Back in the swing

Well that’s Christmas over for another year!

It’s weird, being back at work this week. We always do but hardly anyone we need to get hold of is, plus there’s no one in but editorial so instead of between 22 and 25 people, there’s only seven of us in the office. The good bit of that is, there’s space in the car park; the bad bit is, I didn’t know that until I’d battled up the hill from the harbour in gale force wind and horizontal rain this morning 🙂

But it still feels holidayish, in that weird way… and talking of which, Christmas was lovely, with the usual 11 people at my mum and dad’s.

It couldn’t have been a more different day from last year. December 25, 2010:

To December 25, 2011:

Madness, not that I’m complaining, and if it does get colder again, I’ll be well-equipped thanks to the silk glove liners and thick outer gloves my mum gave me 🙂

I got some other lovely presents, including these:

The rabbit head-shaped salt and pepper shakers, which are magnetic so they cling together, are amazing! My mum also got me a cookie press, which I’m looking forward to playing with.

The book The Help is brilliant too. My friend bought it for me because she loved the film and if it’s as good as the book, I can’t wait to see it; serious inability to put it down going on here 🙂

I did well in managing not only to do full justice to my mum’s best-in-the-world Christmas dinner but also eating my own weight in her cranberry and pistachio shortbread cookies and LOTS of chocolate. Lots.

It was also great that my brother made it back from South Korea, where he’s been teaching, as for a while he thought he wouldn’t be able to – altogether, it was a lovely day.

And although I’ve said it to her, I want to say here that it’s almost all thanks to my amazing mum and how hard she works to make it special for everyone, thank you Mum xx

What were the best bits of your Christmas – and do you know any good cookie press recipes?!


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40 Responses to Back in the swing

  1. Alexandra says:

    What a lovely Christmas! Sounds like you and your family had a blast, especially being all reunited 🙂
    I agree about The Help, it’s definitely one of my all time faves!

  2. It seriously has been SO warm compared to last year! We actually had a white Christmas in Alabama last year..and this year we were in Maine much further north with 60* days. Weird..

    I bet yours horses didn’t mind one but, though!

    • Weird that it’s the same for you too! And I don’t know much about the American climate but isn’t snow in Alabama really rare?
      And yes, I imagine the horses probably prefer it this way too… 🙂

  3. Aww that is nice your family was together for Christmas, so nice 🙂 And yeah, the weather is pretty nuts this year!

  4. Hannah says:

    Aw, I’m so glad you had a lovely Christmas and that your brother was able to make it! 🙂 Eating your own weight in cookies and chocolate is something I can definitely support with all my heart and soul, too

    Mostly, though, my mind is blown by the fact that your “smaller” office is over double my normal office!! We’re a National Peak Body NGO, and yet there are only four of us doing all of the work, and only three of us work in Canberra. Oh, my kingdom for more staff and less insane pressure! 😛 And the weather seems to be crazy everywhere. It’s summer here in Australia, but it’s been cold and raining and Melbourne even had a hailstorm…

    • I’m a bit of a pro at the eating my own weight thing – last year, it was home-made fudge; even the thought of it is enough to make my teeth ache but it was sooooo good!
      I feel your pain on the under-staffing; the proble is, you have to work your backside off to get everything done, then the bosses look at it and think: “Well if you can do it with only that many people, why employ more?” Grrrr 🙂
      It’s so weird that the weather’s different from usual all over the world this year; Australia, America and here, mental!

  5. The cookie press looks so cool! I’m jealous 🙂 As much as I’m loving this nicer weather, I do miss having *real* seasons.

  6. Nice gifts! 🙂 Cute salt and pepper shakers!

  7. Maria says:

    LOVE the rabbit salt and pepper pots- very cute! I think with the cookie press you need shortbread style recipes- eg no eggs- the dough needs to be thick and stiff. Maybe a gingerbread one would work too?
    That is so lovely that your brother made it back too- those sorts of things really make the holidays 🙂

  8. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas, Eleanor! I’m looking forward to reading The Help. Glad you’re enjoying it!

  9. I was hoping to see a picture of these much-talked-about short bread cookies 😉 I want those S&P shakers too, adorable! I’ve never used a cookie press, so I’ll just have to wait and see what you make with it!

    • Well my mum and nephew were making some more today so I suppose I could take a picture – and force a few more down 🙂
      I’ve never used one brfore either but I wanted to try, mainly because I was tempted by all the perfect shapes you can make – my cutout ones always look rubbish!

  10. I’ve never seen a cookie press before! Glad you had a good Christmas, I have to say I don’t miss last years snow although it would have been very festive!

    • Me neither; just looking at those pictures makes me shiver; I was much happier with grey cloud! I’ve never used a press so I’m looking forward to playing with my new toy at the weekend 🙂

  11. ~Jessica~ says:

    I’d take this year’s weather over last year ANY day. I’m just worried it’s lulling us into a false sense of security and we’re going to have blizzards all January and February. Little ray of sunshine, aren’t I?

    Sounds like a lovely xmas – I hope things aren’t too manic at work for you today!


    • That’s hilarious; that’s exactly what’s been worrying me for ages with all this mildness! I won’t breathe a sigh of relief till the first week in March, at least 🙂
      It was lovely, thank you and work’s not manic at all this week, quite the opposite so that’s one bonus!

  12. Your horse pictures always make me smile… I’d like to see more in 2012 please. 😉

  13. I can’t remember if we had snow in Chicago for Christmas last year, but I always expect our heavy snow to come later in January and February. Happy holidays!

  14. It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas and lots of lovely pressies!
    I’m glad the weather has been mild because I haven’t been stressed out about getting home or driving across the country to my boyfriend’s house. I’ve also been able to get out on a few runs which has kept me sane and reversed at least some of the damage done by all those treats.
    I’m lucky that I haven’t had to work this year, although in the past I’ve quite enjoyed the fact that the office has been quiet and the pace is a bit slower.

    • It was lovely thank you and I’ve been the same; getting out on the bike a lot more than I did this time last year must help work off a few Quality Streets!
      That’s exactly what it’s like this week but I’m glad you get to enjoy time off and hope it’s really relaxing 🙂

  15. ooh i haven’t read the help yet but i just saw the movie the other day. now that was good! now i need to read the book 🙂

  16. Christmas always end too quickly, but I’m glad you had a good one! And I’ve been crushing on a cookie press but haven’t actually bought one. Let us know how you like it!

  17. Looks like you had a lovely Christmas. I don’t miss the snow at all and quite enjoying the milder weather of this year.

  18. Kate says:

    I think the whole world must be going through a heat wave! Christmas is always warm here but it’s been 80 every day this week- miserable, because I keep thinking it’s summer!

  19. Your Christmas looks lovely! My mom has a cookie press – I think she just used the recipe in the booklet, but I can ask her 🙂 She dipped some in chocolate so, of course, those were the best 🙂

    The best part of my Christmas was, well, everything! But I particularly enjoyed spending time with my brother since he’s back from college. Happy New Year!

  20. Sounds like you had a good christmas 🙂 I like the look of the cookie press, but no I don’t know any recipes unfortunately!

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