After almost a week of family fun over the festive period, our last houseguests left yesterday. It felt positively eerie in the house this morning, but on the plus side, breakfast was completed in just one shift.
We did have a lovely Christmas, despite the storms, which provided us with a whole evening of no electricity, so we sat round the fire by candlelight telling ghost stories. That same storm ripped loads of hip-tiles from neighbouring roofs, almost demolishing next door's shed but thankfully missing our caravan just a few feet away.
Unlike many poor souls, our electricity was re-connected in the early hours of the morning, so Christmas was able to continue unabated.
Food and drink was consumed. Silly party games were played. Sofa snoozes were had.
Nobody was sick and bad. Bonhomie reigned throughout and no-one had to be physically restrained and confined to the study for outrageous behaviour except Small Dog.
Poor Small Dog.
She loves Christmas and she loves visitors, but a combination of the two usually proves too much for her tiny brain. There is always too much going on so she misses her naps. Sofa space is at a premium as is floor space, and she can't stretch out anywhere for fear of being trodden upon. If she does manage to find a spot for a brief nap someone's feet will suddenly hove into view and she has to spring into action to avoid being squished. Present unwrapping sends her into a frenzy and she is unable to grasp the concept that not everything being unwrapped is hers.
One of her presents was a bag of rawhide twist chews. She likes to 'bury' her chews somewhere in the house but with so many people around she couldn't find somewhere secret enough for her. Eventually she decided that behind a cushion on the sofa was the best place but then she had to sit guarding it, checking from time to time that it was still there and staring hard at everyone in the room who then had to pretend they didn't know where it was. Eventually her neurosis about the safety of her chew pushed her over the edge and she unearthed it and had to carry it around in her mouth, whimpering pitifully.
In the end we had to retrieve it and put it back in the bag, then try to distract her as she frantically hunted all of her hiding places trying to find it. Inevitably, the heady mixture of light, noise, people, chew-hiding-place-worry, excitement, presents etc etc etc all became too much and she threw a doggy tantrum, resulting in her being placed in the study to calm down.
Yesterday evening, when everyone had gone, she stretched out on the armchair by the fire and slept soundly for several hours, unresponsive even to the appearance of a selection of post-dinner nibbles. Presumably her doggy equilibrium has now been restored as she's back to normal sunny self this morning.
Today we will be putting the house to rights, changing beds, washing bedlinen, hoovering crumbs and debris, running back-to-back dishwasher cycles, hosing down the oven, trying to work out how to amalgamate all the leftovers into one edible meal and perhaps, just perhaps, finally get round to having a 'play' with our presents.