For the first time in my life I spent Boxing Day away from the nuclear family, or at least my nuclear family. I was up and away by 9 o’clock, with a small overnight bag and (I thought) one more bag than I would be returning with. Arriving with Emma, mid-morning, we met up with the rest of her family for a midday Boxing Day walk in Burnham Beeches before descending on her house for sea bass for lunch and yes, more presents. Everyone had some, and Emma had the rest of mine, and I had a huge pile of presents. Amongst them was a new scarf (from Emma) all the way from a shop in North Wales – umm, which I might have chosen – Michael Palin’s New Europe book, some raindeer droppings, a selection box of wine and cheese from Grannie Margaret (coincidentally something to go with the cheese knife and fork received earlier), chocolates in a nice ‘ball’ tin from Helen’s sister, and a couple of wind-up torches, also from Grannie Margaret for both Emma and I.

Piled with Presents
Piled with Presents
Originally uploaded by shepline on 27 Dec ’07, 11.45pm GMT PST.