Tag Archives: Christmas

Unbeatable offers

All right, all right, I have almost let this blog die in the last four months or so (and was barely keeping it alive for some time before that). I’ve been thinking about what it’s for, and haven’t come to any world-shattering conclusions except that I would like it to remain a rag-bag of depression and its temporary remission, strange experiences I have had and funny things I have seen and heard. There may be a new, bigger, all singing and dancing blog emerging some time next year but first Christmas has to happen, and it won’t unless I make it (although The Grouch, bless him, does most of the Christmas cooking which lifts a great burden off my often tense shoulders).

In the meantime, I just have to share with you two recent Freecycle offers I encountered:

First, ‘OFFERED: Quarter size violin in case’. In case of what, I wonder? The sudden arrival of a midget violinist?

And second, and to quote Teresa May I am really not making this up: ‘OFFER: Two colourful poufs’. I could certainly do with those to brighten up my house! Can they come for Christmas and entertain my guests?

It came – it went.

OK, OK, so I haven’t blogged for three weeks. A certain busy period called Christmas came along, and I was busy making it happen (Christmas does not happen in our house unless I make it). Unbelievably, I still have the cold which started at the end of November. Added to that, I fell flat on my back on the ice on Boxing Day, hit my head hard, and now ache in places where I didn’t know I had places. Please don’t tell my mother, or she’ll have me off to an orthopaedic consultant in seconds.

Apart from all that, Christmas was actually pretty good. No presents are going back to the shops, Genius Brat (whom I am thinking of re-christening The Grouchlet), even liked some of the crap presents I bought him, and both meals (we do double Christmas, Austrian on Christmas Eve and British on Christmas Day), went well. The Grouch as usual did all the cooking, bless him, and I did everything else: 90 cards, all the presents except my own, the tree (though he bought it this year), most of the wrapping, and keeping everybody from each other’s throats. Though actually with only four of us, everybody is a pretty small crowd – which probably increases the risk of throat-grabbing.

Anyway, I’m now enjoying the slack days in between Christmas and New Year, and getting up at midday most days. I blame the dodgy back – not feeling up to tackling the January sales. Also I have already spent lots of money on the online fairtrade sales. Must be feeling good – I always spend more money when I am not depressed.

Psych appointment next Thurs – thinking about a medication change. Although this is a bad time of year to do it.

PS From Freecycle recently: ‘TAKEN: ice axe’. Ready for a Christmas murder? And ‘WANTED: Baby hangers’ doesn’t sound too good either.

Back in the saddle… or not.

So finally, after three days of no school last week (with GB thereby missing a German test yet again), we get a message saying there is school today. Only to find him just before school time saying he has a bad stomach ache, and can’t go. I tried asking if anything about school is worrying him, but he couldn’t identify anything. So one more day getting behind with coursework etc.

Oh well, I managed in spite of this to get back into some kind of work routine. It feels like Christmas has only just finished, and even now I can’t tell if it’s safe to go back into the office (ie across the landing into the spare bedroom…!). Still, I did finally take down the Christmas tree yesterday, with much sadness (I hate that task) and to the accompaniment of a CD of the Vienna Philharmonic doing the New Year concert (the Vienna Boys’s Choir singing German Christmas carols is my accompaniment for decorating the tree before Christmas).

Feeling a bit shaky after a day’s work, and not looking forward to doing minutes at the Inclusion Group tonight, but at least I’ve got some important admin done.

Another one comes along

All right, so I haven’t blogged since the week before Christmas. All I have to say is, Christmas came, and it went, and it went well. I only got slightly irritated with my mother once, which must be a record. And as I said before Christmas, it doesn’t matter if you don’t get Christmas perfectly right, because another one will be along in five minutes. Or so it seems. Likewise with years – I can hardly believe that it is 2010, however one is going to pronounce that (I favour twenty-ten, myself – after all no one ever said ‘one thousand nine-hundred and ten’ a century ago, as far as I know).

Genius Brat went back to school today, with posh new clothes and shoes, and it seems to have gone well (he didn’t find his lost homework book but he did check out his teacher appointments for parents’ evening tomorrow, which he had lost with the homework book, and remembered to give back her Oyster card to his no 1 fan, who left it at our house before Christmas). Meanwhile I struggled to get out of bed and get down to work in what should be a very busy week. I didn’t do very well, getting out of bed at 10ish and going back there at 12ish for a couple more hours, although I did manage to read about half of the book for which I’m meant to be writing a foreword by Friday. I’m not getting very good sleep at the moment, as my jaw splint (which is supposed to open my airways and keep me breathing in my sleep) has gone back to the makers for repair. Hopefully it will be back soon.

Usual mix of success and failure, then. Also I have put on three pounds over Christmas, no doubt owing to consuming large amounts of chocolate. It’s all gone now, so the diet can start. Tomorrow. (Actually I ate a very frugal lunch today so feel quite good about that.).

PS Freecycle is offering ‘More baby hangers’. Are there so many people round here who want to hang babies? (on the Christmas tree perhaps…).

Christmas list

Cards sent: check. Presents bought: check (well mostly. What I haven’t got will have to wait till the January sales). Wrapping paper: check. Hang up cards received: check. Tree bought: check, having trudged out on foot in the snow, because the car wouldn’t go up the icy hill, chopped down a tree in the forest and dragged it home (well all right, actually I bought it at the florist and detailed The Grouch to bring it home later in his van – but I did trudge through the snow). Christmas haircut and colour: check. Food: no. I’m trusting that the car will get up the hill tomorrow, but Tesco is going to be a nightmare. Tree decorated: no. That’s tonight’s task, provided the telly’s not too good, which is unlikely. Presents wrapped: no, we do that Christmas Eve. Ready with goodwill and Christmas spirit: possibly. I’ll let you know.

Good news

Apparently (according to my tag cloud) the most common tags on my blog are Christmas and depression. (Now I’ve written this they will be even more common.) There has been a lot of one and a bit of the other in recent weeks. Thankfully, Christmas is the one there has been a lot of, and depression only a little. On the former, it is December 14th and I have written and delivered every one of my Christmas cards and parcels, except the one where the address has to be hand written in Ukrainian script. On the latter, the new psychiatrist (who still did not have my notes, on my second visit – they appear to be lost) has signed me off and sent me in the direction of Mind counselling. And a dip a week or so ago seems to have passed over.

Now to the really good news: I just received word yesterday that The Demon Headmaster (yes, I know I said I wouldn’t call him that any more) is to leave at the end of this academic year. Huge sighs of relief all round from parents of kids with special needs, plus quite a lot of other parents and a lot of teachers, not to mention the vast majority of students.

However he still has eight months in which to do illegal things and make life difficult for our children, so the pressure from the Inclusion Group must be kept up. Thankfully this will not involve me as chair any more, though I can see a possibility of my becoming secretary. No rest for the wicked…


Today I received the following message from a local learning disabilities charity: “Young people in need of something to do over the Christmas holiday? Barnet Youth and Connexions have organised a short programme of activities … which include visiting elderly people’s homes with goodies and martial arts”. I’m sure the elderly people will love the martial arts.

Meanwhile Christmas approaches like a steam train and I haven’t written a single card yet, nor got enough presents for everyone. I did however write our Christmas letter this morning, which is a start.


Yesterday on the way back from swimming, I discovered a whole new secret compartment in my rucksack, which I had never noticed in the three or four years I’ve had it. It will be just right for putting my jewellery in while I swim. Of such small things is happiness made.

More importantly (and equally rewardingly) I have left the Terribly Tenacious Therapist, and I feel good about it. It felt like leaving school. Right now I’m not in a hurry to find another one. Suffice it to say that it won’t be a Cognitive Behavioural therapist.

And finally, I have ordered almost all my Christmas presents by mail (charity catalogues). I feel smug.


I’ve just had a play around with widgets (it’s legal over 21) and added a tag cloud. Not quite sure what to make of the fact that the two most frequent tags I’ve used are Christmas and depression. Unfortunately it’s not sophisticated enough to tell me whether I am in the habit of using both together…

A new word

Oblogation (n.): A pervasive sense of guilt about not keeping up with one’s blog (or not reading those of others).

My only excuse is that I have had a bad case of the post Christmas blues (usually ushered in by the New Year hangover), and that life in sunny Truthsignland has been less than joyous. I am overwhelmed with domestic tasks, The Grouch has some iffy blood tests, and GB has been more Brat than Genius lately. And one of my favourite people at church is leaving to go back to her dream job in Canada. At least that means this weekend contains an extended party (karaoke last night which I missed cos it was in the wilds of East London, Hampstead Heath walk ending in crepe restaurant this arvo, which I hope to catch if I can get  enough household chores done, and party at the Mennonite Centre tonight.;-)