Another year done at Leeds Castle as Father Christmas. As you can see, I wasn't lying in the previous post about how my reindeer looked like Rio Ferdinand. The final four days at the castle had also included me working nights actually in the castle rather than down at my grotto. For these final days and because of the awful weather conditions in Kent, I didn't stay at Cathy's near Sittingbourne - their driveway was just too icy to get up! - and was housed at the Castle. I was in a room called Aviary 4. I wondered if they let this room to Aviary Tom Dick and Harry who came along...? I apologise for that joke.
Some of the children were just lovely - one little boy, somewhat overawed at meeting Father Christmas wasn't quite sure what he wanted for a present. He ummed and ahhed, and looking desperately round my grotto eventually blurted out that he wanted "a branch". His parents looked bemused, but I assured them if I was going to bring him a branch I would make sure it was a "special branch". I apologise for that joke as well.
I drove up to Essex on the evening of the 23rd December and picking up Amanda and James we headed down to Wales and my parent's place on Christmas Eve. My father cooked a magnificent Beef Wellington that evening. On Christmas Day we were joined by my sister Sue and her chap Ian and a wonderful day was had by all.
I drove Amanda and James back to Essex on the 27th and after that, just to see how much punishment a body and car can take, I then drove on down to Somerset and found myself at home for the first time in what seemed like a very long time. Climbing over a mountain of mail I entered a flat that resembled an ice block. Thank God for central heating.
New Year I am due down in Wales again, but purely dependent on the weather which is looking a tad ropey at the moment. We shall see.
Happy New Year to one and all. Here's to 2010.