Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas Day

Day 79 of the Posting Challenge, or Christmas Day if you prefer. Twenty-one days to go.

After a lie in, TV, chocolate, nuts, snacks, nap and Muppets Christmas Carol I think it’s fair to say the day has gone well. We’re now watching Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special. I’ve also been looking at Michael Caine on Wikipedia and following links through a series of British character actors and dodgy 1950s films.

I’m now watching a programme on Christmas songs, eating turkey and drinking wine. It’s strange to think that I once wanted to be spritual and sophisticated.

Hope you’re all having a good holiday.

 

A Slow Day

It’s harder than you think, working without the internet. We knew we wouldn’t be working on eBay, taking card payments or using the phone. We hadn’t realised just how many times a day we needed it to look things up, research prices or simply to settle arguments.

Instead of sitting in front of a screen enjoying myself I had to sort pennies, looking for 1895s to make up the sets. They had the lowest mintage of the Old Head pennies by a long way and are always a pain to find.

I also cleared my desk, sorted my stationery supplies and ranked my pencils in order of length. In other words, apart from seven parcels in the morning, and a few customers, we were rather underworked.

Fortunately the engineers are coming out on Monday to fix it. Fingers crossed!

Now I’m going to relax and slide gently into Christmas…

Mainly Mistletoe

Biggest news of the day is that the phone and internet in the shop have finally broken. After some patchy service they started going seriously wrong yesterday and today, after limping along for a bit, finally downed tools. The phone is useless, on account of deafening noise on the line and the wireless hub spent all afternoon refusing to connect.

We think that years of damp have corroded the innards of the main socket, which is irreversable, inconvenient and probably expensive.

As the main business of the shop centres round our internet presence this a Bad Thing.

More cheerfully, after a couple of squirts of WD-40 into the door locks my keys operate as smoothly as if they were made from pure silk. Of course, if they were they would be useless, but I’m trying to make more use of interesting imagery in my writing, even to the point of talking nonsense.

After some discussion we decided not to adopt this approach with the socket in the shop.

We boxed up 70 coin covers this morning and the are nowwaiting for a courier to pick them up and take them to the USA, proving that with the reach of eBay it’s possible to sell anything.

 

 

Finally, my mistletoe arrived. We haven’t seen any around this year (apart from clumps that are so far up trees you’d need ropes and oxygen to pick it) so I ordered it on eBay. It only took a few days and it was lovely and fresh when it arrived. There was a lot of it too. The picture shows the box after I’d given four big sprigs away.

I’m very relaxed now, having obtained Julia’s mistletoe and done enough food shopping to see us through until the 27th.

I may permit myself a small sherry later…

 

 

A Day of Various Errands

This morning I went to the garage to get a headlight replaced as I’d been unable to get the bulb out yesterday.  That seemed to be the theme of the day, as my dentist had proved similarly inept when it came to taking things out. It took five minutes to replace the bulb. Unfortunately he doesn’t do teeth. He did, however, tell me a story about a tooth extraction he had. The slightly built lady dentist couldn’t get enough traction to remove it, so she went for help. This arrived in the somewhat square shape of another female dentist. She had an eastern European accent and the build of a hammer thrower (not that I’m pandering to racial stereotypes, you understand…).

She took a firm grip on the tooth, squeezed and destroyed the tooth. He said it sounded like a car crash.

Then they cut it out.

I left the garage feeling I’d had a lucky escape.

Then I came home, blogged and ate a sausage sandwich. I had sausage rather than bacon because they are softer to chew with a booby-trapped tooth.

After that I ran Julia to the doctor, dropped off some Christmas cards and then went down to see my Dad. He’s suffering from a chest infection, which, in turn, makes him more vague. I then lost nine games of dominoes – three to my sister and six to a man with dementia and a chest infection.

My life has hit rock bottom…

Things That Worry Me

Number One – my teeth disintegrating. As you may know, I’m in for a tooth extraction tomorrow (despite the fact it’s barely twinged since I went to the dentist about it).

I have been thinking I was over-reacting, but last night it started aching again and I’m now very keen on having it removed. It’s been going on a while so it’s time to be decisive.

For the last few months I seem to have been finding a lot of chalky bits in my mouth. It’s worrying, particularly after I had one disintegrate a couple of years back.

I seem to spend a lot of the evening finding bits of chalk in my mouth, which is bad news, and has been occupying my thoughts far too much. However, I realised what it is a couple of days ago. It’s the chalky bits from the tablets I take every night.

Number Two – plumbing. The house’s plumbing, not mine. Mine is way down the list. In winter I always worry about the plumbing. We’ve been here 30 years, we’ve had a couple of plumbing problems, but nothing we can’t cope with. But I spend several weeks each year worrying about it. It’s a Christmas tradition.

 

 

As you can see from the black spot in the duck picture I’m using the old camera. I’ll explain why in a later post. The spot only shows when you use the zoom.

Number Three – cocking up Christmas. A month before Christmas Julia starts refusing to tell me what she wants as a present. Then, a week or two later, she hands me a wad of cash and tells me the whole Christmas holiday depends on me. Then, just as we reach the posting deadline for Amazon, she tells me what she wants.

I wake up at night sweating at the idea of disappointing Julia or failing to produce Christmas dinner.

It was quite relaxing spending last Christmas in Suffolk, though I did worry about the plumbing a lot while we were away.

A number of you are probably shouting “death” at the blog. This, I hope, is a comment on the fear of death, rather than a critical reaction to my blogging.

Well, to be honest, I’m not much afraid of death. At 60 I can still pretend it’s a long way off. Anyway, compared to the stress of Christmas, death isn’t that bad.

 

This afternoon, to avert the chance of a disappointed wife, I took a trip to Bakewell, where I visited an excellent jeweller, ate a hot turkey sandwich and was shown how to avoid paying 20 pence to use the toilet. I saw “shown” as I’m not admitting to anything…

I can show you the shop but as she reads the blog I can’t picture the things I bought. I may show them on Boxing Day. Prepare to be surprised by my lack of imagination.

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It’s Christmas…

 

Home for 4.30.

The days can be short in winter…

Christmas and Humbuggery…

Pre-dawn on Sunday found me, as usual, sitting in a car park waiting for Number Two Son to finish work. When he’s off in Canada squandering his cash on Youth Hostels and check shirts it will all seem worthwhile.

For the seconf week in a row the Pied Wagtails didn’t appear. Like all sensible beings they are obviously keen on sleeping until the last possible moment.

You see some interesting vans, but is that a spelling mistake? Oh yes, it is.

You see some interesting vans, but is that a spelling mistake? Oh yes, it is

By this time I had already been lost in Nottingham doing Julia a favour (giving one of her workmates a lift to work) because if you are getting up at 5am why not make it 4.45 so you can really deprive yourself of sleep? Sat Navs are OK, but in an unlit street in the pitch black of a winter morning it can be quite tricky being told you are there when you aren’t. My fault, I should have used the address instead of the postcode. Or I should have used a map and torch – they worked for years before we had satnavs.

At the moment I miss the sunrise, for photographic purposes, as we’re driving back as it takes hold. I’m hoping for better things in a month or so, when I may be able to get a few shots from the car park or somewhere similar.

Castle Donnington Services - a hint of dawn as exaggerated by the camera

Castle Donnington Services – a hint of dawn as exaggerated by the camera

As we drove home down a parking deprived stretch of dual carriageway we had the sight of the sky to our right coming to life with salmon pink light, silhouettes of trees and pylons, and breathtaking cloudscapes.

To our left the power station gleamed in shades of grey and silver against a backdrop of night sky.

We seemed to be driving down the junction of day and night.

Very strange, very memorable and very frustrating I couldn’t photograph it.

It was also very tempting to use words like cupola, but I didn’t. Some words are best left to Victorian poets and architects.

The rest of my day so far has consisted of reading WordPress, washing up and procrastinating.  But mainly I have been avoiding thoughts of Christmas.

All that time, all that money and all that hope squandered on a couple of days that will do nothing to help refugees, global warming or my knees.

Scrooge, you say?

Bah! Humbug!

On a lighter note, I just did an internet-based quiz to check on my actual mental age, and find that due to my cautious optimism, life experience and forward-looking attitude I am a “Young Adult”. This, I feel, says more about internet-based quizzes and self-deception than it does about my mental age.