Finally. Finally I get a moment to scribble something down. Life for us has been so totally crazy. But dear husband has taken the children to his office today. Hurrah! They were so excited, and he was so hungover (ha ha!). 'Can't you keep Cici' (she's 2) he pleads. 'No, I'm having a break!' So here I am. I've done 3 loads of washing, washed my hair, booked tickets for the Christmas pantomime for my entire family, emailed the builder, emailed the estate agent, and now I can write this. I had intended to have a 'me' day. I don't know - take a book to the coffee shop and read decadently all morning, or go to the beautician and get a massage or manicure, or have a long lazy bath. But the reality is: presents need wrapping, food needs cooking (dinner party of 8 tonight), clothes need washing and packing, and someone needs to be here this morning so as not to miss Mr Amazon delivery (possibly one of the most annoying things at Christmas time is to have to got to the post office with one of those No One was Home notes).
Why so crazy? Well, the house sale was meant to exchange before Christmas. Our mortgage was supposed to be totally portable, until some new whipper snapper who has never dealt with us before, suddenly told us we needed to repay a rather large chunk. The rather large chunk needed to do renovations to the next property. To cut a long story short, it is all sorted now, but it took a lot of negotiating and someone different from the bank, who knows our history, to help out. So the survey was delayed, and the exchange is delayed. In the meantime, the people buying our house chose to do a full survey. The guy was here for 3 hours! Our house is in good condition, and there were a few tiny things that he picked up. Of course, the people buying it, have come back to us saying they want all these things rectified. These are not structural things, but tiny things that happen in old houses. So I said no. They can do it themselves, or at least I'll do it, if they pay for it. I've just got to the end of my tether having to be oh so understanding regarding the poor condition of the house we are buying, and yet kowtowing to the people buying ours... I'm waiting to hear back...
Then there is Christmas! Christmas is a busy time in our family. I LOVE it. It is my most favourite time of year. The Christmas tree is up on December 1st without fail. This year I bought a plastic one for the children's playroom, and a real one for the sitting room. We wanted a 10ft one, so bought one of the old fashioned type ones that smell good but lose their needles (£30 versus £100 for a non-drop). It is standing tall, and looking fabulous, but if you are as to so much sneeze or even breathe near it, a shower of needles descend. My carpet now looks like green fuzz and I've nearly destroyed my dustbuster. But I don't care, it looks awesome! The rest of the house is covered in garlands and fairy lights, nativity scenes and christmas scented candles. I've even discovered a radio channel called Smooth Christmas, that plays Christmas tunes all day long. My aupair is about ready to shoot the radio (or me), but I love it!
And at Christmas time, come Christmas parties. I am officially beat. We hosted a party last Friday. Me and my great buddy made lots of canapes, and we served champagne all night. I wore my party frock and some seriously high sparkly shoes courtesy of TKMaxx (love a bargain), and everyone seemed to have a great time. It was a lovely mix of people, and everyone made a great effort to mingle. Bed finally beckoned at a rather champagne hazy 2.30am. The next day: DVDs and chilling? Oh No... Cici's 2nd birthday party: 15 ankle biters and parents, pass the parcel, musical statues, lots of screaming, and a very badly behaved 3 year old son. The glorious haze of champagne fading into a dull headache. Last man left at 6.30pm, at which we hurriedly shoved the children in bed and got dolled up for another party. Like torture - the taunt of the Strictly Come Dancing Final (did I mention we saw Harry and Aliona training at our local gym, swoon) and the sofa, rather than another party frock and perilously high heels.
Sunday, the official day of rest? No. Lunch party for Dom's sister's birthday. Eyes needing matchsticks to hold them open. Monday should have been recovery except the children, all of them, decided not to sleep. All night. It was like musical beds. Tuesday - Drinks Party. Wednesday - Birthday Drinks Party. Last night? Cooking for the dinner party tonight as Dom was out with work. We are exhausted!
But Christmas is coming! We will see all my family. We're going to the Panto for the first time ever with the children. We will go Church, eat loads, and open lots of wonderful gifts. It's a time of open fires and winter walks and family and friends. The children are totally enthralled by the magic of Christmas - it's a very special time. And did I mention? I love it!
Let me leave you with a couple of interesting shots:
Dom passed out under the Christmas tree at 3.30am after a boy's dinner. I turned the lights off and left him there of course (then went to bed giggling about how he'll wake up a stick his head right in the tree!).
Cici at her birthday party looking very crossly at someone eating her crisps. Like her mother, she likes jewellery.
And a close up of our tree.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE, I'll blog back in the New Year.