I've had several billion things to blog about of late but no time to do it. Plus I've had my husband at home. This is a novelty. And it thwarts my ability to blog. I'm not sure why it does, it just does. But at this very moment he is downstairs wrapping my numerous, here's hoping exceptionally pricey, Christmas presents. So I am banished. I've retreated to my pc for a comforting blog.
You see the last few days have been a little frenetic. First we headed off to Lapland UK. This was the proper Lapland UK costing the same as a short holiday to France, not the dodgy one with stuffed reindeers and a couple of tatty caravans in the New Forest. No, our Lapland had real live reindeers, real live husky dogs and a real live Father Christmas who was so real that for a moment I forgot that I was a grown up and got all nervous and excited to meet him. The children got to wander in an amazing enchanted forest, they helped the elves make wooden rocking horses, the decorated (and ate) gingerbread men and they could have ice skated had they not been throwing tantrums about not being allowed to buy a piece of plastic tat from the gift shop.
It was all snowy and lovely. But the magic didn't seem to have the effect on the children that I'd hoped. I was pretty certain we'd be in eyes out on stalks territory. But they were very whatever-with-gallic-shrugs-type-of-thing about it all. They did brick themselves while they waited to meet Santa and in hindsight they were amazed that he knew their friends' names. But there was quite a lot of 'let's rush there and look at that, oh now I'm bored and would like to do something else, and yes this is all fabulous but I would have been just as happy eating a gingerbread man at home or buying a piece of plastic shite from Woolies.'
Am I getting old or are kids today getting more blasé about stuff? When I was a child (and yes I know that makes me sound about a bazillion years old) Father Christmas came down the river on a boat and gave us presents. It was the MOST EXCITING THING EVER!!! To this day I get excited by the prospect - just a shame I don't live closer to the river in question anymore. My children just didn't seem to have the same level of wet-your-pants-and-can't-possibly-sleep excitement about it.
They're not particularly spoiled. I buy their clothes second hand from eBay. They're limited to very few sweets and they get a reasonable selection of presents. Nothing OTT. Yet their attitude was very 'been there done that, if only there was a Wii Fit version of this Father Christmas world'.
Anyway, since then we've had drinks parties involving many drinks and quite sore heads the next day. And I braved Sainsbury's yesterday to do my GIGANTIC Christmas shop. Finding a parking spot took me 15 minutes alone. I had so much stuff in my trolley that I actually think I might have run some small children and OAPs over because trolleys don't come with mirrors. I couldn't fit all of my stuff on the conveyor belt at check out and the till guy had to call for reinforcements. They provided me with a second trolley, a helper packer and someone to push my second trolley to my car. I think you get this kind of service when you spend more than £300 in a single shop. So I qualified. Thank god for nectar points.
Then of course I had to embark on a bit of strategic fridge organisation when I got home to try and fit everything in.
And thus commenced the cookfest. I began gently yesterday with my cranberry sauce, while today I moved onto the lamb tagine, my stuffing, spiced nuts and red cabbage. Obviously the minute I started to cook I realised that I'd bought the wrong pomegranate juice so had venture forth into the evil world of pre-Christmas supermarkets once again. This time I thought I'd try Waitrose as I was only after one thing. I got there 15 minutes before it opened, not realising the time (your sense of time is skewed when you're woken at 5am by a child and start cooking by 6am).
The middle class masses were assembled outside the shop entrance, revving their trolleys, looking as though they were about to compete in the 'how much can you buy in 3 minutes' competition. The staff were actually trembling and quite pale just looking at us through the windows. It took the shine off the lovely warm glow of Christmas a bit, but I escaped in record time, stopped at the butcher, grabbed my excruciatingly expensive but exceptionally well cared for turkey and dashed home.
My day then vascillated between lovely and not. Lovely going outside to garden to pick some rosemary and coming back inside to warm, gingery smells. Not lovely trying to stop two small boys from killing each other. Lovely listening to Christmassy songs while pootling in the kitchen. Not lovely trying to stop two small boys from killing each other. You get the picture.
One revelation we have had the last two nights is the power of the torch. Our children are bored/excited/hyped up on the Quality Street tin and need exercise. But daylight is limited and parents are busy. So we've been arming our children with torches and telling them to search the garden at night for hedgehogs. Keeps them entertained for hours. Plus we've managed two 'midnight' (i.e. 6pm) walks in the dark across the muddy fields with torches. Again, splendid adventure for small boys and a welcome relief for grown ups.
All the presents are wrapped. My cooking schedule is slap bang up to date. The house is tidy. Ish. Our guests arrive tomorrow. Christmas is nearly here and all I have to say is: Bring It On.
Going to go collapse now.