Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve - a time for the old ones to look back and the young ones taken over by the night ahead and the morning of presents.
People have their traditions about Christmas Eve and some may follow them steadfastedly.
I look back on a multitude of Christmases, such a variety of activities and places we have been on this night.
Everything changes and this year I cannot expect things to be the same.
I must be happy for the happy episodes and patient when all goes flat and quiet.
It is half past nine and Bill has gone to bed.
Bless him - he gets so tired.
My pleasure today was based on a long good lunch with Bill's sister and her husband in The Jubilee Oak (the Crawley Wetherspoons).
It is not just Christmas Eve - it has been Tuesday. And Tuesday is steak club day in Wetherspoons - steak and other meats.
For £7 it is possible to have a huge meal and a pint...and I did just that.

This is the chicken and pork rib combo.
It was totally delicious.
And my pint was a pint of Guinness.

We chatted lots - a bit of nostalgia and thinking of how life has changed as we approach those older ages.
On our way out we met cousin, Chris......with a happy crowd of drinking fellows.
I got into conversation with one who had had a fair few pints......but how charming! Lots of hand kissing.
On hearing that I would be 70 next birthday he thought that was not possible and remarked on my youthful skin.
I don't care if he was drunk - I could do with a bit of treatment like that.

We left Julie and Roger to join their daughter and grand daughters for the Christingle service at the Furnace Green Church.
I had planned to join Jo and some of her family at the service in St Johns in the town centre.
But I was torn.....I couldn't stay alone in town and once I was home I didn't want to go out again.

I had planned to use the time for email writing. One joint email - the annual news letter, which still has not been sent.
And bother! I left it for a while and came back to it to find I had crashed the computer and lost it.
People can wait until I send New Year Greetings.
I had paused to watch The Titfield Thunderbolt with Bill.
Seen it before of course - the first time was at the cinema with my Mum. It is about a steam railway line and funny - Bill chuckled merrily.
I looked the film up on Google and found that the village name - Titfield, had been created from 2 small villages quite close to us in Surrey and close to the author of the book on which the film was based. Titsey and Limpsfield are close to Godstone. But the steam train was actually filmed, in 1953, on the recently abandoned line of Bristol and N Somerset. That may not be accurate - too lazy to look it up again.
Talking of Surrey, there are many there who are experiencing an unforgettable Christmas and far removed from the one they planned.

This is just outside Dorking where the River Mole flows.
There is extensive flooding along the stretch of The Mole. It is described as a major incident.

This is the Burford Bridge Hotel situated at the bottom of Box Hill.

There are trees down and flooding all along the North Downs ridge with many roads and railways closed.

There are many other areas facing the same sort of problems.

If the weather is dry tomorrow we might walk at Tilgate for a short while - I gather the lake is very close to flooding.

Well, I will lift my glass of vermouth to my lips and wish you a toast for the Christmas you planned for.
Happy Christmas!