Those with memories only moderately longer than a goldfish might recall that the festive season of 2010-2011 was a tad chilly; icy roads, snow and all that stuff that happens when the thermometer displays below zero temperatures.
Said weather prevented the usual Millbrooker Towers Christmas celebrations which are always shared with Milly and Trickers who head down our way on Christmas morning to arrive in time for a slap up feed followed by present opening.
Milly and Trickers live at the top of a short but very steep hill in the far northern lands of Bath and were iced in over the festive, and had to make their own two-handed celebration within the confines of their home.
So - a second Christmas had to be arranged in order for the whole family to be together for at least one day in the year. That day was yesterday.
A somewhat weedy orange plant stood in as Christmas tree with some red thread acting as tinsel and a snowman pen was brought to the fore to demonstrate which season it was supposed to be.
The presents were carefully arranged around it.
Mrs The Millbrooker fetched the senior relatives from the railway station, brought them back to Millbrook and before you could say "Bing Crosby" we were off to Cawsand and the Cross Keys for a slap up lunch. Mrs The Millbrooker acted as taxi driver for Trickers, Dozybean and NooNoo; The Wizzers of Soz, Milly and I walked. Jah Cousteau had his own mode of transport.
Then began the very long wait to get food at the inn - don't quite know what went wrong but we'd booked for 1 o'clock, and were all in place around the table within a few minutes of that. We finally took our own order (it's a waitress service restaurant) to the bar around 20 to 2 and got the first course shortly after 2. That's not really an acceptable level of service - it was obvious that unbooked customers who arrived after us were getting their food before our order was even taken! This is Mrs The Millbrooker writing down our order.
That said - the food, when it finally arrived, was of the high standards that we expect from this place. It's definitely a cut above pub grub and despite my griping about the long wait, I'll be going there again because the kitchen is genuinely top hole.
Trickers tucked into some goujons of lemon sole.
NooNoo noshed on the kiddies' menu fare of bangers and beans.
I can't remember what it is that Milly's chomping down on, but the stupid vegetarian in the family (Dozybean) is having a pasta thingy with nothing dead in it.
I went for the duck. Don't be alarmed by the sudden change of beard colour - I'm not inadvisedly trying to look younger. It's for the panto, of course. Oh yes it is!
The meal was very generously sponsored by Milly - thank you, Milly.
We wended our ways back to Millbrooker Towers in varying shades of sobriety (I think I was at the purpler shaded end), and after a cuppa for most people and a large port for me (as I said - the purpler end), it was pressie time.
Here's The Wizzers of Soz delicately prizing her first present open.
Jah Cousteau was clearly delighted with a CD present, simultaneously showing sheer delight and winning the coveted Unflattering Photo of the Day Award.
Trickers obviously enjoyed being given a wee tome about rugby.
The crumblies weren't staying long, though, and all too soon had to be ferried back to the station and their homeward train. After which Mrs The Millbrooker, having completed driving duties for the day, could also join me at the purpler end of the sobriety spectrum - huzzah!
And a Merry Christmas to all Daily(ish) Millbrook readers.