My house is awash with pets. Very nearly in a literal sense, given the rain of the past weeks and the mud-bath formerly known as The Garden.
We have two cats and two dogs and I have recently purchased six rather delicious cushions for the benches that slide underneath our dining table.
Each of these has now had a turn, or several, as a dog or cat cushion. Very expensive dog and cat cushions.
I also purchased a new armchair for a cosy corner of the kitchen/dining area.
The cats took one look and declared, ‘Let joy be uncontained! She has bought us a giant cat bed!’ before leaping upon it with fur and glee. Nothing is sacred if you have pets. Nothing.
Christmas is not always a happy time for everyone
As Christmas begins to creep around (except in Tescoland, where it’s been Christmas since August 31), I imagine there are a fair few people who are dreading the season.
Enforced jollity and being merry and bright are none too easy, especially when you’re not a child any longer.
Enforced spending also – another joy of adulthood.
If you have lost someone this year, then a first Christmas without them leaves a gaping chasm for all with whom they were close.
My dad, Pete Lush, passed away when he was 41 years old. His death was sudden and happened on an April Wednesday.
My memories of my father range from the vivid to the murky. There are some that my subconscious has probably embellished over the years, adding layers each time a relative tells me a story about him.
The loss of a parent at a young age is explosive: it sends your world rocking and tilting on its axis, while your homework sits unchanging on your bed where you left it.
One minute you can be pondering maths, the next you hear a knock at the door that doesn’t belong there on a Wednesday afternoon.
And five minutes after that, a titanic hole has been gorged, creating a valley fathoms deep, in a life that, up until that moment, had been relatively smooth ground.
Astoundingly, there are statistics that suggest one child per class of 30 may have lost a parent, which rather brings home the fact that even for children, Christmas is not necessarily the carefree and thrilling time that we think it is.
I actually love Christmas. I love it for its cosy and family-wrapped cocoon.
Heading back to work afterwards is, for me, the hardest holiday to return from.
But it is also for these exact reasons that so many people this year will be dreading it.
Christmas is a punctuation mark in the sentence of our years, a pause before we reach December 31.
It is the full stop of the year and the poignant reminder of all that has been, and all that is yet to come.
Shops are onto a winner with festive food but waistline isn’t
It is hugely tempting to begin purchasing festive food stuffs at present.
However, it takes the resolve of Posh Spice to then resist snaffling the lot before December even starts.
This must be what the shops count on. That customers will do one food shop, then another, and continue munching their way through the Quality Street like locusts in a plague. Two white Toblerones have already been devoured in our house. The seasonal aisles have been filling since the end of the summer holidays and certain items sell out quickly.
Hence the feeling one must buy it and store it. It’s disappointing for the waistband, and purse, that the storing aspect appears not to occur.