|Still not knowing anyone in Leeds, we decided that an orphan's xmas with Katie, Martin and Sam in Kent would be a better option. Being the middle of winter, we expected nasty weather, but as it panned out, xmas day and boxing day were both very sunny but cold - strangely reminiscent of a Dunedin summer!
As you will see from the photos, we all did very well from xmas - I received a lot of very much needed casual clothes and also gave myself a new snowboard jacket. Unfortunately my present from Korina did not arrive due to the xmas mail, and we are still trying to locate it. I gave Korina a 'Red Letter Day' - these are a really interesting concept over here, that you can give someone 'an experience'. This could be anything from driving a Ferrari to going bungee jumping or learning how to cook / garden with a tame celebrity. Check out http://www.redletterdays.co.uk/home/index.asp for more detail...
For Korina I chose a day at a Rally driving school - where she gets to learn how to do hand brake turns, power slides and generally drive like a lunatic! I was a little apprehensive whether it was something that she would like, but as luck would have it, the gift was a big success. Much crazy hand waving ensued.
Otherwise on xmas day I enjoyed the feast that Katie and Korina prepared with some help from Sam. The girls each made one dessert each, so it was a little like the West Malling chapter of the Women's institute! (sort of an old-fashioned association over here for wealthy ladies that make chutneys and the like)
Although a little disappointed at the lack of a white xmas, two days later we were not to be denied. A cold snap came through dumping 10-20cm of the white stuff on most of England. Much hilarity ensued playing with the snow, making snowmen and pummelling the neighbourhood kids in a snowball fight...the snow did make it a bit difficult to travel up to Lincoln for New Years, but with some assistance from Katie and Martin we managed to find a train that was running and we were then on our way...
Thanks to everyone that sent Korina and I gifts this xmas. It was a little strange being so far away from everyone, and it made it that much easier knowing that we were still a part of everyone's thoughts back in NZ.