December Round Up

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Wow. Where did December go? In fact, where did 2017 go for that matter! In just a few short days I’ll be writing my usual reflections on the year that has passed and I honestly can’t quite catch my breath, it’s whirled by at such a rate. But then I say that every year, don’t I?

Anyway, first I have December to catch you up on! We started the month as we meant to go on – with a party! We’ve been in our new home around 3 months now, but hadn’t had many of our friends round to see it, so we decided to throw a little housewarming on the 2nd. It wasn’t a fancy affair – just a casual ‘open house’ where people could drop in and have a drink with us to celebrate. It was lovely to finally get to show the place off and spend some time with our friends and family and a fantastic time was had by all (except Bonnie, who spent most of the night hiding behind the sofa. Well, until the pizzas came out, anyway….) In typical Steph fashion, I completely failed to capture any photos of the event, except for this one of me and my sister, which kinda shows how quickly things went downhill after all the grown ups left…!

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The week that followed was a week of quizzes, bizarrely (or not so bizarrely if you know me and how much I love a good quiz…!) The first was a networking event organised by a Recruitment firm, and, convinced it would be Christmas themed, my team and I excitedly spent the week revising random festive facts! I am now extremely well versed in all things Christmas – ask me anything! Reindeer names, where traditions originated from, how many gifts you’d get if you got all of those named in the 12 Days of Christmas song…! Special thanks has to go to Thorntons, whose advent calendar helpfully had lots of little facts inside each door! Sadly though, we were gutted to find only one of the rounds was actually Christmas themed, and we also discovered we are not as down with the kids as we thought we were when it comes to ‘popular music’! Oops…. We still came respectably placed in the middle of the bunch though, and we had a very fun afternoon, so all was not lost. A couple of days later we held a quiz at work so we did have an opportunity to put that newly gained Christmas knowledge to use! And this time it paid off because WE WON!! Admittedly, a lot of the points we scored were for ‘enthusiasm’ which involved singing as loud as we can, making reindeer antlers with our hands and Irish dancing, but points win prizes people, so it all counts. Actually, they didn’t win prizes this time as it was for charity, but still. Some people tried to tell me that enthusiasm points didn’t really count, but let’s face it – they were clearly just jealous!

The following weekend we were invited to join our friends at a Gin Festival at a local pub and, well, there was gin there so obviously I accepted! It was organised by the same people who ran the Rum Festival we attended back in June. We had a great time at that one, but found it a little chaotic so were a little worried this one might be the same, but we were blown away! We paid £25 each for the tickets, which included a welcome cocktail, a meal off one of the street food vendors (we chose an incredibly tasty paneer dish from a new Birmingham restaurant, The Indian Streatery, and let me tell you it was divine!) and 15 gin tokens. Each gin ‘cost’ between 3 to 7 tokens (with the average being 4-5) and then you were able to help yourself to garnishes and tonic at the mixer station. You could easily get yourself another three or four gins with that if you were selective, which you’d struggle to get for that price in the pub! As it turned out they were also very ready and willing to give out samples so we got far more than our money’s worth, and I was very excited to find the tonics were more than your average – there was spiced tonic, clementine tonic, hibiscus, watermelon, cucumber – basically anything you could imagine! My handbag may or may not have left the venue with a little selection in it… Sadly there wasn’t room for a bottle of Sacred’s Christmas Pudding Gin which was my favourite of the night, mixed with Double Dutch Spiced Tonic and garnished with a slice of orange and some cloves. Delicious, and very festive!

And then the snow came…. I already wrote a post about how fun it was, but it also brought with it an awful lot of stress and worry with people struggling to get to work so close to our most important time of the year! Thankfully it didn’t last long and it was back to all the fun – namely our official office Christmas party! This year the theme was Narnia, and great efforts were made decorating the office, including a real live Mr Tumnus huge Aslan and a wardrobe you had to walk through to get inside. We feasted on delicious food, drank gin and Aperol courtesy of some of our suppliers before heading to one of our City centre bars for a band and lots of dancing! Again, I sucked at taking photos, but you can take my word for it that we had a wonderful time!

The following week we headed back to Birmingham to visit the Magic Lantern Festival, a beautiful collection of huge, colourful lanterns in one of our local parks. We spent a lovely few hours wandering around all the pretty illuminations while drinking slightly odd tasting mulled wine, before heading to the pub to warm up and catch up with dear friends. The next day we headed down to Legoland to visit a friend who is and area manager there. It was all looking rather Christmassy and it was lovely seeing children getting excited about seeing Santa! Sadly the weather was terrible so we didn’t see as much as we wanted, but Dan had a fab time playing with all the Star Wars models and I absolutely loved Miniland – especially MiniLondon!

And that pretty much brings us up to Christmas, so I think I’ll leave it there for now as I’m over 1000 words in already and we haven’t even got to the main event yet! Blimey. Funnily enough, I started writing these round up posts almost exactly a year ago, on the basis that I didn’t do enough to write more than a monthly round up, but maybe I’ll have to rethink that. Maybe it can be one of my New Year’s resolutions to document things better? Oh wait…. I’m pretty sure I said that last year…

Hope December was magical for you all!



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