see the bottom of the Pentland Hills turning green in the distance.
My friend Janie and I try to meet once a year now that we live so far apart. We became friends when we both lived in Tufnell Park, London many years ago. It doesn't matter how long we spend together we just chat chat chat chat chat, from the second we meet until the second we part. We love meeting in York because it means we can go to Bette's tea rooms. This year we were mega excited to get a table in the window in the corner. Luxury! You can see 'Bette's' reflected in my Champagne glass.
I don't think anything could top last year's new year. BUT, we went to our friends Lyns and Pete's house and started a fairly standard game of Pictionary that ended in a RIOT! There were two teams of three, and one team of two; we all eventually ended up on the last square, where it's an All Play, and the team 'owning' the go wins if they win that All Play. Ownership of the go kept ping-ponging between the McMonkeys' team and Hagos and Pete's team. My team (with Lyns and Jay) didn't get ownership for ages. But when we finally did WE WON!!! At one point it was so tightly contested that an innocent recording I took was forensically examined to determine who had shouted 'nostril' first. I think we watched the clip about eight times.
I absolutely love this photo. It was one of those moments where I spotted the girls sitting in the window of Cocoa Black in Peebles (a sublime chocolate/coffee shop) and had the presence of mind to nip outside to take their photograph. 💚
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