Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Mele Kalikimaka and fish stalking

Hmmm. Where to begin?

There was the dismantling and disposal of the electric organ prior to a visit from Richard (aka, Slinky) and the lovely Marlene in mid-November.

And then, there was Thanksgiving... on which day E stayed home like a good future Welsh-American slaving over a 14-lb turkey bird (ye olde American went to work). Clem, Richard, Yssy and Katie (this year's Rotary Scholar in Norwich) came over for an attempt at Oma-style feast. This was Yssy's first Thanksgiving! There is now confirmation that yellow crooked-neck squash does not exist in the UK; who knew it was of Mexican origin? Oma's squash casserole is not at all the same without it -- a completely different foodstuff altogether.

Next, there was the fun activity of moving my stuff from my flat and dumping it in E's (now our) house on Magpie Road. Result was his house looked like back store room of eccentric antique shop. Through this activity, E demonstrated a level of impressive fearlessness despite haulage of copious amounts of wool and books... (since meeting me, E has now helped/moved me 5 times in 2.5 years).

Immediately following such relaxing trauma was my 5.00am excursion to Norwich 'International' Airport on 5 December (the coffee isn't even on that early) and a teeny little crochet/knitting-mad flight to DFW, where one was greeted by the lovely Clarence.

The following morning began the first of a frantic 15-day run. Judith does not wait for the grass to grow, which is a very good thing. My heroes of December 2008 are pictured here -- there is no way the 20th December would have been pulled off without them! Of course, if it hadn't been for my continually thinking of more and more and more Martha-Stewart-overchiever-of-the-Year projects, things might have been simpler... but simple is not interesting in excess. And I have never been accused of being simple or uninteresting -- at least not where I could hear it.

There was a small family affair after the 15-day waiting period (just a little firearms joke) and most of the people expected made it -- the most important ones arriving dramtically from across the Atlantic (despite US immigration's best attempts to prevent reasonable entry by legal people). Advice was that little hiccups happening prior to a wedding forecast that everything will go smoothly on the day, and this seems to have been correct in hindsight.

No one fainted. Clumsy people didn't fall into the mud [prescience having led me not wear complicated shoes]. Only one person got slightly lost [but we found her later -- hoorah!] :) [Official photos, i.e., from Scot, are not up yet, but email requests for notification of same] Vir-roo has put some up; and Hiroko has posted some on Facebook!

My vague prediction of Louisiana weather as being between 80°F and 20°F was proved completely honest as there was a 50° temperature drop between mid-day of the wedding and midnight. The Brits no longer think I am mad -- or at least not for meteorological reasons.

Clarence the Great and Wonderful showed her fabulousness again by driving E and me (after E's Final Night concert at the Hilton lobby) to DFW the morning after the wedding! While it was quite wearying to head straight back to Blighty and not relax (or go hunting, as some people wanted to do), it was quite good to get home and start sorting through the antique shop that left in complete disarray. It is coming together quite nicely and we are pretty much sorted for visitors all and sundry to arrive! ['ahem' to all those who have gotten their passports...]

There has also been a tiny Christmas miracle (although E may look upon it as more of a small furry pestilence): it is cute and black and friendly and likes to sit in laps and purr. It also quite the naturalist as it enjoys fish-hunting.

'Christmas' seemed like an apt name since she appeared in the back alley and followed me home (albeit with the slightest coaxing); one can also call it 'Christmas' in different languages for educational amusement (e.g., Kalikimaka or Noel or Navidad or Nadolig). Eamonn voted 'Angus' (through a brow-furrowingly convoluted bit of tricky logic); and Matthew T. proposed 'Tinsel'.

The product of this combination is 'Christmas Angus Tinsel' (initials, c-a-t, which amuses me greatly in the most simplistic of linguistic jokes). It also appears that once again I am proved not to be a very good Miss Marple protege, as she has turned out to be a he. Not sure what we will do with it, but it is nice to have a little visitor! (even E the Gruff sympathised with it in the extreme cold last night, so my legs were trapped this morning under a purring lump)