What did you do?

What did you do?

If it’s not too crass and trivial, considering what has happened elsewhere, what did we all get up to for the holidays?

I went skiing before Christmas in France (entertained (?) the other chalet guests with some jigs and reels until they begged me to stop …….I suppose they could only take so much pleasure) and then had a few days in the Lake District (UK) hiking and getting very wet.

I was glad to get back to college for a rest.

So what about you guys?

P.S. Posts about how sunny and hot it is from the Sydney Chapter will receive suitably chilly Northern Hemisphere comments 🙂

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Saw Japanese splatter and Chinese arty movies, ate, played, ate some more, more movies, etc…. great! Who needs the hot sun in a pub, a cinema or at home with a great roast 🙂

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Ate drank and made merry.
And slept until 1pm every day.
God that 7am alarm was hard this morning.

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Life’s one big holiday. Where to start… … …?

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Went back to Belfast, saw my folks and some old friends, had lots to eat and drink, got some really nice aftershaves, clothes and decidedly funny (in a sick way) DVDs - my kind of Christmas presents.
Spent at least a day copying stuff and went to Donegal for New Year festivities. The music was wonderful as usual (FKWS) - so good in fact that I didn’t make it to any concerts by virtue of the fact that the sessions were so good. Of course, the best session started in Hiúdaí Beags an hour before I was due to catch the bus to Belfast; you can’t win ‘em all.

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Rode the train to Chicago, played tunes, ate food, remembered how cold it is in the midwest in December, loooong cab ride to session at the Grafton, drank beer, listened to lovely tunes, ate more food, drove south to see family, ate food (some involving Jello and marshmallows in various combinations.) Observed carnage caused by snowfall in Kentucky (Highway Department does not invest heavily in snow removal equipment), saw more family, ate lovely country ham and other food items. Back to Chicago, rode train some more, ran out of whisky (!!!) but not food, got home. Family members all still speaking to each other. Cats still alive, home did not burn down, plants look perky. No disasters at work. Enough snow fell so that tomorrow is looking like a good day to ski. I’m a lucky girl. But my jeans are a bit snug…

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Drank,
Drank some more.
Then more…
Went to a couple of sessions to sober up by only drinking beer.
A lot of people criticise us drunkards here for our binge drinking culture, but I reckon eating Jello and Marshmallows is seriously weirder, Batlady 😉
Looking forward to a little trip to Cervinia at the end of the month to give me something to get fit for - and then Val Thorens at Easter.
Mark

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Shame about the cats!

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Pfffttt. My cats dig their collective claws into your virtual leg, dougie.

Mark, dear, I can post recipes if you are up for the challenge. Would you care for savory or sweet?????

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Savoury Marshmallows
Ye Gads!

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Oh, my. The cultural gulf is a deep one. Marshmallows on sweet potatoes, browned (Not Burnt!) under the broiler = savory. Green Jello, marshmallows, with chopped celery and cottage cheese molded into a cheery fish shape = savory. Red Jello with dark cherries on cream cheese with pretzel crust = sweet. Marshmallows optional.
Also known as Funeral Food (what the neighbors bring when someone in the family passes on.) Makes your teeth ache to think about it, doesn’t it?

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Hey you guys — Jeremy’s going to delete these cooking comments you know.

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Jack, I don’t know if any of this really IS food.

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Really? Oh my! (fans himself) *fan fan*

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Well, sorry to say ,Geoff, it was!

Was also mostly very windy, which was a bummer - I was hanging round waiting for a calm day to fit a new bowsprit to my boat (old one was crashed into by a launch with a dead motor on a windy day). Eventually got that done. After Christmas music stuff was over (which was a lot less pressure than in past years, hooray) I was tied down by music arranging for a jfunction this afternoon - one "job" slurped up the break from "the other job" nicely! So plenty of music but not much fiddling, sadly. Did some low key go-for-a-walk/drive and visit friends things. Also spent time "socialising" some stray foster kittens getting them ready for "rehoming" off the streets, too (it’s National Dump-an-Unwanted-Animal season here at the moment).

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Shame you couldn’t take the cats with you I meant Batlady, er honest. Glad you had a good one though.

Played a gig New Years Eve, partied afterwards,had a rest day. Big session on the 2nd, met lots of old faces, a few new ones, good tunes, good time had by all, a the best …Dougie.

Ooooooh, them claw marks don’t half nip.

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Ottery - ahhhhhh Aosta and Piemonte - my home for nearly 2 years - nothing beats skiing the Matterhorn all day, and then sipping drinks downtown in Torino that same evening in a t-shirt.

Val Thorens = Paradise

Have fun 🙂

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Thanks,
I love the Aosta Valley. The skiing, The Food, everything(!)
But the skiing at Val thorens is something else again….
I guess I will have fun
😉

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Stayed home, loved being with family, played lots of tunes!

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Went home for Christmas. Drove over 6,000 km. Loved every minute. Played where ever I stopped, including a two day camp in the sweet mountain grasses bordering Kosciuszko National Park (couldn’t believe how beautiful it was), Cadney, Port Pirie, Hay (beside the river), Griffith Oval, Adelaide, Ararat, Ballarat. Even passed through Clare (SA) but arrived with a thunder storm on a public holiday - no wine and no tunes. Topped the whole wonderful journey by videoing wild camels and a performance of Dinky the singing dingo on the final leg. Ready to turn around and do it again. Happy New Year everyone.

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Drove,cooked, ate, drank, went to church, played a few tunes. Gave my step-nephew-in-law, a self-taught violinist of seven months, a few pointers: enough to wreck his new-found (though misdirected) abilities should he choose to follow them. No, I’m not mean, just trying to correct his bad habits before they become too ingrained.

Also collected the printed program from the midnight service, complete with harmonies to Christmas carols, which I can never sing the melodies to because they’re in the wrong key. I can’t sight-read well enough to sing the alto part just from reading, but I figure if I can play the harmonies, I can teach myself to sing them. Thinking ahead for next Christmas!

Carol

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Just caught up with this (my class is beavering away at an assignment due in today so I can steal a moment).

Michele I, like Ottery, am seriously concerned about about your food group balance. Savoury marshmallows? We just haven’t lived over here have we? I’m glad your cats are OK. Mine survived my absence,and has stopped giving me reproachful looks, but one of my tree ferns is obviously pining for Tasmania and looks a bit pathetic at present. Perhaps my cat paid it a visit.

Sorry about your bowsprit Tish but I’m SOOOOO glad you are having lovely weather.

Band practice tonight. It’ll be good to catch up with them all and play a few tunes again.

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After spending Christmas Day with the nearby family, drove to Adelaide on Boxing Day and spent a few days with the relos there, then went camping in Nelson for a few days with friends. Didn’t play much music - I took pity on my family and fellow campers. Drove 1,500km altogether and only got sunburnt twice ( the weather was mostly crappy ). It’s good to be home again and getting back into the music.

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Oh, and danced many times to the Scissors Sisters’ Take your mamma out tonight, because it’s such an uncomplicated fun pop song.

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Managed to be ill most of the past month. The doctor now wants me to have a colonoscopy (to see if I’m really as far up there as some people say!). Oh joy! Still managed to go to the seaside for Christmas day - beef and champagne on the beach. Had forgotten how thoroughly vile champagne really is. This bottle was a gift - I’d never buy the stuff. Long drive through the snow on the way back. Interesting observation - all the cars that came off the road and went into the ditch/the hedge/each other were large luxury saloons with wide tyres, rear wheel drive and automatic gearbox. Is it the type of car or the type of person who drives that type of car that causes the problem?

A happy new year to all our readers.

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Yes SWD, champagne is the most overrated drink ever. What a rip off! A good white wine is miles better.
Sorry to hear you are unwell though.

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I like champagne, but I prefer Cava, mainly because it’s about a quarter the price! I have a determined pro-Spanish bias anyway when it comes to wine. Nice white Rioja. In fact, include Portugal too. Nice glass of Setubal and some grilled sardines… Yum.
Sorry you’ve been ill, Showaddy.

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Played at the Crisis Open Christmas shelters (http://www.crisis.org.uk/), including the Millennium Dome in Greenwich (London). It’s an amazing building, inside and out, and the acoustics are a lot better than you might expect 🙂 The music was sundry Cartes plus friends - thanks to Brian, Dave and Derry. One of the highlights was playing at the Wet shelter, to a lively but appreciative audience 🙂

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What about a lovely glass of sherry, Nell?

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Geoff - I’ll swap your nothern hemisphere weather for Melbourne weather any day! Not all Australias love the hot weather 🙂

Wishing Everyone a happy and musical (if somewhat belated) New Year 🙂

Cheers
Ptollemy