Written in haste in the car so please excuse typos and spelling errors!
Phew! So here I am, being driven up to my in-laws for Christmas. It’s the first Christmas without my lovely father-in-law who died this year of Aplastic Anaemia (a truly horrible and terrible disease). It’s going to be tough but I am glad we are spending time with Rob’s Mum as she would be very sad on her own.
Anyhow, today has been an absolute nightmare. I managed about five hours sleep after spending all of yesterday mucking out the house. At one point I was so livid I was seeing red. Not one thing, not one fucking thing on the floors belonged to me. The room was a sea of crap: Barbies, books, grape stalks, hoodies, sandwich wrappers, cups and plates, shoes, jackets, scarves… the list goes on forever.
By the time I had cleared, hoovered, washed up, filled and emptied the dishwasher three times and put on five loads of laundry my body was aching. I would add that all of this was done while my dearest husband lounged on the sofa, leafing his way idly through a HiFi magazine whilst sipping on a hot coffee.
How is it possible for two children to create so much mess in five hours?!?! It’s like it’s beyond the laws of physics. Anyway, it has to be done as my family are coming down on Boxing Day and my Dad ALWAYS makes some passive aggressive comment if the house isn’t spotless.
Everyone had gone to bed when I had finished so I watched a movie on Netflix with a charcoal face mask on before showering and shaving everything so I was smooth and bald – all ready for Christmas!
Today we had to go up to our little cottage which we rent as a holiday let. The guests had left at 10 and the next lot were arriving at 3. Not much time to clean and change the bedding etc, but luckily the previous people had left it beautifully clean so not much to do.
I was changing the beds when Rob starting roaring at me. ‘Turn the heating off! Turn the heating off!’ I ran into the back bedroom (past my children who were hitting each other with bits of fake Christmas tree rather than building it as instructed) to find him on his knees in front of the radiator. I don’t know what he had done but water was absolutely pouring out of it, soaking the carpet.
The guests were arriving in two hours.
Panic stations. No answer from our trusty, but very expensive, plumber; on hold with British Gas I gave up after 20 minutes. Everyone is screaming and shouting as boiling water continues to flood out of the radiator.
While Rob raided the garage for suitable tools we called (again) on our ever-helpful neighbour. He bustled over in his leather apron – we interrupted him whilst he was making a Christmas present for his lovely partner in his workshop – and identified that a washer had broken. Rob had rigged up a hose by this stage so in the garden steam was rising as the radiator emptied itself into the flowerbed.
No plumber nearby or shop had any washers – apparently nowadays they just replace the whole tap?! Next-door-neighbour’s 80 odd year old father happened to have a spare washer, N-D-N joked he also found an original copy of the bible and a dinosaur bone in his dad’s back cupboard.
Thankfully it worked and peace and dryness were restored. We then had to race back as the M&S Turkey collection slot was drawing near!
As my absolute gits of children seemed to have mysteriously managed to make a mess again – even though they hadn’t even been in the house – Rob went out to brave the crowds in town while I cleared up, again, and realising the fridge was disgusting, took everything out and gave it a complete going over.
Rob returned but had managed to forget the pièce de résistance: The Santa cake.
Disaster! I phoned M&S to put one aside. Rob is now yelling that we have to leave NOW as mother-in-law has booked a table at her favourite restaurant for 7. ‘She’s going to panic if we’re late!’ He keeps shouting. I start yelling he ‘should have checked the bloody order,’ and then, realising daughter hasn’t packed a single thing, start yelling at her to get packed: ‘I told you to pack everything YESTERDAY!’
Son retreats into his room as we all yell at each other. I throw a pair of pants and a jumper into my bag and empty the contents of one of daughter’s drawers into a nearby Sainsbury’s bag.
We run down to the car where Rob is already sitting, tapping his fingers on the wheel with impatience. I realise son isn’t with us. I go back into the house to find him doing a poo. Of course. He always does this before any journey lasting longer that 20 minutes.
We speed over to M&S, I run in and grab the cake, punching people aside to get to the Christmas counter where my Santa cake is waiting. Someone is trying to buy it! I screech across the shop floor, ‘That’s MINE!’, waving my order email. After a brief, rather unseemly tussle, I emerged triumphant, though a bit sweaty and tousled haired, brandishing my cake. To the motorway!
20 miles away from home I realise I’ve forgotten the home-made mince pies I smugly made yesterday. 30 miles away Rob realised he’s forgotten the Stilton he bought for his grandfather. The children have just started kicking off as I have forgotten their stockings AGAIN so they will have to make do with their dad’s long socks, just like they did last year. It’s practically a tradition, I tell their stern little faces.
At least we are finally on our way. And Christmas can begin.
I started this blog at the beginning of December and said at the start I was hoping to make connections with some like-minded people.
I am delighted to say that I have already met some amazing people and read some wonderful blogs. I have laughed and cried and got completely addicted to my phone, leaping for it whenever I hear the ping of a WordPress notification. Thank you so much to all who have followed, liked and commented. It’s been a blast.
I can’t wait to see what the New Year brings and look forward to continuing conversations with you lovely people.