Sunday, what a Day! This was the sort of day that weekends were invented for, and I don’t think we could have squeezed much more in! It’s safe to say that we fully made the most of every minute we could today. The day was started with a six mile run, which we normally do on a Saturday, the weather was fantastic, blue skies, a slight breeze and a pleasant 8°c, and it all made for a great run. It was the first day I’d ran with both Eve and Rob together, and as always, Rob kept a good pace! The pace pushed Eve for the first few laps, but she wasn’t feeling up to the last lap, so backed off while me and Rob sprinted the last 1.5 mile lap taking us from a pace of 11min30 per mile where we’d been running with Eve, which wasn’t the usual pace for me and Rob anyway, up to 8min10 per mile! It felt good, and was a great way to set ourselves up for the day ahead, and certainly a welcome surprise to the anticipated winter weather that we were expecting for this time of year.
With just enough time for a shower and a shave, we were almost ready to head out for part two of our day, although we had to wake the snoozing little lady up, who had decided to take a late nap this morning. A couple of months ago I’d sent out a few emails to arrange a Christmas meal for our antenatal group, a total of seven couples with eight babies. We first met up in June 2013 while the ladies were all still expecting, on our antenatal course. During the first few hours, I can’t lie, I looked around and thought what a quiet bunch they all were, not being able to see how any of us would end up being friends at the end of all this, which is half of the point of going, but by the end of the next session there was already a very different dynamic about the group, and the seeds of friendship had been well and truly planted! The mothers met up regularly after that during maternity leave and became very good friends, the dads all met up on a numerous occasions for a dads night out with a few beers, and again, some firm friendships were built. Now, a year and a half later, and we are all still very much good friends, and everyone was very excited to meet up for this afternoons lunch, including myself. They were all grateful that I’d organised it for them, but in reality there was really very little organising to be done, a few emails and a couple of phone calls and it was all booked in! We’d booked a big table at a Carvery, we’d been there several times before the food was delicious, and because it was a carvery and there was no menu it removed the hassle of ordering and waiting for food to arrive. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we swapped presents in a “secret santa” for the children, and before we knew it, it was time to leave. It was a fantastic afternoon, and my one goal was to get a group photo with everyone in it, including all the parents and children, as we’d never managed to do this before, and thankfully the bar staff were only too happy to oblige. I’d set the camera up so that I knew exactly how the photo would come out, and left nothing to chance. I’m so happy with it. Definitely up there with my top ten favourite photos of 2014. I don’t actually have a top ten, but that sounds like something I need to be looking into on new years eve after we’ve opened a bottle of wine and Clare’s fallen asleep!
The gap between the meal and part three of our day, meeting friends at the german market, meant we had just enough time to get home and put Olivia down for a quick nap. Olivia had other ideas, and tired as she was just messed around, and although needing a good hours nap, probably only got five minutes at best! Soon we were back out and heading into the city centre to meet our good friends Tracy and Richard for our traditional Christmas meet up at the german market. People have mixed opinions of the german market, and its not to everyones taste. Some people love it, some hate it, so just go on about how expensive everything is, some complain about how its always the same (isn’t that the point of a tradition???). Personally I think its great, and it appears I am not on my own. Each year it remains as busy as ever, even though the prices have gone up on a lot of things. There are some lovely gifts there, even if they do seem a little pricey, and the whole market seems very heavily orientated towards food and drink. This is where I don’t get people complaining about the price, yes I know that it may seem a lot for a glass of hot mulled wine or a foot long hot dog, but firstly you wouldn’t have that at home, and secondly if you did then yes it would be cheaper at home because you wouldn’t be paying someone to cook it, someone to sell it, someone to set up the stall you’re buying it from, the power to run the stall, the heat to stop the staff from freezing, and the you wouldn’t need the incentive to get a bunch of german people to run and staff the whole thing and you certainly wouldn’t have the experience of a traditional event for many people, and chance to wrap up in the cold and embrace the fun! If you don’t like the prices, stop going there! There’s a wetherspoons round the corner, go and get cheap food and drink there and quit whining! Sure its not very traditional or christmassy, but its cheaper and thats what you wanted, right? If you want the german market experience then put your hand in your pocket and buy some expensive food or drink, its a one-off, its not like you’re doing it every weekend! You’d happily go to a pretentious restaurant (marco pierre or jamie olivers place come to mind) and pay overly extortionate prices for a run of the mill steak wouldn’t you? I don’t hear people complaining at the prices there, they know what to expect, and thats exactly how you should treat the german market. I go there because I like it, and some of the food and drink is quite unique, regardless of cost. We do it once a year and so there extra few quid that we spend really doesn’t worry me, its a fun afternoon out with friends and worth the money!
Olivia had been fantastic all afternoon considering her lack of naps, but by 6pm we knew we were pushing it and so invited Tracy and Rich back to ours for a coffee as it was kind of on the way for them anyway. Its always nice catching up with them, and we don’t do it often enough. Once they’d gone it was time to put the tree up, followed by a christmas movie, which we decided was to be the slightly less traditional Bad Santa, love it, great film! Now the festive season is well and truly underway, I had better get those christmas cards written!