Today we were hosting another Christmas Meal this time for our Doggin' mates - Mina and Claire from Hounds on Holiday and Lou-Lou and H from Lou's Mobile Grooming - we did it last year but think it took place in February so at least we are celebrating this year at around about the right time!
Oooo I do love to entertain and I had the menu all under control. We were starting with the famous vegan Spicy Carrot and Peanut soup then Thai Spiced Crab Fishcakes then Orange and Chili Beef Casserole (will have to find where the recipe was and post it) all finished off with Lime and Chili Pannacotta or Bailey's Creme Brulee or Christmas Pud.
When we had got up this morning the fire was still very much alive so John just let it tick over gently throughout the course of the day so the house was toasty warm when our visitors arrived at 6.00 - Claire had remembered just how warm it had been when they came in February so was prepared wearing a T-Shirt! Poor Lou-Lou is still off colour and not firing on all cylinders - a bit worried that she is working too much and now she is having a little break everything is catching up with her. She was very quiet and we don't like that.
In between courses we all exchanged our little gifts to one another. We started with the gift bags instead of crackers which are filled with little goodies carefully chosen for the recipient and then a joke and chocolates and a puzzle to keep people amused. The girlies are trying to get to grips with the metal puzzles that you have to take apart and then reassemble.
Headgear was compulsory so thank goodness we were sensible enough to gather all the hats from the Jingle before Christmas so that there was enough to go round. Inside some of the parcels were alternative headgear which John and Hywel were more than happy to model!!
After starters we opened our gifts from Mina and Claire. Both Lou and I received a memory jar. Throughout the course of 2016 Lou and H and John and I will fill our respective jars with a note of something or someone which has left us with a good memory and then on New Year's Eve we will sit down and open them and read out and remember all the good and nice things which we have encountered during the year. Lou and H will have a headstart on us as they have a lovely holiday planned so there will be plenty of memories from that I am sure. It was a lovely idea and one which John and I started previously and then gave up when there seemed to be more bad/sad things as memories than good.
This was followed by the gifts from Lou and H and from John and I and everyone seemed really happy with what they received. I am so glad I listened to Lou when we went shopping a few weeks back and she kept saying how much she wanted the Owl cushion - I am just glad that no-one else bought it for her.
It got so warm in the house and it seemed to be a relatively mild night so we all decided to decamp outside for a while. Lou, Claire and I went up onto the roof terrace to watch the stars and wake the neighbours as we were in singing mode and took the radio with us. It wasn't really late - it just felt like it!
So here we are the Doggin' Crew (John and I are honorary members) using the good old self timer method of group photography rather than a selfie stick! Not bad after consuming several drinkies - at least all the food will have helped to soak it up.
Who would have thought we could have sat outside up here in Droushia this late in the year? Well we did and at least Lou-Lou was sensible and wore a cardi so that she didn't get more of a chill. We have her an extra present of some SNIPS to take tonight as we need her in fine form on New Year's Eve.
Sadly the evening had to come to an end but John and I cleared everything up before retiring to bed so we didn't have a mess to face in the morning.