The Haunted House

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Christmas Mk2 In Newcastle

After we got back from Devon this Christmas we had a couple of days at home, one of which Amanda had to go into work. Then on the Thursday We traveled up to Newcastle to see Amanda's family. The drive was a bit of a nightmare as the country had a snow storm which made the driving conditions quite bad. Where we live in Belper we thought was bad enough with the snow, but it snowed a lot heavier up north.

We got to Amanda's mums in the afternoon and took all the presents in for everyone. Amanda's mum cooked a meal for us all in the evening. This weekend we also met Frans (Amanda's little sister) new boyfriend Mark. He is from Kent which is not too far from where I come from in Essex, so at least there was someone else there who pronounced their words correctly ;-).

The next day we drove to South Shields to see Amanda's Nan and Grandad, Then we drove to Gateshead to visit her other sister Angela and her boyfriend John.

In the evening Amanda was quite keen to cook a meal for everyone back at her Mums house so we worked together to make a nice curry. We deliberately tried to make the curry quite mild but Fran still looked like she was on fire. Oops.

We drove back this morning which is New Years Eve. We are not going out tonight as we are both tired from all the traveling over Christmas so we are staying in with a few bottles of wine and some bad TV programs.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas in Devon

This Christmas Me and Amanda spent Christmas with all my Aunts, Uncles and cousins at a huge mansion in Devon. The house was called Huntsham Court. We drove down to the house on the 23rd of December in the morning. The drive took us about 3 hours. The house had been booked and organized by my aunt Karen. She had literally spent the whole year organizing this, so we are all grateful for it. I think she needed a holiday afterwards though as trying to organize so many families over the year was tiring.

There were lots of animal heads on the wall, so I had to take pictures of them.

We got there about 11am, and we were one of the first groups to arrive. So we had a good choice of rooms to pick from. My parents, brother, sister and her boyfriend turned up about 30 minutes after we did.

My sister Charlotte and her boyfriend Jamie.

The house has 20 bedrooms and we filled the place. Some of my family I had not seen in a very long time, especially some of my cousins kids, who were now 10 years old.

The house we was staying in.

The house had its own bar area which we all chipped in money to fill. It looked like we had enough drink to last a month, but we soon got through it all :-) Especially on Christmas Day when some of my cousins were playing drinking games. Amanda reckons I was the one who go them started on the game, but I blame Charlottes (My sister) boyfriend Jamie ;-).

Piano in the bar with those scary statues.

There was some very odd furniture around the house. The piano (above) had these very spooky looking statues next to them. It was like something out of a horror film. You could just imagine them coming to life during the night. Well that's what the drink made you feel anyway.

My aunts hard at work in the kitchen preparing dinner.

The house had a very large Kitchen which we used to prepare all the food for the stay. The cooking was mainly done by my aunts, and the clearing up and washing up was handled by the rest of us who took it in turns. My aunts did a great job with all the food as cooking for 40 people is not a simple thing to achieve.

Everyone gathered in the main hall on Christmas morning.

On Christmas morning after everyone had opened most of their presents in their rooms, we all gathered downstairs in the main hall for some bucks fizz. Everyone had to put one present under the tree in the hall so we could all open them together. We decided to do it like this because if we put every single present under the tree there would have been no room left in the hall.

The huge dining room.

The dining room was massive, the table looked like something out of a medi-evil castle, but the table was just the right size to accommodate everyone.

Another hat wearing animal.

After dinner one of my cousins started a Mexican wave going around the table, this went on for a good 10 minutes and was very funny. I think the champagne had started to kick in at that point :-).

Mexican wave.

On boxing day morning we all had to go home. This was shame as we all had a great time. It was good to see all the family again and I hope it isn't too long before we all meet up again.