We are always so busy. We never have a weekend to ourselves. My parents moved to Norfolk 5 years ago and Mummy Hew’s family all live in Harrogate. We love having people to stay and our door is always open. We also love traveling the length of the country to spend weekends with our friends and family. There are occasions that we would love just to close the door and sit at home as a little family, no plans, just quality family time. It hardly ever happens and we have to make a conscious effort for it to work. There are two weekends we traditionally spend without any friends or family, the weekend before Christmas (or the one before that depends when it falls) and the first weekend after New Year’s Day. As much as we love spending time with friends and family it’s nice to spend some time together, if anything, to check we still like each other.

This is the third year we have booked a weekend away prior to Christmas. We stayed in a lodge in Diss (borders Norfolk and Suffolk). It’s the perfect getaway for us. It’s a lodge set on a working farm with a hot tub, what more could we ask for? In previous years we have arrived late on the Friday and spent the weekend there. This year I left work at 16:00 on Friday and we managed to arrive about half 6. We got checked in and got unpacked.

The same wreath was on the front door. The same Christmas tree was in the corner of the living room. The hot tub stood seaming on the decking. This is our pre Christmas home from home. It normally takes me some time to wind down on a Friday evening, but all the worries of the office were left on the M25!

It was interesting because Gracie asked if she had been here before, she didn’t remember it. We walked around the living room, dining room and kitchen and she had no recollection of the lodge at all. Its weird the things she remembers and the things she doesn’t. I showed her to her room. She was so excited to have her own bathroom. I definitely wasn’t aloud to use her bathroom and she made this clear from the outset.

Gracie went to bed reasonably late for her, 8:30, and was out like a light. Mummy Hew and I got our swimming stuff on and made our way to the hot tub. It was strange this year, with Mummy Hew expecting Baby Hew No2, we could only have the hot tub at a limited temperature. As well as the limited temperature she couldn’t drink. In previous years we sat in the hot tub for hours, increasing the temperature as the night went on. We would normally get out like bright red lobsters totally shit-faced. Not this year. A very civil time in the hot tub was had…..I say hot tub, more like like warm tub.

On Saturday we booked to see Father Christmas for breakfast at the local garden centre. We wanted to do a Father Christmas boat trip but we left it too late to book, I say we I mean Mummy Hew! We arrived at the garden centre and Father Christmas’ elves showed us to our table. Gracie had bacon, hash brown and beans and Mummy Hew and I had bacon sandwiches.

All the children, I don’t use the word children very often BTW – I can’t actually pronounce it properly. Some form of genetic malfunction I’m sure. I have no idea why or where it came from. When I say children it comes out like Trilldren. I also can’t say Chest of Drawers…..I’m actually quite intelligent, I’ve got a real job too, just can’t say these two words. Anyway I’m guessing if your reading this your not overly interested in the minor speech impediment I have….so, all the children were asked to gather round the chair that Father Christmas would be sitting on, they were asked to call him. Of course they were not loud enough and the parents were asked to shout too. I know it’s all good fun but as a adult standing in the middle of the garden centre shouting ‘father Christmas’ makes you feel a bit of a dick. Eventually the big guy arrived and each child had the chance to sit next to him and have their photo taken. They could then pick a toy…..Gracie chose a pink fluffy hammer that makes an irritating noise, but she was happy so who am I to complain.

After breakfast we drove to my parents and exchanged presents. They live a good 40 miles from where we were staying so we cranked up the Christmas tunes and enjoyed a drive through the country side. That was until I killed a baby Deer 🦌. Fuck my life! I’m following a pick up truck (Mitsubishi L200 for those interested) and I saw it swerve across the road. So I thought I’d swerve with it. The truck didn’t hit the Deer, it fitted perfectly between the wheels and missed it. I however did not miss it. Driving a good 50MPH I take it head on, it falls to the floor and under the car it goes. The sound was gut wrenching. Mummy Hew cries and then says ‘hitting a deer at Christmas is just like hitting an elf’, fortunately Gracie was asleep, I just keep driving. Literally had no idea what to do….upon reflection I probably should have stopped but I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with it and would probably have been sick 🤢. In one of my earlier blogs I talk though some of our Christmas traditions…..last year, driving on the same road I hit and killed a pheasant…I hope this doesn’t turn into a tradition of ours!

On the Sunday we had a day at the lodge. We walked round the little working farm, made dinner, watched elf and did Christmas crafts. We made these silly gingerbread men with the glitter glue pens….I never realised how long they took to dry……fucking hours! And Gracie kept touching them to see if they had dried.

Gracie was sat on the sofa, every now and then she comes out with a corker! Shes playing with her ankle. Sooo exited she says ‘Mummy, Mummy……there’s a bauble in my foot’ we crack up, she cracks up and we all just sit laughing.

It was nice to get away from all the madness just before Christmas. Gracie enjoyed having her own bathroom, we enjoyed not having a list of chores to do. Gracie also learnt that if you chew your toenails too much they bleed…..a lot. I learnt that it’s really hard to make plasters out of kitchen roll and sellotape. We also learnt that Deers do less damage to cars than pheasants…. who knew.

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