It is mayhem in our house. I know, most homes have a period of stress before Christmas but this exceeds anything I have experienced before. Firstly, the dogs think I am wasting too much time writing Christmas cards and wrapping presents that need to go in the post. There is the buying food online and discovering some things just do not travel outside London unless you find the smallest retailer who will do it because he loves food. And the local smokery who catch local eels and the American crayfish who are taking over our waters and can deliver to the door the day before Christmas Eve (we hope). The dogs care nothing for the present ordering, sorting the sleeping arrangements out and trying to work out how to decorate the 30 foot tree growing in the front garden. Luckily we discover a power socket located outside the house so we think we will be OK. Now all we need is a powerful trampoline and a small child to put the lights near the top. Actually, it is Gavin, our ex-SAS gardener who is coming to help us and I have every faith in a man whose solution to everything is a lump hammer.
On Monday and Tuesday I am on my own as Mr Mason has a meeting in London. Dogs decide this is the right time to bring as much mud into the house as possible, especially smearing it on the cream coloured carpet in the big hallway. We bought a lovely Afghan rug to cover most of the length of the hall but then Lark discovered that eating the fringing of the rug was very exciting. I retaliated with chilli powder, high strength, both sides and both ends of the rug. The battle is nearly won but it’s also a wonderful place to tear up cardboard, paper and kindling. The battle continues. 3 oranges disappeared from the side of my bed today. I have found 1. My new glasses lasted from Halloween until this week when the temptation of the chewy plastic of the arms proved just too tempting. Luckily she did not eat the lenses so I have just paid £95 to have them put back into the same frames. The optician was impressed by the destruction. He also asked why I didn’t use my Boots card when I collected my original sets of glasses (yes, I always get 2. I am not stupid). “I think you were wearing a cloak and fangs the last time I saw you and that might have put me off” I replied. He is the sort of optician – Brett – who is nice but probably wears comedy ties and socks all the time and drives his colleagues to distraction with inane jokes. I can bear it for 45 minutes but was glad it was his colleague who did my eye test.
Monday and Tuesday reinforce the idea that I find it very difficult to look after myself apart from bathing and getting dressed. Eating is a challenge, partly because I rarely feel hungry and also I feel quite unsteady in the kitchen so worry about dropping something or burning myself. Is this really me? I have always loved pottering around the house, especially the kitchen and yet now it’s somewhere I just pass through. During the two days I discover we have run out of Bonio!! It’s going to be a long two days.
Next week I have my long-awaited bone scan to see if there is anything obvious to pin the searing rib pain on. My least favourite test lasts nearly all day and the one bright moment in it is that we get to pick Mr Mason jnr up from the station so he will be with me when Mr Mason goes to collect Mr and Mrs Mason snr, a two day trip. Everyone else arrives on 23rd to much excitement and barking, I suspect.
I always enjoy Christmas and know this one will be extra special with both offspring and partners, Mrs Safaie Snr and Mr and Mrs Mason Snr making the first venture out of the house since I don’t know when. We will be 8 for Christmas lunch unless someone drops out. Whatever happens, it will be fantastic.
As a footnote, if you don’t receive a Christmas card, I do apologise. Those who read my blog will understand that with all the hospital appointments and afternoons spent in bed, I have a lot less time than usual. Those of you who don’t read the blog, well, you probably won’t miss my card anyway. And don’t think I don’t know who you are…