Today is St. Stephen's Day (or Boxing Day) and I am having a quick session on the computer to check email and place a bet at PaddyPower.com. My favourite bets are on golf and football, so I placed a "Lucky 15" bet on four matches in the Coca-Cola Championship.
On Christmas Eve - Kate, Vicki, and I went down to Ballingate to see Mum and Dad. This has been a tradition now for me and the girls since the early 1990s. Ever since we decided to have Christmas Day in our own house I have been travelling to Ballingate for Christmas Eve. I took the picture to the right just at the back of Mum and Dad's house - we had a very pleasant and mild day (12 C). This year will be Mum and Dad's first Christmas ever on their own. They are in great form - Dad broke open a bottle of Scotch that we gave him for his 50th wedding anniversary. Nice, and I had Kate to drive me home! I have to confess to having a large Scotch!
Joe and his crew weren't there this year as he had gone to Sligo instead. Kathleen, Eileen, and her son Daniel arrived in the afternoon - there's a little bit more magic in Christmas when there are small children around. I pretended to be Santa and called Eileen's mobile phone looking to find out where Daniel was staying that night - he fell for it and it was magic. (Sorry Daniel if you ever read this in the future - you were only 3 years old). Photo to the left of my sister Kathleen and I was taken by Kate in Mum and Dad's front room.
We went to Evening Mass in Foxrock church, but despite being 10 minutes early the church was full - I had to stand in the porch. The mass was 1.25 hours long, so I was glad I wasn't inside as the heat was difficult for people to bear - several left during mass. We stayed up to watch a Christmas movie whose name I forget and which was very boring.