The arrival of our early Christmas cards from Penny’s Australian relatives reminds us, once again, that it’s time to produce something with which to irritate and disappoint friends, relatives, acquaintances and even the occasional complete stranger. (Last year one of our cards was returned with a message from the recipient saying (a) how much he had enjoyed our correspondence over the previous five years but (b) the person to whom the card was addressed had moved out five years ago). Some people will go to any lengths to get off this particular mailing list.
I do think, though, that the Australian cards with Father Christmas reclining under a palm tree drinking a piña colada are a bit much considering that we are currently enduring the earliest snow and Arctic conditions in seventeen years in the UK. Never happened under Labour!
We’ve had a great year – I don’t know what else to say.
For the first time in many, many years, Greg did not make his annual Easter excursion to the States to visit his folks. Instead, we went for four weeks in the summer for yet another miserable Stragnell Family Reunion. Stragapalooza, as this year’s gathering was dubbed, was a huge success; there were twenty-nine “in camp” for the big event ranging from Greg’s father at eighty-seven to Greg’s elder sister Sallie’s newest grandchild, Lilia, at about three months. Greg managed to behave himself reasonably well and, as always, there was much food, laughter and good cheer. The Royal Command Variety Performance was outstanding and even included an account of the sex lives of the inmates at Greg’s folks’ Finishing School. Greg only gained about twenty pounds during the trip – the cookbook “Recipes from Stragapalooza” is available for a small fee (15 MB).