Christmas day was pretty awesome. We headed over to Mum and Dad's but not before the kids had fully explored the the gifts Ang and I got (as well as those brought by Father Christmas). The garage we got for Tom was a hit as is anything with wheels. Beth fell instantly in love with a pair of sparkly shoes and a super 'Cinderbrella' dress.
Tomzilla scales parking structure.
The tried and tested format at Castle Snelson proved fantastic as ever. As well as the Sheffield contingent of the Snelson family this year we had Ang's mum and a cousin to join us . They coped well with Christmas, Snelson style. There was an attempt by the rents to prevent us from loading sprouts into champagne popper (a food fighting tradition of many year standing). This year they had been chopped in half making them more difficult to load. Father dearest claimed that this was done because Jamie Oliver said to but we know the truth. As it turned out, the new lighter sprouts just meant higher muzzle velocity, longer range and more impressive splatter. A win all round for the trouble makers (Little Dan and I) who managed to open hostilities without allowing others opportunity to prepare. It must have come as a shock to the uninitiated Linda and Alex.
Naturally, presents were everywhere these past few days. Tom seemed made up with his new cars. He used to be content to play with a coaster (as in something you put cups down on) but now the boy has moved onto cars. I loved the way he got something he loved and kept playing with it even when the gifts kept coming. For Beth, it's a very different story. Tom is only 1 year old and doesn't really get the whole present thing. At nearly 4, his sister is overcome by excitement and anticipation. Where he won't make any real effort to take wrapping paper off, she can happily open a gift, say thank you for it and go looking for the next one.
Thankfully, thanks to 'Not So Secret Santa,' there was little in the way of gift flinging at Castle Snelson. Dan was buying for me and sent me a box full of electrical bits including what I need to fit an auxiliary socket into the back box on my. I had no idea what he was sending but it just happened to be exactly what I need so that the flat phone battery situation I mentioned in my last post doesn't happen again.
Now I just need someone with some kind of wiring competence to come over and fit the thing. Previous attempts at wiring on my bike have resulted in my mechanic feeling the need to rewire my bike at the service. Alan Johnson at GW Johnsons is one of those guys you need looking after your bike. He has high standards, wants every thing done right and doesn't mince his words. I can't remember exactly what he said about my last attempt at a wiring mod but it wasn't hugely complimentary. The good news is my mate Martin (Kaff) is paying us a visit. He is an ARMY vehicle electrician and can help me run a few cables safely.
Before I go on to post this, I must say something of today. My brother and sister in law came up from Bristol with their dog. We all met up today to go for a lovely if cold walk by Lindley Wood Resevoir. I'll let the pictures I took tell you all about it.
I was loving the fresh air but Tom was mainly sleeping.
Always helpful to have a Labrador taking point.
The view was pretty but the noise was awesome.What the pictures don't show was the conversation. I somehow found myself talking to Shelly about the plan Kev and I have to do a Balkans ride out. Now, at home, sitting on the sofa, typing up a blog, I find myself trawling through the 'Motorcycle Adventure' folder on the Iomega Screenplay I picked up for 30 quid (probably a mistake) from Comet. I'm a big fan of the films made by Dirt Track Productions and am a little gutted to see they are having problems funding their latest, Motorcycle Chang pa. They are even asking for donations, something I might actually do. I wish they would make the DVD available to pre-order now which for me would make more sense than donating. It would be worth it as they are better produced than Mondo Enduro and more authentic than the Ewan and Charlie show. Clearly though, my urge to get on my bike and go somewhere is far from subsiding. Perhaps that's why I asked for this picture to be put on a mug for my Chirstmas present. Thansks Ang.
My bike over ten years ago taking me to a new posting in Paderborn, Germany. Those were the days.