Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Visit to Santa

a Princess under the tree
We went to Santa's Grotto yesterday. I know I am a pensioner and perhaps a little old for that sort of thing but..... and it is a good but...... we had Miss Em with us, and her mother so that made it right. In fact I am not sure who was more excited Miss Em or her mother. After a moment's contemplation I would say that Mummy was by far the most excited of all of us.
The Nidus Choir - beautiful voices made me cry

We went to Tredegar House. The former home of the Morgan Family and one of the best things Newport Council has ever done. You see they bought the house off St Joseph's school in the 1960s. The school had bought it when the last Lord Tredegar died and the whole estate was sold off. The school outgrew the building and wanted sleek modern so they built a new school close by and the council bought the house. It needed a lot of work and restoration.

My Dad restored the railings and side gates on the front of the house so I was able to go into the place before it was cleaned and restored.

Mummy you are so embarrassing - on the day bed in the Gilt Room
At the beginning of this year the Council and the National Trust came to an agreement that for the next 50 years Tredegar House would be under the care of the National Trust. In that time they will conserve and restore the property. This means that the house is added to the NT handbook and every NT member gets a copy. They said in March that they wanted to try and get 40,000 visitors through the house by the end of October. The final number was over 41,000.

A few people (members of the friends of Tredegar House) have complained that things are not the same. That the ground floor of the house has been turned into a 'theme park'. I think the atmosphere in the house now is friendly and welcoming and it really does feel as though the residents have just left. It feels alive and warm and welcoming. I could be biased.

Stir the pudding and make a wish
 The Christmas things have always happened even when the council was running things so we were able to see all the beautiful decorations in every room - except Mr Scrooge's room. Oh Mr Scrooge said that there was hope for Miss Em but no hope at all for her Mummy. This was because Em said she would share her prize from the mousehunt with Mr Scrooge, if it was money. Fortunately it was a pencil so she didn't have to go back up the stairs.

She was able to stir the Christmas pudding with Cook and she made a wish. Then we had Mulled wine - well Mummy did and it made her legs wobbly
Cheeky Elves
Grandma and Grandpa had orange squash with Em and we also had Stollen and mince pies. Then on to see The Man in his Grotto, pausing for Mummy to pose as an elf. She just loves pulling faces.

By this time the lurgy that had gripped me last weekend was encroaching on Miss Em and she was beginning to flag a little. She managed to smile when posing in front of the glow-in-the-dark-reindeer, but we could see she was getting more and more tired and weak.

Glow in the dark reindeer
We didn't have to wait long, thank goodness, as we had picked exactly the right time to visit.

Santa was very nice. He told the children that they had to be very honest when they answered his questions. Then he asked if they had all been good and they all said NO!

He talked for a moment and then gave them all a present. I managed to catch him giving Em her squirrel. She just loves cuddly things so a so squishy red squirrel was perfect. Then Mummy had to carry her back to the car because the bug was tightening it's grip.

Santa gave her a Squirrel. It's name is now Lacey
By 8 o'clock her temp was up but Calpol was working so she and her Daddy were on a sofa each while Mummy was forced to sit on a hard chair while she tended to the poor sicky people.

So a lovely afternoon in a fabulous house.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas


humel said...

I hope she and her daddy are feeling better now - there's a lot of lurgy about, unfortunately. I'm glad she was able to enjoy her special outing with you before it fully took hold x

Sian said...

You're never too old for Santa - he must be hundreds of years old himself, right?

Sounds like a really lovely time!

Barbara Eads said...

There's nothing worse than being sick during the holidays. I do hope she's better!