I know I should write about May’s vote of no confidence in the Brexit deal and how she is embarrassing herself and us a country, but what is there to say? She looks like she gets dug up each morning to do her job. Why can’t she just admit defeat and go for a lovely nap? There’s nothing wrong with putting your hands up and saying ‘Seems I’ve made a bit of a cock up..sozzles’ and cracking open a box of biscuits. I don’t understand why some people can’t admit to being wrong.
As for Michael Gove using a Game of Thrones reference to scare people into backing May’s Brexit plan…. I don’t even know where to start. If I was George R Martin, the author of the books, I’d be straight on Twitter to confirm ‘I never meant it to be used that way. Please never, ever reference my books to Brexit again.’
Being a simple soul, I can’t help but hope that if we don’t agree a deal before the March deadline, Brexit won’t actually happen and we can just brush it all under the carpet and never, ever, dig it up again.
I obviously have no idea how the ‘real’ world works. I still don’t understand why the government doesn’t just buy a printing press and literally make more money. Life is not monopoly though, or a fantasy novel with dragons and zombies and ‘get out of jail free’ passes. It’s not a game at all, although the way politicians behave, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was.
I wouldn’t want May’s job. I’ve never understood power hungry people. I’d like control of the TV remote and the temperature in the car, but that’s where my ambition ends. I don’t know what it’s like to lie awake at night and plot to take over the world. I lie awake at night and wonder if I locked the door.
It’s an exciting start to 2019 with China landing on the dark side of the moon. I never liked the ‘must have’ album by Pink Floyd. The blurry photo of a rocky surface is far more exciting. It might be fake, and it’s still better. China plan to have a space station up there by 2022. They are all obsessed with the moon because they think it’s a potential source of minerals and oil.
When I think of the moon, I always imagine it’s made of cheese and inhabited by people with saucepans on their heads and wooden spoons for arms. This is why I am not a scientist. I’m still not sure what I’m going to be when I grow up. After a row with the husband in Wickle, Lewes, over a seven-pound leather bookmark of two people kissing, which I claimed was essential and he claimed ‘frivolous, unnecessary and a sign I’m forgetting my working-class roots’ I announced I was ‘going back to work.’
I spent the stifled car drive home (lots of traffic of course) steadfastly gazing out the window in the classic ‘mum/wife is in a mood’ pose, while the children came up with suggestions for my new job. They included cutting sheep’s fur, cleaning people’s sandals (Like Jesus, who didn’t want to be posh) and taking down people’s Christmas decorations. The husband snorted with glee.
We wait all year for the Christmas break and then, a few days in, we realise we are not used to spending long periods of time with our spouses and being at home, doing nothing, is a bit boring.
We went for a bike ride on New Year’s Day and every other person in the village had the same idea. The underpass looked like Oxford Street, with everyone sporting a new Christmas scarf, or some shiny trainers. The mums all looked tired and the dads looked glum. I’ve seen more than one of my neighbours outside cleaning his car on his Christmas holiday. We long for time off and then when we get it, we don’t know what to do with it. Is this what we go to work all year for?
I watched ‘Birdbox’ after everyone raved about it. It was rubbish and not scary at all. I went to see the new Mary Poppins and didn’t enjoy that either. Dick Van Dyke dancing on a desk aged 93 was pretty cool though. I wasted a whole day trying to build some Star Wars Lego, aged 9-14, before giving up, much to my husband’s delight. Had I been good at it, I could have started my own Lego building business and brought as many leather bookmarks with people kissing on them as I liked.
Most divorces happen in January. Now I’m not saying I want one, but I do find it interesting that spending two weeks with family is the overwhelming tipping point for people to realise ‘I can’t do this anymore’.
I’m writing this in America. We did four days in New York, smack bang in the middle of Times Square. The night we arrived, a Santa Con was going on. Santa con is where everyone dresses up as Santa and then goes out on a pub crawl. My poor jet-lagged children were so surprised when they saw Santa’s being slammed up against cop cars getting arrested. ‘Mummy, why is he saying swear words?’ the youngest asked tearfully.
My (awful) British accent went down a treat, with everyone telling me how posh I was (me!), so when lots of people with giant Disney heads on approached me, wanting a photo, I assumed it was because they thought I was some sort of royal. I grinned alongside the Hulk, a pair of Minnie Mice (or is it Meeces?) and a giant Minion, who then all demanded money.
We are now in New Jersey which is as different from New York as anywhere could be. We’ve gone from the city that never sleeps to the state that never wakes up. In New York, we went to see the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The husband went to see boxing, while I took the children to Aladdin. We got kicked out at the interval because the two youngest ones fell asleep, blocking the aisle, then got physical when asked to move. Here, we are off to see a zoo made up of disabled animals, one legged donkeys and blind horses.
On the first night we came, the hotel was hosting a beauty pageant winners Christmas dinner. The husband got really excited and snuck off as soon as he could, claiming he needed to get some ice. He was back very quickly, iceless and disappointed. Apparently, they used to be beauty pageant queens, forty-years ago. He pushed some of them in their wheelchairs over to the Christmas tree, so they could have a photo. One of them offered to do their old dance routine for him.
The next night was a meeting for people wanting to make a million dollars on the pyramid scheme. We met them in the restaurant, which had ‘biscuits and gravy’ on the breakfast buffet. It was even worse than it sounded, so were the ‘cheese blitzers’ (cheese in pastry with jam on top). I never thought I’d miss my no-added-sugar muesli, but I do.There is a sign in the corridor which says ‘Please wear pants beyond this point’ which so far, people have adhered to.
I wouldn’t say staying in one room, with three very excited, high-on-sugar children and a grumpy husband is a relaxing experience. They wake up at 7am, all confused about the time and crack open the Lucky Charms.
So, did everyone get the Christmas they hoped for? Was your turkey neither too raw nor too dry, and did the sprouts you tried to snazz up with bacon get eaten?
Were the presents you’d hoped for under the tree, wrapped up in a shiny bow? Did the children spend an age marvelling over each present before placing it carefully aside (putting the wrapping paper in the bin bag provided) and eventually move onto the next?
I hope your novelty jumpers were not too itchy and the mince pies you left out for santa didn’t get eaten by the dog who had to be rushed to the vet.For all of you who posted pictures of a spotless house and a perfectly laid table, I hope there is a room, somewhere in your house, full of crap that you hid before getting out the camera. For those who made yourselves ill trying too hard to make it magical, I hope you are getting a lie in with some Lemsip.
For those of you who couldn’t possibly have what you wanted for Christmas, because reincarnated friends and family wrapped up in bows and laid under the tree can’t happen, I know how you feel. I’d love to have unwrapped my Aunt, alive and cross that I had the heating, and the log burner on at the same time. No matter how many people I fit round my table, there are always empty seats.
I always feel a bit sad the day after Christmas, when another year went by and I didn’t feel the magic of it all. It’s hard though, when Christmas eve is all about getting the kids to sleep so you can sprinkle flour round the house then tread through it to make snowy footprints (that you will later have to hoover up, maybe, if you are lucky, with the new Vac you got for Christmas, you lucky, lucky, lady). Then you have to write a goodbye letter from the Elf on the shelf (Whoever started this trend, I hate you) and retrieve all the presents you hid so brilliantly, you forgot where, and try to remember which one belongs to who.
Of course there is magic in seeing their little faces on Christmas morning which makes it all worth it. So is the seven minutes of silence the Christmas lunch brings you, before the two-hour cleaning up stints commences, where you sing along to ‘So this is Christmas’ while picking bits of giblet and soggy carrots out the plughole. Then comes the inevitable argument over what to watch on the tv, before everyone falls asleep.
I’m doing the kindness advent calendar this year. I already ate a whole chocolate one. I swear they put drugs in those tiny chocolate Christmas trees, so you can’t resist ripping off the back and going MAD on the 1st December.
The husband started buying Christmas day treats like roasted peanuts which I ate immediately. There is no point buying mince pies or chocolate covered raisins before the 24th December. I can’t sleep knowing there are Toffifee in the house.
When I was a kid, my mum used to buy Fussells condensed milk and leave it in the fridge. I’d sneak down in the night for a spoonful and my dad would be there already, in his pants, dolloping it onto a shortbread biscuit.
I’m trying to teach the children Christmas is not all about getting presents. It’s hard though, being an atheist. My daughter has one line in the nativity ‘No you can’t come in’ which is used in our house all the time, so she’ll be fine. I wanted her to make the most of her time on in the spotlight, maybe sing that old 90’s dance classic ‘Not tonight, not, not tonight, your name’s not down you’re not coming in’ but she said no.