During the week after celebrations in Godalming we needed to get our act together with regard to a Christmas Tree and decorations at home in Winterborne Kingston. With a party planned for Friday evening our priority was to buy our tree. This was achieved with the help of Andrew and his trailer. We found a really nicely-shaped tree at the suppliers in Toller Porcorum; tall enough to reach the gallery and with a girth that gave the tree gravitas. It took a good while and a lot of our tree decorations to dress it. Then the rest of Christmas decking fell into place with the help of small potted cyclamens and plenty of greetings cards. My little white twig tree found its place at the end of the island unit in the kitchen.
I had been planning the party for some weeks so canapes had been made and frozen. I just needed to make a venison and red wine casserole in the slow cooker, a tray of chicken joints with cherry tomatoes and cannellini beans, and a vegetarian tagine. With lots of rice. I ordered two of Helen’s cakes: a carrot one and a chocolate. With a cheese board and French bread it really was very straightforward. All Nick’s siblings and two cousins came as did my two sisters. Then we had invited Dorset friends of long-standing and our good neighbours Cybs and Eamonn. Guests brought gifts and I think Nick’s highlight must have been the home made Pork and Egg raised pie with a birthday inscription that Terry made for him. The party went with a swing and we managed to clear up before we went to bed, with the help of Joy, Trish, Wig and Ian who were staying overnight.
The following morning our guests dispersed and after a quick bite of lunch we joined Maddy, Jenny and Lis for a brisk walk on the beach at Charmouth where we found the residues of the Velella which were being stranded two weeks earlier. On Sunday we took a bit of time out before bracing ourselves for the impending festivities with the family.