the hoofindex - rewind to the previous trip (Rome!) - fast forward to the following trip (hogmanay in Edinburgh)



Well folks, another Christmas has been and gone... but it has been interesting.

A few weeks back we went into the heart of Harpenden to watch the mayor turn on the towns Christmas lights. It was party central... not quite the party that most of you folks were thinking, more like a country fair with a Carousel, portable mini rollercoaster, the spinning top, fairground games and stalls - tons of families with kids, strollers and plenty of pregnant women. We reckon there is something in the Harpenden water cause apparently Harpenden has the highest rate for twins... needless to say we buy bottled water for the Hoof'ess.

The Harpenden lights were a warm up for Christmas, to help the Hoof'ess get in the Christmas mood. Problem is, with one car and hanging out together so much meant buying each other presents was going to be somewhat of a challenge. Our first attempt was up at Milton Keynes, we went separate ways and met back at a particular time. While the Hoof'ess could hide smaller gifts in her handbag, I couldn't hide any gifts without looking like I was smuggling stuff out of the shops. I ended up taking half of Friday off to get most of my presents sorted. Don't know how the Hoof'ess did it.

Fast forwarding to the Saturday before Christmas, and we back with our friends at EasyJet in Luton. All week we'd been keeping an eye on the weather given all the troubles at Heathrow due to thick fog. Luckily Luton wasn't effected, so Saturday morning we were out with only a small delay... sweet as. A quick 45 minute flight and then a 90 minutes train ride and we arrived in Zwolle - for those of you who don't know where Zwolle is, it's inland from Amsterdam - towards the German border - in the middle of the flat dutch countryside.

Arriving at Zwolle train station we had the 20 minute walk ahead of us. The senior Hoof's were aware of flight details, but given the delay we weren't sure where they'd be. Surprise, surprise - they were waiting at the station. Don't worry folks, they hadn't been waiting over an hour due to our delay in Luton - they'd kept an eye online and had only just arrived.

Fast forward again to Christmas day and the Hoof'ess was very excited about the prospect of opening all the presents (she's like a kid during Christmas time). However she had to wait until after breakfast, and the Senior Hoof's morning coffees... and then in late morning we finally got to opening presents.

Hoofy searched the pile for any gifts for him, but was very disappointed not to find any.

Prior to Christmas dinner we had the obligatory photos with Santa hats on, led by the Hoof'ess of course - with my mum...

I had to grab hold of my father in order to get a pic...

And then the required couple shot!

And Hoofy with mother Hoof and my Aunt (and Uncle was nearby) who'd arrived for the big Christmas dinner.

After a great dinner and drinks we all crashed, with the flight back to sunny Luton the next day. We have to pack all the gifts back into our packs... yes we had to bring both packs from England to carry presents, and they went back full! Just as full after 4 days, as after a month travelling through Mexico and Cuba. Ridiculous.

We were both back at work between Christmas and New Year - so Saturday morning we were back at Luton to fly to Edinburgh for Hogmanay.