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27th Dec, 2009

It's been a lovely warm Xmas for me - indoors that is. There was plenty of snow when I arrived in Norfolk, though it's pretty much all gone now. However, more importantly, I've been enjoying the pleasure of staying somewhere warm enough that I only need a T-shirt, and not T-shirt, shirt and two jumpers. And there's a warm bathroom, with a shower. Oh, the luxury ! It's nice not to have to think about shopping and cooking either. A hot lunch magically appears on the table every day too. Mum does tend to boil the veg to death, but I can put up with that for a few days.

I went shopping in Norwich and Wymondham in the two days before Xmas. Neither place was as busy as previous years. I visited my two favourite bookshops and came away with a variety of stuff from a biography of Joyce Grenfell, to the Shell Book of Country Crafts. I got various presents too, and got my main present from Mum and Dad, which is a Lumix FS62 digital camera. I told Dad previously that I wanted a digital camera, which he was happy to pay for. I researched to find the one I wanted, found out where I could get one in Norwich, phoned the store before setting out to make sure they had one in, and reserved it for collection. I went out for a little walk with it yesterday, and found that the internal memory only holds about a dozen photos, so I've bought an 8G memory card via ebay.

Mum, Dad and I exchanged our presents here on Xmas morning, after breakfast. Around noon we went to my brother, Chris's house as usual. More present swapping there, with Crhis, his wife, Sharon, and nephew, AyJy. Chris likes to try intersting and unusual food, so my presents to him included pate bought from the Continental Market - hare and wild boar. For Xmas dinner we had lamb shanks in red wine and rosemary sauce, with mash, roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots, sprouts, cauliflower and Yorkshire puddings. For dessert, there was a choice between a very good Xmas pudding or Sharon's booby desserts. She'd made little tartlets filled with fruit and jelly. Unfortunately, the first lot of jelly all dissolved into the cases. So she cast the jellies separately in rounded pudding moulds and then placed these on the tartlets, and topped each wobbly dome with a glace cherry. And then she saw what they looked like :)

It's been quiet the last couple of days. I've mostly been reading or faffing on Dad's computer. I keep getting asked to Do Technical Stuff. I've downloaded Flash onto Dad's new PC, with some difficulty. It turned out that AyJy had accidently made Dad's account (which I use) a limited access one. Everytime I wanted to download something useful - like Flash - the PC demanded me to use an admin account instead. (except for Firefox - it downloaded that OK). I managed a workaround once, and got Flash installed but now AyJy has upgraded Dad's account to admin status.
  Dad wanted me to figure out the Freeview+ box in the back room, so he could record on that as well as on the Sky+ box in the front. I checked the Sky+  manual and told him he could record two channels at the same time on that. Still can't get the Freeview+ box to talk to the telly in the back room. Have also been requested to find out why the fancy, electronic weather station isn't displaying outside temperatures. Oh, and need to download drivers for Dad's old printer to new PC and get that running. And explain to Dad that I've bookmarked the websites of the holiday companies I showed him, so I don't need to write down how to find them.
   I guess I'm doing something in return for the luxury.

It's been a good Christmas, and nice to see the family.

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