Dr X and Mz G stride out across the cold muddy fields, er wait for me!!
These boots were made for climbing!
The wild Dorset coast
Dr X looks for a suitable place to picnic. What's in his rucksack??
The perfect pub - it has a fire! Dr X has gone in already
Last year, Dr X and I decided to hold our own version of Thanksgiving. After all why should the Americans have all the fun? With Mz G we booked out the whole of Saturday and scheduled fun activities. Ignoring the fact that it was one of the coldest days in November for eons, we dragged Mz G over to Chapman's Pool in the Purbecks for a bracing coastal walk to see the sea and have a picnic. After feeling intensely car sick on the journey over, Mz G was delighted to embrace the freezing winds off the sea.
If possible, it was even colder on the cliff top. Dr X tried to seize an opportunity to erect his emergency shelter which he had helpfully brought with him. No wonder his rucksack was so heavy. But is there room for three of us in there to eat our sandwiches? I asked dubiously. He claimed it was possible and would have the added benefit of being v. cosy. Despite his obvious desire to practice his bushcraft survival skills I declined, took some quick snaps of the sea (swirling in the mists below us) and we headed back to the car for refreshments.
Mz G was sufficiently recovered to tuck into her food (humous & cucumber sandwiches, salt & vinegar kettle crisps and a satsuma) and then we made the short drive to the Square & Compass pub in Worth Matravers. Some brave folks were sitting outside with their pints and watching a speckled hen run around clucking trying to find the way into it's home and escape the bitter cold. When we squeezed into the narrow passageway to order our drinks we saw why they were outside. It was completely packed. Good fortune prevailed however as just then a few people attempted to squeeze out and Mz G and I made a race for their seats, clambering over small children and muddy dogs to get to the spot near the wood burner. Leaving the pub we were greeted by a few shy flakes of snow. I grabbed my camera and started looking for the chicken but it had long gone. Dr X didn't waste time waiting around and had hiked off back to the car. Arriving back home at 15:00 and despite having left the heating on all day the house was barely warm. This was proof of how cold it was and also how large the house is and not that well insulated. Dr X lit the fire, I put the tree lights on and we commenced playing the Thanksgiving board game which Mz G had brought - Cluedo Harry Potter style. Dr X took an hour to read the instructions and had to be coached on how to say all the magical words properly. This will teach him not to fall asleep during the films in future...
Anyhow, he didn't explain the rules very well and I consequently lost two games and became petulant. My sulky behavior worsened when I learnt that cooking the Thanksgiving dinner would take forever and we wouldn't be eating until 19:00. Furthermore I was forbidden from eating snacks as my habit of snacking on junk food and then refusing the main food is well known. Ignoring this I raced to the kitchen and started shovelling any snacks I could find into my mouth before I could be stopped. I won't go into the two hour food preparation which followed but for future reference our Thanksgiving menu (veggie style) consisted of the following: Starter - cranberry cheese pate on a parmesan basket with toast Main - potato squash gnocchi covered in a creamy mushroom sauce, with pak choi and red cabbage Pudding - white chocolate tort with a raspberry coolie Most of the veg came from Mz G's allotment. I confess I didn't like all of it, but that's part and parcel of a big meal and I know that I'm very fussy with vegetables - heck with food in general. Whilst we were eating we talked about some Thanksgiving traditions (like the presidential turkeys) and thought about which things we were grateful for ( warm homes (ha), food, friendship and families).
We finished off dinner by playing some more Cluedo ( I still didn't win) and wrapped up the festivities around midnight. A good dry run for Christmas and a nice celebration in it's own right. Perhaps we'll leave out the nausea inducing car ride and freezing walk next time. Sorry about that Mz G. Xxx