2 Jan 2008
And The Weather Forecast Calls For...
...rain on New Year's Eve in the UK. Yeah, I was shocked, too.
We are back in Norway again, but despite the rain we had a great time with the Wades in Yorkshire. How could we not, as we arrived on Sunday to warm-ish weather - for us anyway - and flowering roses!
The airline decided to send our luggage to Hamburg, Germany instead of Manchester, England, which did cause a fair amount of irritation on our part. They eventually managed to get the suitcase to Manchester, but the impending New Year holidays and the fact that we were staying in Ripon (a 90 minute+ drive from the airport) finally forced the courier company to admit we probably would not see our suitcase until we were ready to fly home again.
My obvious distress is probably why my hero-of-the-day - aka my father-in-law - spent 7 hours that day driving to-and-from the airport, first to pick us up, then to pick up that pesky suitcase. Gah! Whatever happened to airline service?!?! I could write a long venting post about this, but I will not, as I do not want it to overshadow an otherwise fab visit to England.
(side shot of the York Minster)
On New Year's Eve we went to a super matinee pantomime in the beautiful city of York. The boys - and we - spent the better part of 4 hours vigorously exercising our stomach muscles laughing (much needed exercise, I might add, following the chocolate overdose during the holidays). If you have never been to a pantomime - well, you've been missing out!
Pantomimes are usually well-known fairy tales with a spin, and the actors often include a principal boy, most often played by a young pretty girl, the heroine, also played by a beautiful young girl (making the inevitable romance a tad unusual), and - most importantly - a dame, acted with much exaggeration and fancy wigs and costumes by a middle-aged man, as a lewd and rude middle-aged woman.
Although the story changes from year to year, there is no plot line to follow, and there's always a few standard scenes: The water and pie scene (in which the main characters get wet and caked), the neon light scene (with all lights turned off), and a pre-recorded video from around the city, most often featuring local politicians, mayors, police, etc. The entire show is peppered with political and pop culture jokes.
(A scene with "the spice girls")
If this all sounds crazy, it is, but in the UK, this is considered top family entertainment, and though not a native Brit, I've learned to love it, too. It's a great way to spend an afternoon/evening with the entire family.
New Year's Eve was spent in a quiet fashion at home, where we had a highly successful raclette dinner (Christopher has asked me if we can buy a raclette at least 10 times since), played a few games and at midnight went down to the town square to see the fireworks. Despite the rain, the display didn't disappoint, and the boys went to bed with big smiles on their faces.
Unfortunately, the skies really opened up on New Year's Day, when it poured the proverbial cats and dogs. I would have liked to have gone for a walk, but there really wasn't much hope of that. Cue more chocolate and licorice allsorts.
The plane ride home yesterday was uneventful, and we arrived - luggage and all - to a beautifully white snow-covered land, with more snow in the forecast for the next three days. We are going downhill skiing today, and hopefully cross country skiing tomorrow and on the weekend. There may even be time for some skating. Anything but eating chocolate, really!