Things that Made Me Happy This Weekend:
All of the cards have been sent. With a Christmas letter! Woo Hoo! I will post the card and letter here on Christmas Eve, or maybe late tomorrow.
All the packages that had to be posted before Christmas have gone.
Tony Hall did a great show at the folk club.
All the presents that we mailordered that have to arrive here before Christmas have arrived, and there was *no queue* at all at the post office to pick up packages this morning.
The black bean soup was universally acclaimed delicious, and has gone into my permanent store of cheap family recipes. Ingredients; 12 oz black beans, 1/2 pound expensive lentils (these are 'black beluga' but De Puy would be fine, as would Canadian-fake-depuy), 4oz shredded ham, and a pile of veg you have round the house anyway (carrots, celery, onion, green pepper), stock, various seasonings; precook the blackbeans for 10 minutes or so and then throw everything in a pot and stew for hours on end.
Here's the big one:
Incarcerating the children in the pre-Christmas labour camp has worked better than I could ever possibly imagine. We are now on day 3; the deal is that the children, in addition to their regular chores, have to help us with the pre-Christmas tidying/cleaning for two hours a day, and then the rest of the time is their own. Not only have they joined in without complaining, they've made it all much easier, and they're now at the stage where they're actively suggesting the next area we might work on.
Partly as a consequence of this, the living room, dining room and cellar are tidier than they've been for years; the kitchen and study are well on their way, and we're just about to get started on the children's rooms. The great beneficiary is the 'reusables' heap at the local tip.
What's more, Jonathan has been spotlessly well-behaved; he joined in with all the Morris dancing yesterday morning and demonstrated that he can actually do Black Rod and Green Willow sufficiently well that he should get to dance at least one of them out on Boxing Day.
Woo Hoo! I actually feel Christmassy.