christmas in nottingham

We’re not Christmas people, which is to say that we don’t celebrate Christmas. The past two years, my Christmases have been spent walking the deserted streets of Liverpool until I either get lost (my first year) or I can’t feel my toes (last year). So this year, when Aurelie invited us to spend Christmas with her in Nottingham, it didn’t take a lot to convince us to hit the road (spending time with wonderful friends? Check! Train trip? Check! The prospect of an unboring Christmas? Check!). We left midday on Christmas Eve and spent a fantastic four days in Nottingham.

A hipster reading The Hobbit. I love it.

Our morning was incredibly hectic and we were rushing to get out. Raspberry tripped on a bag I was carrying and skinned her knee, the blood soaking through her white dotty tights. She put a band-aid on it while we were on the train and I meant to take a picture of her bloody tights, but didn’t. Instead, I got one of Lucas looking at his skinned knee from playing volleyball.

We’ve travelled on the train through Stockport a number of times now. The somewhat aerial view never gets old for me.

The trip to Nottingham is over two-and-a-half hours. I’ve learnt from our previous trips to Lincoln, Sheffield and Nottingham that any trip that long or longer makes both Raspberry and Ares restless. While Ares napped a little near the end of the trip, Raspberry was wiggly and the prospect of reading the books she brought or drawing in her notebook didn’t entice her one bit.

I take way too many pictures of the hilly, sheep-dotted, rural landscape whenever the train goes through the Peak District.

Much to Raspberry’s delight, we once again got the front-and-center view on the double-decker bus to Aurelie’s house. The bus driver, a thin, bespectacled man with white hair, was very friendly. I don’t take the bus very often, but from my limited experience, the bus drivers in Nottingham are way friendlier than those in Liverpool. I learnt that Nottingham bus drivers aren’t allowed to touch the passengers’ fare. Lucas and I had a discussion about how odd it is that the buses in Liverpool give you change when you pay your fare, but not anywhere else we’ve been.

Aurelie has the best collection of mismatched plates.

Ares really enjoyed this rosemary bread. I think he ate more of it than I did.

The antlers didn’t last very long, as you might expect.

Neither did this get-up.

The kids get to open their gifts on Christmas Eve. They were itching for their grandfather to arrive, so they could hurry up and have dinner and open their presents. They did a good job eating really quickly and then hovering over the adults as we leisurely enjoyed our meal, waiting for us to finish so they could tear into the presents. And tear into them they did. Wrapping paper and packaging everywhere. I could barely contain Ares from putting all kinds of choke-worthy bits into his mouth.

I secretly brought presents for Lucas and Raspberry, sneaking them under Aurelie’s tree. I got Lucas a set of Staedtler Point 88 pens, as he’d previously indicated he wanted to get some, and Pea’s Book of Big Dreams for Raspberry, who’s been reading the series a lot lately. Up until today, Raspberry had been under the impression that it was Aurelie who got Lucas and her the gifts, since they were under her tree. I’m that good.

See? Awesome plate!

And there were Christmas crackers! I’d never actually pulled a Christmas cracker before (not that I did this time) nor seen it done in real life. That’s how sheltered I am. I had no idea there was stuff inside in either (now that I think about it, of course! People need some motivation to pull open a cracker, not just for shits and giggles). There were all these lame jokes and small knick-knacks like plastic stencils in them. One of them contained a fortune teller fish. I’d never seen or heard of them before (yes, sheltered!) but Aurelie explained it to me. I don’t remember what my fortune was, but apparently, the fish says that Raspberry is passionate. Why yes, she is.

The kids were so hopped up on excitement (and possibly, sugar) that they went to sleep really late. Raspberry wouldn’t stop talking and keeping the other kids up. From what I hear, she was chatting until two a.m., a trend that was to continue the next couple of nights. Holy hell. Despite all the insanity, I’m glad she had a great time and the company of other kids. More about our Christmas in the next post.


4 responses

  1. I pored over this post and its photos. What a lovely holiday! So warm. Love the rural photos and the views of the urban areas, and your friend’s home seems so inviting. The rural photo of sheep right after Ares at the window on the train is my favorite landscape shot! You can see the moisture in the air and the motion of the train, but the stillness of the sheep and the hills and clouds are dreamy.

    December 30, 2014 at 3:28 am

  2. loved the photos of the hills and meadows.

    January 1, 2015 at 1:15 pm

  3. As do I. Thanks :)

    January 4, 2015 at 3:56 pm

  4. Glad you enjoyed the post, Kristen! I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it, that Aurelie’s home is warm and inviting. It so is! I wish my home were like that but it’s not at the moment, although I’m working at making it so.

    I do love the image of the sheep too. We’ve travelled on the train through that area, the Peak District, a number of times now, and every single time, I try to capture the landscape but it doesn’t always work as the train’s either going too quickly, or it’s too dark.

    January 4, 2015 at 4:01 pm

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