Mr & Mrs

How many of you remember the game show that was on the TV a couple of (or a few) decades ago called Mr & Mrs? It really was such a fun programme, and as far as I can remember, it was the only thing my Mum every watched on TV. Couples would appear on the show and would answer questions about each other whilst one, and then the other, spouse was sent out of the room. This spouse then returned and hoped to give the same answer as the first spouse had given.  I remember some hilarious incidents where, for example, the wife would be asked a question ... let's say something like this:

TV host:  'What is your husband's favourite vegetable?'. 
Wife: 'Carrots. Definitely carrots.' 

But when husband would return and be asked, 'What did your wife say your favourite vegetable is?', he might say, 'Oh that's easy: I love peas'!

Then she might turn and say, 'Oh that's rubbish! You much prefer carrots!' ... and so a heated discussion would ensue over the husband's favourite vegetable. 

The older couples were always the funniest, and the sweetest. It was definitely a 'fun' show to watch!

So, why am I blethering about a 1970s TV game show right now? Well, over the holidays, John's parents - Mr and Mrs K - and Catherine's parents - erm, that'll be the Builder and me - were placed in the hot seat for our very own Mr and Mrs. The kids had made up a list of questions and they asked the husbands first, whilst us ladies were chucked out of the room so that we wouldn't hear any of their answers. 

From the next room, we couldn't hear any of the answers, but we could certainly hear some of the hilarity ... they were having fun in there, and the pressure was on for us ladies to echo the answers our husbands had given. Of course, the real pressure was for us Nisich to beat the Ks-from-the-Province. In the end it was a close run thing, but the Ulster pair beat us by one point.... ONE point! 

One of the questions the kids asked us ladies first was:

"What were you wearing on your first date together?".

Amazingly, both Diane and myself remembered exactly what we'd been wearing, but were convinced that our menfolks would have no idea.

How wrong we were!! Yup, twenty-five years on from that First Date, the Builder remembered that I was wearing a flowery dress. Even more impressive was Mr K, who remembered in detail the colour of Mrs K's skirt, the colour of her blouse, and - wait for it - the type of shoes she was wearing.

You could have blown me over with a feather duster! Thirty-five years on, and every detail was clear in his memory. 

I. was. impressed.

And all this from a man who remembers nothing unless it is a fact or date from over two-hundred years ago. John, his brother, and Mrs K were stunned into silence. Aye, even Matthew ... well, for all of a couple of seconds. (For those of you who know Matthew, you will appreciate how amazing these seconds were ... :) )

We were also asked what our favourite movie was. Both husbands were able to give the same answers we'd given. (I shan't tell you mine, but if you can guess in the Comments, I'll give you a prize. Erm, I won't really, but I will give you a shout-out in my next post. Go on - have a guess!)

I'll give you one more question we had, and you can try some of these at home yourselves!

The menfolk were asked what they thought our favourite meal was. The Builder answered that he thought mine was Sea Bass. Mr K reckoned Mrs K would choose a Steak.

Were they correct? They sure were! Sea Bass is indeed what I will almost always choose if it's on a menu, and Mrs K will always choose a Steak. Full marks on that one ...

Fortunately, Mr & Mrs were able to venture outside whilst they were here. Just a couple of days before they left, the winds died down and we were able to have a wee wander around town on a lovely mid-winter's day. Here they are with the harbour in the background. See how calm the sea is! 

And here,with the lovely Lews Castle in the background. The Castle grounds are so lovely in each of the seasons.

Oh, and in case you're all wondering: the question the Builder and I lost on was, 'What Christmas present did you give her on your first Christmas together?'. The K's remembered, but I did not. That's right ... the Builder had answered (although after some more thought, we realised that was actually the present I gave him!), but I had - and have - no recollection whatsoever.


Happy New Year ... while it's still January :)

Happy New Year, y'all! New Year's Day is, of course, so long in the past that nobody thinks of wishing anyone a Happy New Year now. But, as I've been AWOL, and silent on my without-leave-absence, I shall take this opportunity to say it. And to mean it.

We had such a lovely time over the Christmas and New Year holiday. I absolutely love this time of year! I love that the Builder has two weeks off work, and there is so little outside work to be done. I love that Katie had two whole weeks off, and Catherine had about ten days off. All this time off, all these short days and long nights, all this cold, dreich weather ... all these mean a whole lot of time spent in the house, with no need to go anywhere, and with the whole family.

Bliss, I tell ya. Bliss.

What I especially loved about these holidays was that, in addition to me going nowhere, others came to our house. 

My Mum and Dad were with us for a couple of days of Christmas. There is nothing - nothing! - they love more than to be surrounded by their children and grandchildren. For these few days, they were especially privileged to have time with us, and not their other children.

After all, would you choose to spend time with Marina or with Neil, when you could spend it with ME?

Yeah, well.... whatever. By the way, 'Whatever' has become one of our favourite words, since the Builder - yes, you read that correctly - the BUILDER - began doing his hilarious version of "Whatevah". He is, of course, far too dignified to ever been seen or heard doing the whole Whatevah-thing ... except within these walls.

Sometimes I think the guy ought to be on stage.

Back to Granny and Grandpa

Granny gave me a row for taking photos and not reminding her that her glasses were around her neck. And also that I took a photo of her talking.

Erm .... it's either that, Mum, or I take a photo of you asleep!

As we were opening our presents on Christmas Eve, I was struck by just how much I had to be thankful for. All of the gifts, beautifully wrapped and kindly given, were a cause of thanksgiving. Yes, even stuff is important, when it's been given in love. But giving my heart much more joy were some of the blessings that surrounded me that couldn't be wrapped up in paper. The blessing of love, of health, of joy, of being surrounded by family, of security.

How full my cup is of measurable blessings and of immeasurable ones.

But even those - the very best of temporal blessings - are surpassed by the gift of Christ Jesus Himself. To have been given this gift is beyond words. That He came and lived and died so that sinners such as I could be saved ... What love. What mercy. What a gift!

Yes, we really did have a lovely time over Christmas.

Others then came for an evening of fun and food, of laughter and blethering:

This is the Builder's side of the family, and we normally get together on Boxing Day for a chilled-out, fun time. This year all the siblings, all the spouses, and all the kids were there. 


The Builder's family: what a fine looking bunch they are. If they all gave me just a centimetre of their height, I could be almost normal. But no, they keep it all to themselves.

When the next generation (our kids and their cousins) are reaching the stages of life at which they are, us parents become more and more aware of how precious these opportunities are when all the family can get together. It's likely that very soon, some of the young 'uns will be living their own lives, and may not be able to join us for our Boxing Day get-together.

But for now, we will savour every happy minute of it.

We do love having some of the younger folks around too. These guys went for a couple of hours of Ten-pin Bowling at our local Sports Centre, and then came back here for some food, some blethering, and some Articulate.

Do y'all play Articulate? It is so much fun!

And finally, talking of people who came to visit, we had some very special visitors during the holiday.

Do y'all remember this fella?

No, not the Wee Guy. I know y'all remember him!

John is from Northern Ireland, and when he came to visit with us in summer, and be here for DR's 21st, we were pretty sure it wasn't DR's birthday, or the view, or even the Builder's winsome personality that had taken him to the wilds of Ness. We reckoned even the Wee Guy wasn't the reason he'd come. Nope, it would seem like someone had his heart. And that someone was is Catherine.

This past holiday, he came back to see us all Catherine. This time he brought his brother - we love you, Matthew!, and his parents. He also had a question to ask.....

A question to which the Builder said 'yes', and a question to which Catherine said YES!

Yes, our beloved daughter, Catherine, is now engaged to her beloved John.

The Builder is taking it, erm ... well, as fathers-of-brides do. 

He is thankful, but it's his daughter!

He is glad John chose her, and that she chose John, but this is his daughter!

He sees the whole thing as being from the Lord ... but even then, this. is. his. daughter.

And daddies and daughters  - well, what can I say.

No doubt, y'all will be hearing a fair bit more about an upcoming wedding in the weeks and months ahead.

And so, that was my Christmas and New Year holiday. I hope y'all had a great time too.

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