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Archive for December, 2008

Wednesday 31 December 2008

I think this year has possibly been one of the crappiest ones I’ve ever had.  The worst thing of course is my mother’s on-going battle with bowel cancer, diagnosed just before Christmas 2007 and since subjected to two sessions of chemotherapy and half a course of radiotherapy.  The good news is that everything that needs to be shrunk is shrinking, the bad is that the battle is taking its toll on mum’s energy levels.  Still, we all carry on the fight, none harder than mum herself.  Let’s hope 2009 brings better news on that front.

I laughingly christened 2008 The Year of the Appliance way back in March when this blog began.  I should have called it The Year of Broken Things.  We’re in the process of replacing both our fridge/freezer and our computer, neither of which are technically broken, but they’re running badly and soon will be.  Hopefully next year everything will run smoothly and we’ll be able to manage not to buy new things.

In the meantime I hope you have a Happy New Year and that 2009 is good for all of us!

See you next year (I love saying that, sorry!).

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Tuesday 30 December 2008

OK, so although I like to think of myself as ‘worldly-wise’ there are still things that surprise me in the sort of way that makes Alex roll her eyes and say “oh mum!”  This morning I was asked to complete an online survey, one of those that pays you 50p for this or £1 for that: not a lot at the time, but it builds up to something slightly better than a poke in the eye.  The last and final question, which it gave me the option of not answering if I didn’t want to was:

“What is your sexual orientation?  Is it:

a)  heterosexual

b)  homosexual

c)  bi-sexual

d)  other”

Oddly enough, I thought a, b and c pretty much covered it!  Doesn’t it?  If you know the answer and it’s something gross that’ll make me go ‘eww’, please don’t tell me!  I prefer to live my life in relative ignorance.

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Monday 29 December 2008

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Call it my wicked sense of humour, but there have been so many visitors to my site who seem to have arrived following the search term ‘shoe fetish’ that I couldn’t resist a sequel.  Thank you to my good friend Mandy who gave me this present to hang on my Christmas tree and made it all possible.  When she gave me a present I was surprised as we don’t normally do gifts, but she explained that all would become clear when I opened it.  It caused a chuckle when I did and we hung it straight on the tree.

Christmas Day was a success as far as this household was concerned.  Lunch was much more organised than last year, mainly due to the girls’ help in the morning and assistance from Gordon to peel the sprouts, probably one of my least-favourite vegetables.  We also thought in advance, turned up the aga which tends to drop in temperature the minute anything major is going on as well as getting our mini-cooker out of storage in case we needed extra hotplates.  Terri cooked the turkey at her house, carved it, arranged it on a platter with all the trimmings, then covered it with tinfoil for the journey here.  We cooked a joint of home-produced beef and along with the vegetables there was plenty to go around.

Yesterday we went to Terri and Steve’s for lunch and today Steph and I went to Bridgwater to pick up some bargains in the sales.  Next year’s Christmas cards are bought (at 75% off, so how could I resist?) and I even have a few gifts for my birthday drawer.

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Merry Christmas

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Even though the Christmas spirit has still not come upon us, I’ve finished cleaning, wrapping, shopping and panicking.  We’ve been socialising this week with various friends and neighbours, and this evening we’re going to Terri and Steve’s for the evening as we usually do on Christmas Eve.  This year will see the absence of my parents for the first time as mum’s feeling the effects of the past two weeks of radiotherapy in Bristol and plans to sleep!

Tomorrow we’ll start with the milking as for some strange reason Dan’s requested the day off.  He usually does.  We miss Simon, who used to work through regardless of the day even though it probably drove his family to distraction.   He was with us for fifteen years but sadly died whilst waiting for a lung transplant about four years ago.  He was fifty-nine and like an uncle to the girls who’d always known him.  Sadly missed and often thought of.

We’re entertaining the family for lunch as well as Mr and Mrs Ellis (who are like extra family) so there’ll be ten of us around the table.  It’s the easier of several options as we have to eat and run if we go anywhere else.  The cows still have to be milked at 4.00 pm, calves fed and the parlour cleaned so inviting everyone here works rather well.

Maybe I’ll be in a Christmas mood then?

In the meantime, I hope you have a great Christmas, peaceful, calm and best of all, according to plan!

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Did Lunch

Monday 22 December 2008

I met up with my friend C and my sister today in Wetherspoons for lunch.  We were there for hours: they were very tolerant.  Having said that, they were also pretty empty so probably glad of the custom.  We started with a drink which lasted us through the first hour of conversation, progressed to lunch followed by coffee which took us through the next hour-and-a-half.  It was good to get together and ‘do lunch’.  I like the idea of being ‘a lady who lunches’ but in truth don’t get much chance, mostly due to the fact that the majority of friends who live nearby have formal jobs.

I’ve always said that work wreaks havoc on your social life.  My work day is far more flexible and I realise that puts me in quite a privileged position with a deal more freedom than most.  I suppose if I did eat out everyday I’d be twice the size that I currently am, which incidentally is less than I was eight weeks ago.  My diet is doing well and at the last weigh-in I’d lost a total of fifteen and a half pounds.  Christmas is coming though, the time of over-indulgence and a devil-may-care attitude towards chocolates!  We shall see.

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Still Not Feeling It!

Sunday 21 December 2008

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This is our friend Steve at the gathering we went to yesterday evening.  He likes having his photo taken and every time he pulls a face I threaten him with public exposure on my blog.  This is his smiley, ready-for-Christmas face.  I wish I had one of those!

So ….  I’ve wrapped the majority of my presents while listening to all the Christmasy tracks  I have on my computer, I’ve made a list, checked it more than twice, given up, thrown a paddy and collapsed for a sulk.  However, I still don’t feel in the mood for Christmas.

Despite their now advanced years the girls are excited and have even done a bit of house-cleaning in preparation, but I’m wandering around in bah-humbug mode with a permanent frown worrying that I may have forgotten something.  My mood isn’t helped by the fact that Gordon seems oblivious to the panic and is flopped in front of the TV.  I definitely want to be a man in my next life.  He hasn’t written a single Christmas card or wrapped a present.  I’m not sure whether he bribed Steph or just prevailed on her goodwill, but she’s wrapped them for him.  I know this to be true because I heard her nagging him to at least sign the gift tags she’d thoughtfully attached.

Yep, would like to be a man around about this time of year.

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Friday 19 December 2008

I can’t believe the week has flown by so quickly and I’ve got so little achieved.  It seems that just when I get motivated and underway something crops up that requires my immediate attention so by the time I get back I’ve either forgotten what I was doing or lost all motivation to get down to it.

My cards are done and posted.  That’s an achievement as I got there before the last posting date this year.  I’m wondering if I bought cards in the January sales and wrote them gradually throughout the year it would come across as too keen!  The problem with the plan is the shifting pattern of relationships lately.  I could write a card for a friend and her husband only to discover by next Christmas they hate each other and are getting a divorce.  A worse scenario is the loss of a partner and I’ve had that happen before too.  I blithely write ‘hope you and your wife/husband have had a good year and are keeping well’ only to receive a card later in the post saying ‘oh, by the way, my husband died in June’ or something awful.  How do you reply to that?

My presents are a different and far sadder story.  Unwrapped.  Some still unbought despite giving the problem serious consideration.  Thanks for your suggestions Lindsay, but I’ve done both those before and consequently still haven’t bought anything for dad.  We’re going to a gathering of the street dwellers tomorrow where we traditionally exchange gifts and not only are the ones I bought not wrapped but I can’t remember where I put them.

On the plus side I’ve got my eyesight sorted at great expense after realising it was worse than I first thought.  I borrowed Alex’s glasses to drive home on Saturday (her eyesight’s very similar to mine) and could see the road clearly.  The problem with losing your eyesight is that it’s so gradual and I didn’t connect things like trouble driving in the dark with the fact that I couldn’t see!  I did a BOGOF in Boots and will, when they’re ready, have two smart pairs of driving glasses, one with non-reflective lenses for night driving and another with tinted lenses for driving during the day.  This will,  I hope, make me less of a risk on the highway because I will be able to see oncoming traffic in sharp definition.

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