We have a system in our house. When Olive wakes up, she is allowed to play in her room. But she can't open her door until her light comes on. Her light is on a timer, which, during weekends and holidays, is normally set to 8am. On Christmas day, Olive got out of bed at 8am.
She immediately noticed the small stocking she had hung the previous bedtime was now bulging, and fetch this to us to show us that he'd been. Not realising that there were more gifts downstairs, it was cool to see her excitement upon spying the frankly ludicrous amount of presents that awaited her.
She quickly adopted a pattern of shuttling between pile and sofa, ripping apart the neat wrapping paper and admiring the present within for a modest amount of time, before turning back to grab the next in line.
Santa clearly considered Olive to have ben a good girl during 2011, but gave no consideration to where we are going to store all of her new things.
Not last week, the week before, Olive’s nursery was closed for a training day. It was my turn to hang out with her and we decided to go to Eureka. We got ourselves ready and caught the bus to the train station, where we boarded a Manchester-bound train. We alighted at Halifax and after negotiating the lengthy level-route we arrived at our destination.
Eureka is probably aimed at children a little older than Olive, but we still had some of that new-fangled fun. We thoroughly explored all there was to do, we had an indoor picnic, and we sheltered from a massive downpour before tiredly heading home before the evening rush commenced.
To mark the November birthdays of both Michelle and Andrew, they, we, Neil and Deb (avec le coup), Steve and Helen and Euan, Christina, and Sarah and Paul made our way to Scarborough. Dean, Rachel, Nathaniel and Isabella joined us on Sunday.
We all stayed over in the Travelodge, opposite the fine-looking yet reportedly legionnaires disease infested Grand Hotel. As Karl Pilkington stated when he visited Jordan for his recent Idiot Abroad show, its better to be in the cave looking out...
The early November weather offered us a two-day break in mild and wet, turning chilly and dry. This was most welcome, and apart from a heavy shower on Sunday this allowed us to stay dry while we gadded about the town. After meeting at the Harbour Bar for a sandwich and a 'shake, some of the ladies went on a charity shop cruise; the rest of us crossed the road to the beach. The late autumn sunshine was warm and bright, and the kids had a whale of time.
A necessary hike up the hill to the hotel for the purposes of checking in interrupted the fun, but after dumping our bags we went back out into the now dark Scarborough streets. We migrated to Winking Willies, Michelle's choice for fish and chips. They we good. Then back to the Travelodge in time for the children's bedtimes. We finished the evening hanging out in Christina's super-heated room.
Sunday featured a Wetherspoons breakfast, followed by a bus ride to the North Bay for coffee and cake. In the afternoon those remaining walked back to town via Peasholm Park, before we caught the 1550 to take us to Leeds.
Luck is a genuinely nerve-wracking 9.5 minute compilation videos featuring people nearly getting smushed [sic], bashed, crushed, smeared, and just plain killed by falling trees, speeding trains and cars, and all other manner of sudden death averted. Everyone is fine, no one is hurt, but I defy you to watch this without at least once letting out an involuntary Woah!'