Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas is a'comin'

Yes, startling news eh? Surely someone should have warned me??

I have done some but not all the usual Christmassy tasks this year. It has been refreshing seeing what subtle changes are wrought by a dramatic change in one's circumstances. Family traditions are different for a start. Social gatherings too. The house to be decorated is smaller, the views altered and the person I'm sharing it all with different too. I'm rejoicing in the changes for the most part but struggling with some aspects of this season.

Work is a nightmare at the moment. There is just so much to do and so little help in doing it. The people around me are pretty grumpy and demoralised after months of jobcuts and restructurings. Frankly, I cannot wait for Thursday to come so I can get out of here and enjoy the break. Hopefully we will be a cheerier although much smaller band in January.

The weather is beautiful and festive and encourages much in the way of crisp walks with dogs and snuggling in front of fires and old films but it also makes life that little bit harder. Walking down the hill in the ice is perilous. Praying that the car will start in minus 15 degrees. Scraping ice endlessly. Wondering whether I will be able to get to my parents for Christmas Eve. And exercise has all but stopped....try as I might, I could not make myself go swimming yesterday in minus 9 degrees.... I tried, I really tried but my hair would freeze and I only had time for a brief swim anyway as I had a meeting in the afternoon. Also, Rich's car was in the garage so I had to leave early to get to it and get home....sigh.. Sometimes life is very complicated.

But enough of this moaning. This post was not meant to be grumpy and "complicated" this post was meant to be about the nice things associated with Christmas.

Lots of contact with one's nearest and dearest. I have been speaking to my family much more than I usually do - not that I avoid them or anything but everyone is busy and days and weeks can pass.... So it has been nice having long chatty calls. Not only that but we spent an evening with Rich's brother and his wife and his other brother and his girlfriend on Friday so spending time with Rich's family too. We went to the Panto in Sheffield last night with some friends of Rich. It was a real laugh, heart-warming, full of happy kids laughing at the same jokes that I used to laugh at and sheffield was very pretty all decorated for the season (Christmas, Hannukah and Eid...). It really cheered us up after 2 nasty days at work. We would both probably rather have gone dancing but friends are friends and I'm glad we went in the end....

Then there's the beauty of it all. The crisp snow and hard frost. Your breath hanging in the air and the sound of snow crunching underfoot. Christmas lights as you drive through villages. Poinsettia plants (I love them although they always die on me...). A pretty Christmas tree and lots of candles in our front room. (Although Rich was not impressed by my colour scheme of "traditional" green, red and white....as a died in the wool Sheffield Wednesday household, we should, apparently, have a blue and white tree - but I don't like them so nerr....) Singing carols and Christmas shopping.

The food. I have made mince pies and a Christmas cake and we've munched through a bought Stollen. The cake has not yet been cut, having only been iced over the weekend but it looks great. The second batch of mince pies was a disaster as I cheated and used bought pastry and failed to check the pastry so made them with puff pastry!! Very tasty but very messy!!

The telly - I loved the Strictly final this year and was so chuffed that the best dancer won (IMO anyway). I always love Sports Personality of the Year (although missed half of it for the quiz last night - well done AP McCoy!! I've enjoyed acquainting myself with some traditional Christmas films that I've somehow never seen before - It's A Wonderful Life, The Wizard of Oz etc There's usually loads of good football on over the Christmas period although the snow may put a kibosh on that this year.

The live footie - we have trips to Tranmere on Boxing Day, at home against Yeovil on 28th December and away to Huddersfield on 3 January!! Loads of Sheffield Wednesday to feast on....hopefully they have got their defeats out of the way with a woeful 5-1 against Exeter on Saturday and we can get back to the winning ways we started on Milan's first game in charge (6-2 against Bristol Rovers in case the score escaped you....!!)

Time off from work....'nuff said.

There, I've cheered myself up. Hope you find plenty of things to cheer you up too.


Amber said...

Changes are usually good! You seem happy with them, too.

I don't like strictly...my partner though always watches it, LOL. Should I get worried?

Since we cannot get bbc iplayer to work here outside the UK we found a way around it, so at least I still get to watch some programmes :) Sadly the apprentice is now over and so is how not to live your life!

Ahh, Merry Christmas, I have now "known" you for a year :-D


Peridot said...

I made mince pies with home made pate sucree yesterday with orange zest and juice in the pate/pastry - yum!

My nephew is a big Strictly fan. Although he's a little ginger bruiser of 4, he sits in front of it cooing "Oooh, nice frock". Will be interesting to see how he turns out...!

What about a real tree (agree that it HAS to be real) with blue and silver decorations? Frosty and nice and a good compromise?