This is the first time in 15 years that I have not been working Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Years Day. I am working one of the bank holidays but not any of the traditional days of celebration. Fantastic. The lead up to Christmas has been super busy at work, mainly due to staff sickness and the white stuff which has been deluging our area. This double whammy has hit community staffing hard, not only are our numbers down due to midwives calling in sick but also some colleagues unable to get out and about due to the road conditions but because the unit is also suffering from a shortage of midwives they have been pulling community staff in to cover. That leaves us very, very short staffed and so, what with that and travel taking much longer because of the snow and ice, we are all working long, long days to cover all the commitments. Bring on the spring, or perhaps not as we have an expected baby boom locally in April!
Work, that’s behind me now until Tuesday and currently all my efforts are focused on Christmas. Yesterday Amy and I spent the day together and I prepared her for the joys of being an adult at Yuletide; we spent 2 hours in a supermarket doing the final shop for ‘the day’, have I said that everyone is coming to us, 8 adults and 7 children? Yes, the supermarket was busy but it took us so long for a couple of reasons, we had Hubby with us and he kept getting lost and as it was so busy we had difficulty locating him again but the main cause of the protracted visit was Amy being in charge of the handset scanner. Excellent way to test patience, mine and other shoppers. Having returned from the endurance test of the Christmas shop and put everything away we made some rocky road, Nigella’s recipe, some choc chip oat cookies and the brandy butter, in the middle of this culinary orgy daughter phoned and, having discovered what I was doing, asked if I was alright as I am not known for my love of cooking. Cheeky! Having made the brandy butter I then had to clean the entire kitchen, in 34 years of constructing this alcoholic confection (my favourite bit of Christmas fayre), I have never, ever managed to stop the icing sugar from escaping in copious amounts from the mixing bowl and coating every surface, including my glasses and the cat.
Today Amy and the boys arrived at 8am, and immediately got every single toy out. I decided to take advantage of them playing happily and got the ironing board out, halfway through a mountain of pressing I was reliably informed that they hadn’t had breakfast yet, porridge and toast all round, down from the table and they disappeared upstairs to play. Ironing finished I tackled the bathrooms, voices downstairs and daughter had arrived with Jack (just lost his first baby-tooth) and Izzy, then shortly afterwards son, DIL, Evie and Joshua arrived. Lunch was cobbled together. With my house rapidly being trashed I started clearing up the detritus from lunch and pondering on when I was going to manage to ice the Christmas cake. Son then asked that I weigh Joshua, apparently he hasn’t been weighed since I did it when he was 2 months old, he’s now 6 months, in fact he’s 6 months today. Happy half-birthday Joshua. Scales out, Joshua naked and 2 things happened, as my baby grandson lay giggling on the scales he wee’d all over my trousers and the front door bell rang. My niece and her 2 children had arrived. The next 3 hours are a blur of noise, mess and food preparation. Amy was heard to observe that the house was like a playgroup, great-nephew replied that it wasn’t since they are organised. Caustic, but true. When everyone had gone Hubby and I had dinner then I iced the cake and he went down to the supermarket to buy an additional turkey, I’m sure that a 6Kg bird is big enough for us but he is certain that we need more, I think he is anticipating more diners for the festive meal.
Right. Up to date now. Synopsis is that I haven’t blogged for ages because work is busy and I’m finishing late; home is busy due to something called Christmas; there is deep snow outside and a lot of viruses, including swine flu, are doing the rounds.