Well there, that's done. Christmas has all been taken down and put back in the box and is currently awaiting the final lift into the loft whenever K can manage it. I won't bleat on about Christmas, I'm pretty sure they are standard for most people. Children unbearably excited, then spoilt and thrilled on Christmas Day, I cooked a lunch involving Turkey and stuffing, we over ate, then spent a number of days travelling to my mum and then K's mum where we over ate more and the children opened more and more presents, then we had to go to the emergency doctors for Ted, then A and E for a nebulizer, then back to our home, unpacking, abject terror at the amount of 'stuff' we now have that needs sorting and putting away, back to the GP to confirm that Ted's original antibiotics weren't working, extreme fatigue, illness, coughs, colds etc. You see, it's all much of a muchness.
The only thing to set this year apart from any other is the fabulous gifts I got from K - amongst a number of cool things I have wanted for ages - there was also an iPad 2!! I know, who would've thought all my moaning and whining would pay off? It was particularly necessary as K's lovely bosses bought him a super duper one for his Christmas present which they gave him a week before Christmas and I am not in the slightest bit ashamed to say that I couldn't be happy for him as I was riddled with jealousy - I couldn't even look at it - which was horrifically mean as he has never been on the receiving end of such a generous gift and it was an amazing thing to happen to him. I like to blame it on me being one of a number of children and therefore always wanting what my sisters had. In particular my younger sister actually. She was a great source of my jealousy issues. She once got a Teddy Ruxpin as a reward for having extra lessons to help her get through an entrance exam. I got no such gift or extra lessons and when I had passed the entrance exam she was being prepped for, a year or so earlier, all I got was £3 from my Nana to spend in Woolworths. I bought a shit Sindy pony thing which was an utter disappointment (nothing changes). Her Teddy Ruxpin bear which SPOKE (a huge thing back then) was very expensive and a highly coveted toy. The sting of that jealousy will stay with me forever. I still bring it up quite a lot during family discussions. (I have included a picture to help you visualise my childhood angst).
Anyway, so that is why I am a jealous sort. It is totally not my fault but clearly all the fault of my mother's for her unequal treatment of us as sisters. So, my original point was that the only thing to differentiate one Christmas from another is how good your gifts are - Christmas is good if you get good stuff. It is a given that you will see family members, share good food etc but let's face it - if you spend hundreds of pounds on clever and thoughtful gifts for others and all you receive in return is never ending crud of bath bombs dressed up in various baskets with other crap you'll never use, ugly pyjamas or books you have no interest in reading, it means that your Christmas was just 'fine'. It had all the basics but bad gifts. A 'good' Christmas means you gave and received good presents. I think even religious people would have to agree on some level. It's about Jesus every year but now and again it's nice to get an iPad for yourself.
Actually there was some excitement on my trip down to my mother's at the end of term. I have invented a fun new game to make car journeys pass more quickly and add an extra frisson of excitement to proceedings. I forgot to fill up my water reservoir so I couldn't rinse my windscreen and the roads were wet and dirty and the spray from other people's cars meant I was soon struggling to see - the game was afoot. It takes quite a lot of skill and nerve but you basically have to bet which car is going to spray their windscreen first and sit behind them to benefit from the over spray and therefore clear your windscreen. It is nerve racking and at one point as we slowed to an almost stop I did have to cheat and wind the window down to pour some bottled water on as things were getting desperate - but other than that I relied solely on other people's spray and then some fortunate recent rainfall helped me no end once we neared Suffolk. Et Voila - my new game. It felt like the quickest journey ever. I pass it on to you as my New Year gift.
On to New Year's Eve which was surprisingly good - I never normally celebrate it as I am not a fan of enforced jollity but this year a lovely local friend had a few friends and many children over for a big slap up meal which was very relaxed and totally delicious - I over ate again. Shocker. I didn't drink though so I should get points for that. I even allowed the children to stay up til 9.30pm which is very big news for me. The company was fab too and even though I wasn't feeling 'it' I did enjoy myself. I was obviously sparkling company, as usual (in between mouthfuls) and as I was sitting next to a fireman, I decided to bring up a subject that irritates me in the extreme - women in the fireservice. The fact is that men are physically stronger than women and therefore are unable to lift as much as men. There is no arguing with this. Fatima Whitbread aside, if I was in a hotel fire, five flights up and a 9 stone woman shimmied up the ladder to attempt to carry me down, I would be exceedingly irritated and very hot. There is no way she would be able to lift me safely, as I am, as some would say, rather 'solid'. Same if she happened to find me lying on the floor through the smoke - she'd have to find an available man to lift me which would take up valuable time. I am clearly a raging feminist but even I would argue that whilst women are able to drive a fire engine or roll out hose as well as any man, they cannot possibly be able to do the same things strength wise. Why is it that we cannot compete against men in sporting events which are most certainly not life or death and yet we have to pretend that we're all the same when it comes to saving people from fires? Not that I'd bring this up with any female firefighters. They might not be as strong as K but they are way harder than me.
And with the New Year comes the endless crap about us having to lose weight. Obviously I am all for people wanting to do this as I am one of the people to benefit from the New Year Resolution frenzy, however I do get annoyed that no one ever speaks up for the benefits of being fat. Where is the celebration for the extra weight we have carefully cultivated over the festive period? I mean, I know there aren't a huge number of positives but still, I feel that some of them need pointing out. One, when I was five stone heavier, if I were to be stabbed in the stomach they would have had to have an extremely long blade to hit anything vital - my many inches of fat were skilfully protecting my vital organs as well as any body armour would have done. Two, after having Ted, at my heaviest, I was able to create a dam in the bath with my width meaning that I could keep hot water behind me and cooler water in front for the children - I could also rest my newborn baby on the shelf my stomach formed and was even able to wash my hair with him on my 'shelf' and have the other two in the bath with me as well. That is a skill no thin person would ever be able to achieve and cannot be underestimated in its usefulness. Three, my options for shopping were greatly diminished meaning that I was only able to shop at a few supermarkets, a few catalogues and two or three high street shops. This meant that shopping was much easier. The choice when you can fit in to all kinds of clothes is overwhelming and befuddling - as well as expensive. People are far too quick to see the negatives so I hope these have given you food for thought. Pun intended. Actually I opened up on Monday, much against my will, and ran a WW meeting with just six people in attendance - clearly people weren't as desperate to lose the Christmas weight as I had thought. It was particularly irritating as I was ill all Sunday and really could have done with another day in bed on Monday. Still, it got the children and me out of bed and gave us something to do. What with Ted's protracted illness and my short illness and fatigue Bea and G haven't exactly had a thrilling week and skateboarding in the Scout Hut whilst we packed away could possibly count as something of a high point.
Good Golly - I've just noticed my last post was on the 13th. That is a dreadfully long time ago. I'm sure you've all survived but still, I shall try to ensure it never happens again. There always seemed to be something more important to do than write - wrap presents, do a Tesco order, wrap presents, fall asleep, wrap presents etc. etc. Thank GOODNESS I don't have to buy another flipping toy for the children until September when the first birthday starts up again. That is a clear eight months of my money being used for things other than plastic crap. YAHOOOOOOO. I love January - it is not in the least bit depressing. I don't have any resolutions btw - seeing as I am practically perfect in every way I like to leave a little room for improvement so that I don't scare people off. My ongoing resolution for the last few years was to be a grown up. That mainly just means having money at the end of the month and to be honest, K is now taking care of that which leaves me free to be totally immature, so I'm unlikely to reach my goal any time soon. Besides if I grew up I'd have to rid myself of the Teddy Ruxpin resentment and I'm not ready yet - the wound is too fresh.
I better pop off. I'm doing this in the middle of the day as I can't be arsed to sort out the house - yet again. I was just getting on top of the general level of debris in the house and then it's as if Christmas came along like a great big rubbish truck and opened its back end and dumped everything that there ever was in my poor house. I am seriously thinking of moving just to have more space to house the toys. I'll just take my iPad and my Cath Kidston sewing box and move to somewhere clean and tidy with an awful lot of storage. I don't want the removal men to bring anything else. Potentially not even the children. If we were really rich I'd rent a small one bedroom flat where I could go and sit in minimalist loveliness with only my iPad for company. Bliss. And listen to my Glee CDs. There is seriously not a mood or a feeling that one of the 10 or so Glee CDs can't accompany. In my flat there would also be Glee box sets for me to watch. Undisturbed. It might be cheaper just to get the loft done and put a lock on the door.
So, in summary, good Christmas, fat, illness, not too poor, iPad 2 and 2012 arrived. Hope that has made up for the three week silence. Normal service will resume from now on.