We're back in Suffolk in our regular Premier Inn as I write. We've had a wonderful Christmas. Sarah and Duncan treated us to an excellent Xmas dinner and it was lovely to see granddaughter Rose enjoying her big day and opening her presents. It was equally fabulous a couple of days later when we drove down to Rochester to spend three nights with Paul and Josephine and had the chance get to know our other fantastic little grandchild Catherine a bit better. We even had the chance to babysit for a few hours and can't wait for the chance to do it again. The festive season was tinged with sadness as we recalled 2012 and missed Marion's mum Flo who didn't make it to her eighty-eighth Xmas.
From Rochester we headed up to Wales to visit old friends David and Janet Wareing in Llangollen. The River Dee was a torrent after days of rain but their cottage on the hillside was dry and warm and we enjoyed an amazing New Year's Eve dinner with copious (rather too copious) amounts of wine and champagne leaving us dancing into the early hours. As we were driving to Newmarket on New Year's Day, Marion managed to keep her wine intake to a sensible level (unlike her not very sensible husband). I travelled south miraculously avoiding a hangover but feeling decidedly green around the gills.
We had a stopover at The Bedford Lodge Hotel in Newmarket before heading to Framlingham this morning. It was well deserving of its number one hotel in Newmarket position on TripAdvisor with a comfortable well equipped and well lit room, a decent restaurant and a fabulous waitress served breakfast.
After dropping a few bits and pieces off at the house, we had a bit of a break today with a trip to Cineworld in Ipswich to see The Hobbit on their IMAX screen (courtesy of Paul and Josephine who treated us to a generous Cineworld voucher for Christmas). The IMAX screening was a tremendous visual and audio experience and, despite being almost three hours long, the film flew by. It may be just a group of dwarves journeying through a variety of hostile terrains being pursued by a variety of equally hostile creatures and fighting them in a variety of exciting ways but it is exciting and beautifully done. I said last week that the CGI in Life Of Pi was stunning. I didn't expect to see it's like again so quickly but The Hobbit is another visual masterpiece and I imagine that the Oscar judges will be struggling which to choose when they hand out the technical awards.
But enough relaxing, the countdown is now beginning with a race against time to get everything finished at the house before we move in. We're aiming to move in on 21st but there's still a lot to be done. We've got decorators working flat out but being held up by repairs to the leak, kitchen fitters waiting for the corian work-top, bi-folding doors waiting for some aluminium cladding, carpets to come,wardrobes to be fitted,a shower screen to be fitted, curtains to be hung, a sound system to go in, an office that's just a concrete base and seven light fittings plus all the broadband wiring to be completed. Oh well there are twelve working days to do it all in. We're seeing Roger the builder at the house tomorrow. Let's hope that he's got absolutely everything in hand.