So... the last thing I really posted about was my parathyroid all clear (hurrah). Since then I've been busy, but I'll briefly summarise. Click through each photo for the rest of the album.
On my birthday (a Friday) we went out for dinner with Becky and Stuart and then went to see the latest Harry Potter film, which was great fun. Sadly we couldn't stop out for a drink afterwards as we had to get an early train to Burton-on-Trent for the wedding of Mike's cousin Stephen and Anna. It was lovely to see lots of Mike's family again so soon after our wedding: Chris and Margaret (Stephen's mum and dad) were particularly smug that it was now their turn to be proud parents of the groom. I love weddings, and this was no exception: lovely ceremony, gorgeous dress, a nice meal and then speeches, *loads* of dancing with a real band, and an excellent buffet.
Since we were in the region anyway Mike decided his birthday present to me was a bit of a holiday in the Peak district, so his Mum and Dad kindly gave us a lift to Buxton on the Sunday (very kind, since it turns out to be a very awkward journey to do by train, all those hills in the way). We pottered round the town on Sunday afternoon and went to see Show of Hands at the Opera House - which was great fun but made us feel very young :) On Monday we got a bus into the middle of nowhere (the bus driver kindly dropped us even though there was no stop) and went for an 8 mile walk along the Roaches to Lud's Church. Considering the time of year we were lucky there were only a few very muddy bits, and the weather smiled on us far more than we deserved, it was brilliant! And then on Tuesday we visited Poole's Cavern (a show cave dating from Victorian times) and Solomon's Temple (a folly on the hill above the town). It was a lovely few days away and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
In mid-December we managed another picturesque weekend away, this time in Yorkshire. We went to visit my mum and dad, and Mike's parents joined us there too. We had a Saturday out in the Dales, visiting the Strid near Bolton Abbey, having a fantastic lunch in Burnsall, and then driving up over the tops, past the last of the snow, and down through Malham. Fantastic. And on the Sunday we were joined by my sisters and John, Dave and Oliver for a big family not-quite-Christmas dinner, complete with turkey and trifle! It doesn't match getting to see them at Christmas itself but it was definitely a highlight.
And then of course there was Christmas proper. This year we spent it in the Forest of Dean with Mike's parents, and were joined by Pete and Val and Val's mum Hermine late on Boxing Day. It was another lovely break with lots of food (it wouldn't be Christmas otherwise) and lots of long walks in the snow and time watching the birds in the garden: Mike and I bought ourselves a good pair of binoculars and a bird watching scope for Christmas and enjoyed making the most of them.
Since we got back we've mostly had a quiet time - except for one lovely evening hosted by Clare. We've been shopping and spent our wedding presents in the sales - new cutlery, crockery, bedding and other odds and ends for round the home. And today we defrosted the freezer - we know how to live :) It may not be a very exciting start to 2011 but it's a happy one, and we're looking forward to the rest of the year.