In the last week, we have been in hospital three times, for three separate reasons and people – but the first two paled in comparison to thinking that Theo might have meningitis, or one of the many other things that spin through your head when you are sitting in a hospital waiting room with a poorly child.
He hasn’t got any of them though, and at around 9pm, after a day filled with amazing doctors and nurses looking after us, we were allowed to come home. I have never felt more relieved or grateful for coming into my house to noise and mess.
Therefore, I think that after the week we’ve just had, it’s important for me to join in with this weeks #LittleLoves – a reminder that every day, even when something is not going well, there is always something to be positive for.
Excuse the lack of photos in some of them!
It’s not been a good week for relaxing with a book, but yesterday at times, I took advantage of my kindle app on my phone. After finishing The Missing by C L Taylor, I am about a third of the way through The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell. I wasn’t sure it was going to make it past my three chapter rule, but actually it’s drawn me in which I’m relieved about, I would hate to hate a Lisa Jewell book!
Click to Buy
Click to buy
We had a hiatus of shitness on Sunday, when we went to a friends birthday BBQ. I spent the afternoon watching people laugh in the sunshine, and these monkeys enjoying some time out together.
GIN. Obvs. (Bloom Gin, Slimline Tonic and Strawberries)
I’ve also made a gorgeous recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Superfood cookbook. Indian Roasted Cauliflower. YUM.
I can’t actually remember.
I’m currently listening to The Girls by Lisa Jewell (I bloody love Lisa Jewell) on audiobook, whether I’m driving about or unable to sleep audiobooks are a lifesaver, although this one is so interesting I’m not sure it’s helping me fall back to sleep!
Click to buy
They say things happen in threes, so hopefully my three is done and dusted. PMA is the way forward, so today and the next week are going to be awesome. Otherwise I’m setting Larry on them!
Originally due to be published on Christmas Eve, I was struck down in the prime of life with coughing, spluttering, on-the-verge-of-death flu and have only just recovered enough in order to post. Whilst sorry for the delay I hope you can now settle down with the dregs of the selection box and cast your mind back to just a few short weeks ago…
“How can you not know what Brio is? Didn’t you ever go to the Early learning Centre when you were little?”
“No. We went to the Cash & Carry.”
Listen carefully and you can actually hear his eyes roll. You see his childhood was all wooden train sets; mine was training to set tables (we lived in a pub). My small family and I never quite got the hang of decking the halls and fa la la la la-ing. But then I met himself and I fell head over heels, right into a bucket of Christmas cheer sung loud for all to hear. We’d only been together a few of months when I received my invite to his family Christmas. I readily accepted, after all, it was July; there was plenty of time for circumstances to change and his enthusiasm to wane. So on 25 December mum and I were duly collected from our grotto (the gargoyle had a Santa hat on) and taken to a family winter wonderland full of people. Happy smiling ones.
Stood in the doorway I observed that this was all new; I’d not seen one of these before. But looking closely I could see that this was most definitely one of those elusive family Christmases I’d heard whispers of. All the components were there. Wrapping paper strewn over a merrily decorated lounge, children playing with their toys (aged 27 and 25 respectively) and grandparents peacefully pickling in port. Brussels were being peeled and bucks fizz was being poured. Mince pies were baking and the beautifully decorated HANDMADE Christmas cake (they don’t all come from M&S, who knew?) took pride of place in the dining room. Christmas songs filled the house and the fibres of my brand new Christmas jumper (pre requisite) vibrated along with Mariah’s high notes. Yep, there was no denying it, this, this was Christmas.
We were bustled inside, sat down, exchanged pressies and within 5 minutes both mum and I felt wholly part of the fam. It could have been the intoxicating festive spirits (port and brandy) or it could have been the huge festive family hug we were enveloped in, but our Christmas indifference started to evaporate. Evidently it really was the season to be jolly and what previous experience had led us to believe (that it was the season to be friggin’ miserable) wasn’t the case. If Christmas cheer was contagious, we caught the bug. I was struck down with festive fever, Christmas pox and a chronic case of tinselistis*. It utterly transformed me and my less than merry attitude. I had my eyes opened to a happy family time where everyone got together to enjoy each other’s company, eat, drink and get pissed. In contrast to previous Christmases where I wished I had a family to celebrate with, I realised that that was the celebration. People, family, it’s what I’d been missing and now I had it. It was my own little Tiny Tim Christmas miracle.
So, Aimee loves Christmas. LOVES it. Me? Well I struggle a little bit.
For the majority of my life Christmas was spent in a godforsaken town that my nanna had the misfortune of existing in. Mum and I would set off on Christmas Eve with a bin bag full of presents, a few rapidly defrosting boxes of Marks and Sparks party food and, with the intention of keeping me entertained, an armful of Smash Hits magazines. Forty minutes later we’d arrive in the arse end of nowhere, unpack our slightly rusty round the edges Micra and get ready to spend the foreseeable trying to be merry. It was always just the three of us and it seemed no different to every Sunday we spent together the rest of the year. Christmas was simply one long weekend with paper hats and a vat of Bombay Mix. My nanna would moan about the “old lady” foot spa / bean bag lap tray / dressing gown gifts my cousin and his wife had sent from America. My mum would rush around like a blue arsed fly, peeling, chopping, cooking, serving, clearing, tidying and looking after us both. I’d work my way through a jar of mint imperials whilst attempting to play Dream Phone on my own. Inevitably I’d get three quarters of the way through Santa Claus The Movie before my nanna changed channels so she could watch the Queen’s speech. I’d get bored, listen to my new Nick Berry cassette (child abuse) on my Walkman and get told off for not being patriotic. By the end of the day, my cantankerous nanna would have offered the present I’d given her back to me and whilst hiding all the best Quality Street in her skirt, tell my mum off for reading Old Moore’s Capricorn Horoscope book Santa (me) had left her. My mum would be shattered and in the absence of any proper booze, syphon some rum sauce and have a Bailey’s. She’d then show willing by finding an antiquarian board game in the vain attempt of forging some family Christmas bond. By midnight we were all ready for bed and for a bit of added excitement, I’d go upstairs on the Stannah stair lift. It wasn’t horrible but it was quiet, predictable and a little subdued. And when the television showed joyful family Christmases, we looked around and except for a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and a bit of tinsel, there wasn’t a lot to mark our occasion out as different to any other time of year. Cheery family faces weren’t appearing at the door, Slade wasn’t blasting out of any orifice, and it wasn’t even bloody snowing.
For the few years when it was just mum and I, we still struggled. Neither Heathernezer Scrooge (mum not a massive fan of December 25) nor I knew how to make the day feel different and putting on the free Daily Mail festive CD didn’t do a lot. We both felt the pressure of having as wonderful a time as everyone else seemed to be having but we didn’t have a family of 38, a tree the size of our cottage or a golden turkey on the verge of making the beautifully decorated table collapse under its juicy goodness. We had roast beef. We had a nice day, but was it Christmas? Come Boxing Day the relief that the pressure of HAVING A VERY MERRY TIME had passed was immense. We were unsure of how to ‘do’ all this joyful and triumphant malarkey, neither of us felt any affinity to baubles and without the memory of a picture perfect one, we were a bit lost. We were down on numbers and honestly? That’s what we were both missing.
And so, twas the April before Christmas, and all through the bar, there were whispers from matchmakers, that me and him would go far. And they were right. Almost three years ago we began by pulling pints, then each other and every December, crackers. A billion of them. Reader, I met him, the love of my life and Buddy the chuffin’ Elf.
We’d only be together 7 months when 1 December 2010 hit and despite 98% of me knowing I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man, the other 2% was questioning how often a grown man could say “I LOVE CHRISTMAS”. There was mulled wine pumping through his veins, Mariah belting from his lungs and festive cheer oozing out of every pore. Mum and I had been welcomed into his family very early on but as Christmas neared we were engulfed in fairy lights, soaked in brandy and dusted with icing sugar. Wide eyed with horror wonder we realised that this, this was Christmas.