January and February wrap up including Christmas! (part one)

How did March happen? I know you're all looking forward to spring right now and I sure am too, I'm kinda pretending it's spring already actually if the truth be known. I know the last thing you want to read is a post jumping back to Christmas party shenanigans, and it's probably a bit weird going back to what we did in the last couple of months rather than the last week, but you're getting it anyway. We had so much in the diary, more so in January which was really rather lovely to banish those January and back to work blues! It was kickstarted on 3rd Jan with a family meal out to celebrate our nieces 21st birthday, and Rebecca what a beautiful young lady you are growing into. Then Mr C flew off to Portugal for a week of golf. Lucky bugger, and I got stuck back into work and blogging. To be honest my heart is more into blogging right now and it's all I want to do, but somethings gotta help pay the bills!

Ooh ooh, before I forget I've got to put this photo in or Mr C will never forgive me. This actually happened and was all he spoke about for ALL of January. The day he met Sylvester Stallone, Rocky, Rambo whatever you prefer to call him.

It was so funny, he was away for the day on business up north and was in a hotel having coffee when Sly walked in and sat down with his entourage on the next table! Mr C rang me barely able to contain himself but was having to whisper down the phone. "Get a grip of yourself" I told him, "it's only a look-a-like" and would he stop wasting my time ringing me every few minutes to give me a blow by blow account of what the look-a-like was up to and what he was having for lunch. I was trying to blog for goodness sake! Well, low and behold, it was the actual Hollywood movie star in the flesh and he bloody did get a snap for the album. Let's just peel that egg off my face. His bodyguard/management said no photos allowed but as he was walking out Mr C dived on him, wrestled Rambo to the floor, and sat on him, well that was probably going on in Mr C's head but in reality he politely asked the man himself for a photo and he said "yeaaaah, I wanna photo".  So there you have it, Bob's your uncle, do you have an Uncle called Bob? Apparently Mr Stallone was a real nice guy, not a baddy at all that day, he's made Mr C's year that's for sure, it's not every day you get to speak, laugh and rub shoulders with a mega movie star is it? Moving on.

Mr C and I then took Emily and her bestie, Danna to London for the weekend as a treat for Danna's 18th birthday and you can read all about that right here.

Towards the end of Jan we attended my works Christmas party. It's always in January, actually I lie, we did have one in Feb but they're mainly January and it's jolly lovely to have something to look forward, know you're going to have a good old knees up and what's nicer is that I can share it with some of my best friends that I've made through work, and who incidentally are now best friends of Mr C too. Even more of a reason to drink copious amounts of grape juice, dance till your feet fall off and your belly hurts from laughing!


This is a long post and photo heavy so grab your cuppa/smoothie/beer/wine whatever your vice is (who cares if it's only 10 o'clock in the morning) and get your bum comfy, you may be with me some time.

This year we were celebrating 25 years of business so it was a real special occasion, held at the Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire so all us friends booked rooms to stay over the night to ramp up the fun factor. Ooh-er that sounds like we had after party activities planned, don't be letting your mind run away with you, I just mean the even later night and fun in the 24 hour bar and the joys of eating breakfast together, even though you can't stand to look at yourself in the mirror the morning after, let alone look at each other across the breakfast table!!! And trust me I do not look pretty after only 4 hours sleep!

We checked in and went to dump our baggage in the rooms. We arrived first with Sarah and Mike and our rooms were on the ground floor down a long dark corridor, it felt like we were in the dungeons. Sarah and Mike had stayed at the Hinckley Island before and told us how impressed they were but these rooms were far from impressive. It was bloody freezing in there, I'm sure you could see your breath. It was dark, no view out the window and the nets that were up had mould growing all along the bottom of them. Euuuughh. Not conducive to a pleasant stay or good nights sleep thats for sure. Let me say here as well that we got a reduced rate that night on our room, and for a corporate rate it was only slightly reduced may I say, but I would not have paid that money to stay in that room, no siree.  Sarah and I went back to reception to see if there was any way they could change our rooms, pretty pleeeeeeease?  The young man behind reception tapped away on his computer for a good few minutes and then produced new room keys. He was really helpful actually, I think his name was James but don't quote me on that, could be totally pulling a name out of thin air! Anyway, we collected the boys and the baggage from the dungeon and went up a couple of floors where it was light and airy with nice carpet along the corridors, apple in bowls on tables, we had arrived at the premier floor!!! And this was our new home for the night.

This was more like it!! And dressing gowns and slippers too! I know you probably have to pay a supplement for one of these rooms but we certainly didn't expect to get the kind of dingy cold room we had first off, for what we paid I would expect to get that sort of room for that sort of price in a small London hotel, not a hotel in my own county. However, we were so very grateful that they upgraded our rooms.

Happy campers, we headed down to the bar.  Apparently they have great facilities, a pool and a gym but where else would you head on a Saturday afternoon when you're gearing up for a party?

We sat in the bar just off reception, they had another larger bar/seating area but it was so goddamn cold in there I wouldn't have survived. I have to be warm you know, even in the sahara dessert I'd have my coat on. I kid you not. We ordered drinks and some soup and rolls, gotta line that tummy! 

Our other buddies arrived and we whiled away a few hours nattering and letting time run away with us. Holy moly how could it be nearly 6 o'clock already?  We'd got to be back downstairs for 7pm and I'll own up and say here that I usually take hours to get ready, pampering, preening, painting. What? Doesn't every lady take hours? No? Just me then. Luckily I pulled it off and was out the door on time to collect our neighbours from the room next door. I was impressed with myself for not walking out with smudged nail polish or my dress tucked in my knickers.

Everyone gathered in the lobby for bubbles and to ooh and arrhhh over the beautiful frocks on show.

The gents all looking rather dapper. 

On to the grainy selfies.  Apologies as well for a lot of rubbish pics but they were all taken on cameras. The dress doesn't quite look the same with a DSLR necklace!!!!!!

It's 9.30pm (clock on the wall) and only two bottles down? Nah, that can't be right. Perhaps we hid all our empties under the table, he he! I know I lost a Mac lipgloss under there somewhere, never to be seen again *sob*.

Coffee arrived and the silliness began. Julie what are you doing???? Has Mr C got turkey stuck to his face or something? Should I tell him? Simone are you in pain my love? 

As this was a 'special' party we even had, I was about to say band, but they had no instruments so we had a live musical performance (sorry, can't remember what they were called) but they were good. 

Me and my bestie, Sarah R. Putting the 'R' in there as I have two close friends called Sarah so don't want you to be confused.com. 

Mr C and the lovely Simone thinking they're auditioning for a rock band. Why does a guitar make your body go all bendy like that? Simone looks good though.

Dancing our feet off. 

Oh dear, let the drunkenness begin!

Our table was right near the door and at the end of the night Mr C and Mike were stood up chatting and I commented on the fact that they looked like bouncers. Well, that did it, they stood there for ages  then having a right giggle with all the drunken ladies who were trying to get back into the room with Mr C and Mike asking if they'd had their hand stamped. No stamp. No entry. The giggly ladies believed them and trotted off down the corridor. It was funny and how the boys kept their serious bouncer faces I will never know. Mr C makes for a rather handsome bouncer though don't you think? 

Kicked out of the function room we moved on to the 24 hour bar for more of this.....

And this.....

Poor Carol saw this the next day and couldn't even remember it being taken. Ouch sore head alert!!!!

As I said after four hours sleep, breakfast wasn't a pretty affair so I didn't include heads in this one! Hands were ok, if a little shaky, but we all managed to eat. Breakfast was buffet style but when we got there some of the food trays were empty so if you wanted a bit of everything you had to wait, and to be honest they weren't the quickest staff on the planet. Actually, they really let the experience down, one young girl serving our table barely spoke, and when she did it was a grunt, we all found it quite rude really. Mr C managed to eat eventually, poor thing. He'd ordered poached eggs of some sort and ended up waiting ages for them to arrive, I'm no cook but even I know poached eggs don't take that long, and we'd all finished by the time his arrived as you can see in the shot below. 

Shortly after brekkie and pills we said our goodbyes and took our sore, weary, aching bodies home for some much needed rest. By the time we got home we were wondering what on earth to do for lunch. It was Sunday but there was no way I was cooking. "Let's go out for lunch' I said. "Best idea ever" said Mr C. Emily was at work so we shouted up to Tom to ask if he wanted to join us. Silly question really, why would a 20 year old refuse to be taken out for free grub? 

We headed to the place where Emily works. A small marina called Pillings Lock. It's a delightful little  place not far from where we live and they managed to squeeze us in. If you like being on the water Pillings is an ideal place for exploring the canals and waterways. It has a relaxed bistro which serves wonderful food, they have events on all year round and even apartments that you can rent. It gets real busy in the summer months and it's lovely to head down and sit by the water with a glass of vino! You should check out there website here

We were ravenous again by the time we got there, must be the alcohol, but we started again with one of these each↓

I had the roast chicken wrapped in bacon.

Mr C had gammon.

Tom opted for the sausage and mash.

The food was fabulous and just what the doctor ordered that day. With our bellies full we made our way back home for a well earned snooze on the sofa. Shout out to Janet here, because she had gone on to cook her and hubby a roast, unpack, and put washing amongst other things, wonder woman she is! Gold star for Janet.

We had a terrific time at the party but didn't have a good beginning or end at the hotel which is a shame. The room though was good in the end, thanks again. I'm really quite sad that we didn't have the time to check out the hotel's health and leisure facilities because Sarah and Mike used them when they stayed and had nothing but praise. They have a pool, fully equipped fitness suite, and sauna and steam room so maybe we'll get an opportunity to go again.

Was your January as busy, or was it a nice peaceful one for you? Does anyone else have their office parties in the new year?



  1. Wow...A good time was definitely had by all at that party...you did well with the room in the end too, it's horrible when you arrive somewhere and it not a good room...We had that recently, and for the first time I put a review on trip advisor....The manager actually rang me back within hours with a huge apology and a gift voucher for £50...which didn't cover the cost but was a nice gesture! Let's hope spring is properly here soon, and the outdoor festivities can start!! Can't wait for that first glass of vino in the garden! Helen xx

    1. Hi Helen. Thanks for taking the time to comment. We all sure did have a good time and made lots of memories. That was a nice gesture from your hotel and you're right it kinda takes the edge of your special event doesn't it? Here's to the nicer weather when it makes an appearance and I'll join you for that glass of vino in the garden, we can instagram each other!!!! xx


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