Nedeleg Laouen !

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I'm aware that I'm writing this post a day after Christmas, but Nedeleg Laouen to all ! ^_^ Here's hoping your Christmas day was happy and blessed - and the season isn't over yet, after all.

I'm writing before my trip to Lancashire with Fr Mark Vickers and 16 other friends from Hertfordshire and the Catholic Society - just to tell you what happened in the days that led up to Christmas.

23 December 2010
I went shopping for the Christmas gathering with Emily, Ryan and Marge (see pictures). We didn't think of getting decorations back then ; we were more interested in whether or not there were supplies. Food. Kitchen utensils. We also went scouting for the items which we were asked to find for Project Soapbox, namely 1) a Santa hat, 2) mistletoe (that was the only thing we couldn't find), 3) Christmas crackers, 4) someone wearing a Christmassy outfit, 5) Christmas earrings. 4 out of 5 ! :D

I was mistaken in this video : I referred to Marge as Emily ! *hides under imaginary table out of shame*

After realising that the cashier who was wearing a Christmassy outfit had earrings for the season, I took a second video of her !

After the shopping trip, since it was still early in the evening, I prepared raspberry delight for the dessert. ^_^

And here's the raspberry delight in the fridge !

24 December 2010
I had fellow Soapbox blogger and St Albans student Danna over at College Lane Campus : we spent some time in Chapman Hall, then went to ASDA for some more last-minute shopping, and after that, we had dinner in Kitchen 27 (read : pizza and Dorito's ! ^_^). She says that she loves College Lane because it has a more "student-like atmosphere". Well, I assume that it's because DeHavilland Campus was only recently built...

Before she left, she left me half a bag of Dorito's, a bottle of sour cream and chive dip and two Christmassy headbands !

The detail on the Christmas headbands.

This vid was taken right before dinner. I assumed I wouldn't be active until the 30th - but now I'm only on YT to post the videos of my Christmas gathering !

This is the pizza Danna bought. We had trouble working the oven before putting it in. This thing was supposed to be cooked at Gas Mark 8 (that's 250 degrees by the way) ; I looked at the oven and got scared. I turned on the switch, Danna set it to preheat at 200 degrees, but there was smoke coming out of the oven... We got scared ! Ultimately it was alright - the pizza was delicious. ^_^

After spending the day with Danna, I stopped by at Emily's (at Fern Hall) to give her the gift I had bought for Secret Santa. It was the Christmas album I was talking about in the video - the one from The Priests. We also talked over my works, Enya, Niamh Kavanagh and a number of other things. I told her about the last-minute shopping and I was indeed excited ! Emily showed me the Christmas tree that she had bought......

Emily wrapped many of the gifts herself ! They look adorable ! ^_^

At 9+ I went to St Peter's, and I was called to the choir... I went there for midnight mass - and it's been years since I last went for a midnight mass ! It was a rewarding one indeed ! ^_^ And a great start to Christmas, and a great end to Advent it was too !

The crib at St Peter's, Hatfield ^_^ This was taken right after midnight mass ended.

Whilst Emily and I were on the way back we were met by Ryan and Calistus (I think), and we were passing by the houses in Roberts Way - and we came across a snowman which looked like ET (for those of you who haven't seen the film, it's "The Extra-Terrestrial") ! Emily wanted to take a picture of herself near a snowman, so we did.

The legal definition of assault : the apprehension of immediate harm. We acted like we were about to bash the snowman !

25 December 2010
It was the day of our Christmas gathering. :D I got up at 10+, bathed, had a hot chocolate and started decorating Kitchen 27 of Chapman Hall, which was our first stop and the place where we were gonna spend most of the party. Emily came two hours later, whilst Ryan came at 1 - and Marge came shortly after. Also joining us were Calistus and Michelle (but I didn't get to take any pictures with Michelle...).

In case you're wondering what I was doing, I was sticking white tack onto the walls. I needed to fix the gold tinsel.


That's Emily setting the table.

Much of the decoration was Emily's idea. She opened four party poppers (I think...) and the streamers were spread all over the table. Then there were white balloons (well, silver ones actually) and black tinsel for the sides of the table, silver baubles, cardboard name tags (I did the designs on those), napkins and Christmas crackers. And to finish, the drinks were placed in random areas, and each person was given two party poppers. Calistus had the most symbolic name tag ever - the Star above the stable !

Ryan made the punch. It was a lot of fruit juice, a little rum and a little (I don't know what else he threw in). I limited myself to half a glass. But it was lovely nonetheless. ^_^


The water jug. We didn't have lemon for taste, so we had to throw in lime.

 The snack trays.

We even had oven-baked pizza ! ^_^

I suppose we were all dressed for the occasion... I definitely was. :P

This was how the drinks were spread across the table. The bottle of red wine behind the Coke was a gift from Danna. ^_^

I had told my friends I'd be in charge of the dessert. So I made a simple one : chocolate sponge pudding, vanilla ice-cream and raspberry delight. I had two packs of raspberry delight left, and I had to mix them to make enough for the party. And there were two blocks of vanilla ice-cream... :D When dinner was almost done, I heated up the chocolate, dished out the ice-cream and raspberry delight, and waited for my friends' feedback. The dessert was a success ! Praise the Lord ! ^_^

Pictures of us (sans Michelle) taken on self-timer.

This time we were joined by two friends from the first floor of Chapman Hall (i.e. Kitchen 28).

After the meal at Kitchen 27, we went to Fern Hall - Emily's place - to exchange gifts. Ryan ended up getting my gift, whilst I got Emily's gift. And after that, we gatecrashed the party at Kitchen 28 ! :P

This was what Emily's tree looked like when we came in for Secret Santa.

So Ryan ended up with the Christmas album from The Priests. I remember after that he sent me a message on Facebook telling me he loved the album - I'm glad ! ^_^ Anyway, I did not hear The Priests until after I read Ryan's message. I went on YT and found a music video of them singing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - it wasn't what I was expecting, but they were good !

This is the wrapped Christmas album - I can tell because the writing in the card attached to it is mine !

I received Emily's gift.

Other updates
Right now I'm working on my EU coursework, and I need to have a skeletal answer done before I leave for the Faith Winter Conference in Lancashire on the 28th, early in the morning.

The works that defined the end of the year were :

Cœur Déjà Pris is one of my favourite Alizée songs, and the last of her works with Mylène Farmer and Laurent Boutonnat (it was the last track in her second album, Mes Courants Électriques). After that, The Great Split occurred, and Alizée was no longer signed under Polydor (a subsidiary of Universal Music Group), but rather, Wisteria Song (part of Sony BMG). And her style changed........ and I disliked it. So let's just say that this song was the last of her golden years, so to speak. I felt that backing voices would've made the song much nicer, and I had intended to do this for a long time. Since I had Audacity, a mic (albeit a noisy one) and Mario Paint Composer, I did it.

Tri Martolod literally means "The Three Sailors" in Breton. It's a traditional song, made popular by Nolwenn Leroy's recent album, Bretonne. I got inspired to do it from Leroy's version of the song, and I decided to upload it in the event I reached 100 subscribers. At the time of recording, I had 99 subs - I knew that moment wasn't too far away...

This is a cover of a song which SHOULD have made it to the final of Eurovision 2010, but because the EU didn't really care about ballads, it ended up third last. What made it more disappointing was that it was sung by a former Eurovision winner - Niamh Kavanagh. This song made me feel warm inside when I first listened to it - and I decided that if it takes a cover to tell the EU what they've been missing, so be it !

Veni Sancte Spiritus is, for those of you who are familiar with the English name, the Pentecost sequence. I had intended to do an orchestration of this song for two years, and I finally got to it this year - I did the music on Logic. I'm still waiting to do a professional version of this song together with my fellow Catholic Society friend Evelina - I'm looking forward to it ! ^_^

Xiggie's battle theme. I had designed it for Kingdom Hearts Fanon Wiki after discovering that they were doing a project akin to Dissidia Final Fantasy - it was called Destiny's Reach : Kingdom Hearts. Xiggie didn't make it into the first release of Destiny's Reach, but I kept the theme nonetheless.

And on the leisure list :

Right. This post is already loaded. :D
I'm anticipating my trip to Lancashire, and my trip to Essex with my aunt and uncle - may 2010 end on a happy note !

Thank you Lord, for a wonderful Christmas. : )

The author thanks Emily for the additional pictures which were added to this post on New Year's Day 2011.


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