I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. Before looking forward to the year ahead, I thought it would be nice to look back over 2015 and remind myself (and you !) of some of the highlights of the year.
January started off with fun and games as we wrapped Madhouse Grandad up in toilet roll in the Snowman Game ! We made some rather nice Chocolate & Honeycomb Cookies, tried Cinnamon Toast with Strawberry and Banana Compote for Breakfast Week and I told you all about visiting the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey.
February was time to take stock of my weight loss trials with the Slimfast Challenge and Dukan, both of which seemed to work as a quick boost in January. We had a go at making homemade cheese, visited a World War II bunker covered in shards of broken mirrors on the beach and got involved in making food art for Bernard Matthews which was fun and surprisingly pretty !
In March, we had fun with footprint painting, tried out some Japanese recipes, took part in a screen-free Switch Off Challenge and checked out the aftermath of the tide of the century. We also had great fun at our science-themed Nick Jr Blaze twitter party and I tagged along on Juliette's class trip to see the Duchesse Anne, Dunkirk's three-master ship.
In April, we made creepy crawlies out of cereal and also went bug-hunting for real. In the kitchen, I knocked up some fabulous Honduran street-food, Baleadas, and we concocted some PBJ cookies as a twist on the all-American sandwich. We also had a very close encounter with some elephants at the circus zoo.
May was a busy month for days out with the Festival of the Sea, fossil-hunting, Operation Dynamo commemorations, a trip to Chessington and a geoacaching trip to a park where we had a very close encounter with a water rat. I also had a work trip to Gdynia and shared some Polish recipes that I tried there.
In June, Sophie was over the moon when Ocado sent us some genuine US imports for Independence Day, we went to a gathering of the local giants, the kids took part in the Disgusting Jelly Bean Challenge and we saw some absolutely crazy hair art ! I also shared more tales of my work trip to Poland, with our visits to the Museum of Emigration in Gdynia and the spa town of Sopot, as well as sampling a local delicacy, pierogis.
July heralded the start of the school holidays with Sophie bravely doing not one but two reverse bungee jumps. We went for an interesting walk along the prom in the Belgian town of La Panne, we had a lovely day out at the seaside for Pierre's birthday and I won a competition by penning a poem about our holiday hell a few years ago.
As always, August was our month of travelling with a fortnight in Kusadasi in Turkey, a few days in Daoulas in Brittany, where we also went rockpooling, and a few days in Hastings. We also had a lovely family meal out at The Treacle Mine in Polegate.
September meant going back to school (boo !) but I kept some sunshine on our plates with some Brazilian Frango Churrasco. We visited a multi-era reenactment camp, saw our town statue get a revamp and I took up the challenge of recreating John Torode's Chocolate and Coconut Pie.
October was tinged with sadness when Juliette's favourite youtuber, 13-year-old Caleb from Bratayley, unexpectedly died. We discovered a weird recreation of Lourdes in a country village whilst out geocaching, I made a gorgeous Moroccan filo pie called Bastilla and we discovered that, against all odds, pumpkin pie is actually rather tasty. We went geocaching along the canal and around the docks.
November and the run up to Christmas was hectic so 10-minute spicy vegetable soup was a lifesaver. We found a travelbug when geocaching near a lake and painted sugarbeet for St Martin.
And finally December saw us taking part in The Snowman and Snowdog Bakeoff, making very tasty Choc Peanut Butter No-Bake Bars and trying out Ethiopian recipes. We saw the Abyss Illuminated Parade, watched Santa arriving by sleigh and abseiling down the clock tower and saw some magical decorated houses on Christmas Eve.
Wow, I feel tired just remembering it all ! I wonder what adventures 2016 will bring. What did you get up to in 2015? Do you have any favourite memories?