26 December 2011

Catering, Critters and Chaos

There was a lot of the first, a few of the second, and really none of the last.

My few fears about Christmas just being a bit...overwhelming... were completely unfounded. There was lots to do, lots of help, and so many of us that it didn't matter if anyone needed to get away and have a bit of a break.

I called my mum, after about ten minutes of just sitting on the stairs wondering if I should or not. I've no idea if she was trying to be polite, and not mentioning what happened before, or if she genuinely didn't remember, or if she just wanted to pretend. Anyway, it wasn't mentioned. We wished each other a happy Christmas. I'm glad I called, although I don't know if I want to confront her about it some other time. Anyway, for now, doesn't matter.

All the food came out great - there was too much, but there always is, and it meant anyone who got hungry later (Sherlock) could graze on the leftovers.

Sherlock's favourite thing, without a doubt, was this:

It's not just food that you can have with ice cream - it's food you can set on fire and have with ice cream. We had to pull the curtains to get the full effect of the flaming brandy, and we had to do it all three times!

It was a really fun day (And who knew that Mrs Hudson could wolf whistle that loudly?) and I really wish I could be with them today, instead of being at work - still, only today and tomorrow, then another two days off to spend with Nicky and her crew, who are coming to stay (and hit the sales - rather them than me!)

88 comments:

Small Hobbit said...

Glad to hear that Christmas Day went so well for you, and that you were able to speak to your mum. Hope work goes quickly and quietly so that you are soon able to be back with the others and continuing to enjoy yourselves.

REReader said...

Sounds like Sherlock called it rabout rght--"the best Christmas anyone had ever!"

I'm so happy for you all. :)

As for your mother--well, I think you have that right...for now it doesn't matter, and you should just tuck it away and wait--see what your gut comes up with. Later.

Meanwhile enjoy the holiday time with John, Mycroft, Sherlock, and Nicky & co. And hopefully today and tomorrow will be relatively quiet!

John H. D. Watson said...

I don't know about anyone, but it was certainly the best Christmas I had ever.

Now if I can just get Sherlock's degu out of the Christmas tree...

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

The Christmas tree? DO I even want to know that happened? I thought we'd agreed Degus live in the cage, their play area or his hands, not just running amok through the flat! Tell him if they run off, that's it, no more small great-escape-style pets.

It was bloody brilliant, wasn't it?

REReader said...

Is it wrong that I find that laugh-out-loud funny? (Both or just the one?)

Maybe Sherlick can coax it or them out by sitting still and holding some carrots?

REReader said...

SherlOck!!! (stupid virtual keyboard...)

Small Hobbit said...

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Two body piercings
And a degu in a Christmas tree

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Jesus, I nearly choked on my coffee. Good one, SH.

John H. D. Watson said...

It was partially my fault. He'd sat her on my shoulder, and I was adjusting an ornament, and she ran right up my arm into the tree.

He's got her back now though, lured with cucumber.

REReader said...

*splutters tea all over kitchen table*

Ha, SH!!!!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

And I missed you luring a girl with cucumber?

Has he named them yet - and is there actually a way to tell them apart when he does? I wasn't doing too well yesterday, although he seemed to know. And it doesn't help me that one weighs 7 grams less than the other...still can't tell (although it's good that they've been weighed, measured, photo'd and recorded in every way, so we can check them and make sure they're not ill or anything later.)

Desert Wanderer said...

Lol, SH. Brilliant!

REReader said...

Sherlock--is perching on people good for degus? Or do they just look nice that way? I'm no criticizing (on the contrary, I'd love a picture!) I'm just curious.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

RR - it's really important to give Degus a lot of attention, and play with them lots - especially as Sherlock's two are quite young. They get bored if you don't spend time caring for them. And they seem to like sitting on us all. Even when not tempted with vegetables.

Although I'm sure there's some sort of latent animal instinct that'll make John and I closer together if he spends time grooming carrot out of my hair...probably.

John H. D. Watson said...

SH - ha. I am never going to live that down, I can tell already.

RR - I have no idea, but Sherlock seems to enjoy putting them on people. I suppose it gets them used to being handled? So that's good.

L - He's named them after elements. Argon for the one that's 7 grams heavier and a bit slower, and Mercury for the one that escaped into the tree. Mercury also has a little silver patch under her chin.

Anonymous said...

Good one SH *giggling madly* Well as I am about to go out into the post-holiday shopping madness myself, wish me luck that I don't get trampled.

-A from NW

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Right - he'll have to introduce me to them tonight and show me how to tell them apart. Are the dogs feeling hard done by?

Nicky says they'll arrive tomorrow afternoon. I'm going to work tomorrow, then take Weds and Thurs off, if you or the boys want to plan anything for then.

REReader said...

That's really very interesting, Lestrade--I had no idea that degus needed so much time and attention. That seems like a very good thing, on the whole, though. Good that they like human contact and good for Sherlock to be depended on for providing it.

And going by the pictures I've found online, they are very cute, too.

They do say grooming is an important mechanisms in primates, don't they? (Foxes I don't know about. ;))

Argon and Mercury? Very appropriate! And they will undoubtedly be the only degus in their class with those names, too. :)

Sherlock said...

RR, they are awake in the day and asleep at night and you're meant to play with them the most in the morning and evening, because that's when they'd hunt for food. And the more you play with them the more tame they'll be and they'll know you better and they have to have baths in dust, but John says I can't do that, because I don't have fur, and he says if they burrow or if they're asleep I'm not to dig them up to play with them because it's them saying they're tired, and he said I shouldn't wake up him and Lestrade when they're in their burrow either but that's silly because they don't really dig a burrow they're just in bed.

REReader said...

Well, all that makes good sense, thank you for explaining, Sherlock. It's a good thing you know a lot about them since they seem to need a lot of knowledgable attention and playing with--I think they are lucky to have you.

No, dust isn't a very good way to clean skin. Even "clean" dust, like the kind the degus will use, since it tends to stick to skin, as you've no doubt observed.

A bed can be sort of burrow-like, though, can't it?

John H. D. Watson said...

L - his next plan is to get them to ride on the dogs. I'm...not sure about this. Granted, they're probably too small to interest the dogs as prey, but even so.

REReader said...

Perhaps it might be pointed out that it wouldn't do for the degus to get attached to the dogs as they'll be leaving? If they get used to riding the digs, they'd miss them.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

That...sounds like it might be a recipe for disaster? Wouldn't the Degus get frightened? Or maybe the dogs are so big the Degus would be no more scared of them than they are of the sofa...

Anyway, I'm not sure it sounds like a good idea, Sherlock.

REReader said...

(riding the dOgs. *sigh*)

John H. D. Watson said...

I can't decide. On the one hand I see the potential for disaster (what around here doesn't have the potential for disaster?), but on the other, it would be nice if the dogs and degus got used to each other...

KHolly said...

Have you guys seen the Simon's Cat episode with the cat climbing the Christmas tree? If not you should search it on YouTube. It's the first thing I thought of with Mercury in the tree. Your experience could have been much worse.

Depending on your dogs it might be best to watch it with them not around. Mine always barks at Simon's Cat. Do degus make any sounds?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Ha, yeah, there's not much that doesn't have some potential for disaster...

Have the dogs and degus been introduced - preferably with some nice metal bars between them? If so, how did that go?

KHolly, yes, they're quite vocal little critters. YouTube has some videos of them making noises.

REReader said...

What does Mycroft say about potential degu/dog interaction? He know the dogs better than anyone...so what do you think, Mycroft? Perhaps you and Sherlock could confer?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Danger, I'm going to try and finish up early, but with everything going on today I can't promise.

How much dent have you all made in the left overs? We don't need any more food, right?

Mycroft said...

The dogs are curious about them, but I think they should be more accustomed to each other before any attempts at riding are made.

We definitely do not need any more food.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Good call Mycroft. Maybe when the degus are in their cage we can let the dogs meet them.

Right, didn't think so. You lot been doing anything much today?

Mycroft said...

And when Sherlock's calmer, yes.

Not very much. John's been tidying a bit after yesterday, and we've played with the degus and eaten leftovers. Sherlock and I read about chemical elements before he picked their names.

REReader said...

There, Sherlock--why don't you talk with Mycroft and work out a plan for getting the dogs accustomed to the degus and vice versa. You are responsible for protecting the degus, after all!

Mycroft, did you get any particularly special presents this year?

Mycroft said...

John and Lestrade found a place near the school for me to take self defence lessons, and I got a guitar, too. Lestrade's going to teach me how to play.

REReader said...

Oh, excellent! Those are both wonderful. I've enjoyed both, at any rate, very much, although I didn't do both at the same time.

(Also...you're a very good brother.)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Sounds good.

Maybe Sherlock could work on finding and blocking up (or telling me or John to block) where any degu-sized escape holes are around the flat, so we can block them up before any great escapes are made. Don't fancy getting the floorboards up to find them.

They're great names.

We're processing arrests as fast as poss here, and trying to decide which team is taking on this case. I'd rather be home with you lot.

John H. D. Watson said...

Speaking of which (sort of) I meant to say and never did - thank you, Sally, since I suspect you had a lot to do with getting L to Sherlock's show on time. We all really appreciate it and I know he would've been very sad to miss it.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

She did, yes. She was a star.

And Trident have agreed to take this on, so I'm on the way home!

John H. D. Watson said...

Excellent! See you soon.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

what better welcome home could there be than two hounds, two degus, two boys and one serving of Danger?

REReader said...

I dunno, what?
:D

(My captcha was "extrayes". Ha!)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Can't believe how much food we've still got - and that's with Mrs Hudson and the security teams helping to eat it!

Still, nice just getting home and relaxing whilst covered in rodents and vegetables. Not everyone can say that...

Anon Without A Name said...

We somehow managed to avoid too much in the way of left-overs, although refried mashed roasties for breakfast were good.

covered in rodents and vegetables

Do have a degu on your head?

Mycroft - you got a guitar! How wonderful. And someone to teach you as well. I'm quite jealous.

REReader said...

nice just getting home and relaxing whilst covered in rodents and vegetables. Not everyone can say that...

Not off a farm, certainly...

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Not on my head, Nameless, just in my lap that time. Sherlock was filling my top pocket with food and trying to get it to sit in there.

(And someone to try and teach Mycroft - he may decide he wants a proper teacher!)

RR - no one I know from farms are very happy about rodents, and certainly wouldn't be a playground for them!

REReader said...

Ha! Good point. I was thinking more along the lines of who would have the elements at hand, not so much who'd find it relaxing. :)

Did the degu go along with a pocket perch?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

No - I think it might have, they're inquisitive little creatures. But it wasn't very interested, probably because it's eaten about a tonne of food today, being tempted to do this and that. Bet if Sherlock weighed them again they'd be double the weight. It just looked tired and sat on me.

REReader said...

No one can accuse Sherlock of not giving them enough attention, that's for sure! And I doubt a few days of extra vegetables will hurt 'em.

(Have you looked into how much it's okay to feed degus, Sherlock?)

Maybe she'll sit in your pocket tomorrow, as a treat. :)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

We've told him to check how much they can eat. He knows they can't have sugary things, like raisins, and we'll get some seeds they can have as treats.

I think they will sit in pockets, but they'll probably be reasonably happy when Sherlock goes back to school, and they can chill out during the day.

Piplover said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! And leftovers are one of the best parts. I know I'll be eating well for the next few days, at least!

I used to have rats as pets, and they would sit on my shoulder and hide in my hair (which was quite long). It used to drive my mom nuts because all she would see is a rat tail wrapped around my neck and little whiskers peeking from my hair.

The degus sound adorable, and I'm glad Sherlock is having so much fun with them. You guys are really amazing.

REReader said...

Carrots are pretty sugary, but nothing like raisins, for sure. Cucumbers are practically like eating water, though, so I can't think they'd hurt anything, but then I've never considered food in relationship to another species, only humans. Not quite the same thing, I imagine. :D I'm sure Sherlock will come up with the precise amount of extras it's safe to feed them.

And since Sherlock told me that they are best played with in the morning and the evening, yep, it sounds like they'd be happy to entertain each other (or rest!) in between, so that works out very neatly.

Nicky said...

John, Orio, we shall hopefully be with you early afternoon tomorrow. Normally I'd be sceptical of my offspring getting out of bed at a decent hour during the holidays, but the prospect of seeing Mycroft and Sherlock and the new pets may spur them on!

Anon Without A Name said...

BTW, Lestrade, I forgot to say, I think your "love is thicker than blood" tag is... wonderful.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Thanks. Needed something to sum us up :)

Now all I want for Christmas is for people to stop stabbing each other. Is it really to much to ask?

Desert Wanderer said...

What would you do with peace on earth? (I mean that as a serious questtion)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

What would I do with it? How much 'peace'? No crime, or just no violent crime...

Desert Wanderer said...

No crime, no violence. Not even any littering, speeding, or dogs off leads.

REReader said...

People respecting each other would make a major dent in crime and genocide and other such unpleasantnesses. I would settle for respect on earth. (Liking optional.)

Good morning, all! (Is it still morning? I just woke up and am not yet capable of arithmatic.)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Just gone midday, RR.

DW, the long answer would take longer than I currently have, so my short answer would have to be 'open a flower shop' :)

REReader said...

Good afternoon, then. :)

Desert Wanderer said...

Shocking. :). But perfect.

Sorry, wasn't ignoring you, just accidentally fell back asleep.

REReader said...

Hey, DW--recovering from the holiday?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I'm currently fighting the irrational fear of Nicky and Carla hitting the sales on Oxford St after the two stabbings there yesterday, so would very much like some peace while they're here.

REReader said...

Since you know it's irrational it probably won't be any help to tell you they'll be fine, but they'll be fine...

mazarin221b said...

Not completely irrational. You're more rational and clear-headed than most people, and that was a really startling thing to have happened.

Maybe there are other good places to shop to keep Uncle Orio a bit more comfortable?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Maz - more irrational now, given there's more plod/community support there now than there are in the nsy canteen.

It's more the risk of them seeing something horrible than them actually getting hurt or anything.

There are lots of places to shop - I imagine they'll hit most of them. :)

REReader said...

Darn it! I can't think of the right magic words to make you feel better. (I'll keep looking.)

You can always text Nicky every hour to make sure they're okay, though. :)

Desert Wanderer said...

RR, recovering from the drive first. Eight hours from NYC to Richmond. Got here around midnight last night. New Jersey Turnpike is horrendous.

REReader said...

DW--It always is. I hope you have today off to recharge!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Fairly sure just common sense required, not words, RR. And I think Nicky would get annoyed at her big bro not trusting her to look after herself in the big bad city.

Hope you're having a peaceful day, DW.

John H. D. Watson said...

Well, you don't need to worry right now at least. We're meeting them for lunch soon. Do you want to come along?

mazarin221b said...

I don't know Nicky, but I do know that I get miffed when my husband gives me the lecture about being careful when I go out at night - for heaven's sake, I'm 35 years old, stop fussing at me, etc. - but I also know that if I'd planned to go to the mall downtown the day after, say, the multiple shooting that happened next to one of the entrances (true story), he'd be more worried and I'd likely be more apt to calm his nervousness by going to a different mall instead, if I could.

Anyway, enough about that. Hope you all have a fantastic time together the next couple of days! When does Mycroft go back to school? Jan 3?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I would love to, but I'm really busy. Where will you go?
And I'm not worrying. Much :) will worry even less knowing you're with them.

Does this mean the degus get a few hours off?

REReader said...

Well, I just wanted you not to worry (much) and of course John has just taken care of that, so I'll put away my Big Book O' Magic.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

He has a way of making most things better.

REReader said...

:)

(My captcha was "amen(t)"...)

John H. D. Watson said...

He lobbied hard to bring the degus along, but yeah, they're having a nice rest. We're going to that Japanese place that's sort of near you.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I'll try and drop by on the bike. Need to go and see a judge about a search warrant. But don't hold your breath, depends how long it takes.

Sherlock said...

Anon without a name I don't understand the new tag. It doesn't make any sense at all why do you like it?

REReader said...

Sherlock, if you have any attention to spare from Argon and Mercury and your guests, there is a tidbit about spider brains in today's New York Times (here!) that I thought you might find interesting.

REReader said...

Oh, the tag!

Sherlock, there is a proverb, "Blood is thicker than water", meaning that family members are more strongly connected than unrelated people are. Lestrade's tag "Love is thinker than blood" is him saying that the connections between people who love each and make each other into family that way are strongest. Of course, you can love the family you are born with, but Lestrade is saying it's the loving part that makes the strongest connections, more than shared genes.

REReader said...

(THICKER than blood, not "thinker"! Sorry. :) )

Anon Without A Name said...

Hello Sherlock, are you having a good day? As ReRe said, Lestrade's tag is a variation on a common saying "blood is thicker than water", meaning that family and blood relatives should be the most important relationships a person has. The thing is, these days, people's relationships are much more complicated. Many people come to feel that the friendships and the close relationships that they choose are at least as important and meaningful as the relationships that they inherit.

You might have seen some of us mention in comments, here and on John's blog, that the four of you have formed a family group, even though you're not a family in the traditional sense of all being related to each other. that's because you love each other, and respect each other, and care for each other. You've all chosen each other. That's what Lestrade's tag means, and that's why I like it.

(Oh, also, Lestrade's family relationships in particular are not always easy, so its especially nice to see that he has found a sense of family with you and Mycroft and John, because he's a nice person who deserves that sort of love and support. And that's also why I like the tag).

Calliope said...

I also like the Love is Thicker Than Blood tag. (2x, because, hello - Sting lyric. And also Garth Brooks, as I have just discovered?)

I hope that everyone has a good rest of the holiday season. :)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Thanks everyone, for once again explaining things better than I could :)

Danger, leaving now, early again! Sorry it was such a flying visit earlier.

Anon Without A Name said...

Calliope - I completely missed the music reference; thanks for the info :-)

Lestrade - I wouldn't worry about explaining it, I'm sure you do an excellent job of showing it.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Getting enormous amount of enjoyment over my sister - normally dislikes all rodents - being won over by Mercury and Argon at their cutest, sitting up and eating cucumber with their front paws. She hasn't yet plucked up courage to stroke them, but she will...

REReader said...

:)

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