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Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

What are your plans for New Year? Are you hitting the town or, like me, are you curled up inside in the warm wondering when you last hit the dance floor? I think the last time I stepped into a club was quite possibly my hen party. I sobered up fairly quickly when the DJ was greeted to a huge cheer on asking ‘who here was born in the 90’s’! This was my cue to leave.

I’ve just got over Christmas, the last thing I want to do is go for a night on the tiles, instead, my husband is pouring over his Game of Thrones 4D puzzle at the dining room table (4th day in a row) and I find myself reliving my youth by watching Buffy re-runs: (incidentally it’s the episode where the adults of Sunnydale revert to their youth).

I’ll try and make it to midnight as this will be the time other half and I turn to each other, briefly mumble ‘Happy New Year Love’ then continue our separate thrilling pursuits. Who wants to be on the wrong side of 25 in a night club anyway?

Normally the new year is when I make a Bridget Jones style list of everything I intend to achieve….. It should look like the following although of course, It looked very similar last year

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• Lose weight
• Always hang the washing out as soon as the cycle has finished and not just refresh the machine every 5 hours
• Sort through all the cupboards which have been filled over Christmas in order to fool guests that I do truly live a neat, minimalist lifestyle
• Donate the Xmas chocolates
• Donate all the skinny clothes in my wardrobe because I’ll never fit into them
• Deal with the charity/boot sale boxes from last year’s (half) sort out, which accompanied us on our move and are now piled high in the bedroom
• Accept I’ll never look at old xmas/birthday/wedding/new baby cards again, bin them, thus freeing up space in 99% of all household drawers
• Make a start on clearing my student debt (boo)
• Decorate my office (cute Cath Kidson style florals)
• Stop using my husband’s office as a laundry room
• Remember to take up any items on the stairs when passing them
• Take painkillers the moment I sense a headache rather than moaning to my husband for 3 hours
• Remember to take the pushchair out of the car the night before if walking to school the next day, thus avoiding the rushed ninja routine with baby on hip at 8:30am
• Take all meat out of the freezer the night before rather than worry all day that it will not defrost in time for dinner
• Spend some time actually improving the house rather than googling design inspirations
• Be assertive with our half job cleaner rather than tipping her an extra pound every week
• Partake in spontaneous creative activities with the children rather than having to mentally prepare myself for the mess a week beforehand
• Take up running
• Update ipod for said running trips
• Buy running shoes
• Decide against running due to initial start-up costs
• Update this blog more….. maybe when I feel guilty about not running

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Maybe I’ll update you on the progress of this next year…….. I’m off to set the Big Ben countdown to record now in case I should fall asleep before midnight……. Might go an open some of those yummy Xmas chocolates also…..

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The Shame of a Messy Car

Today, as I procrastinate on the web I find myself thinking of those little jobs that never get done. Sure, I could be working my way through them now, but cleaning the car out won’t enhance my career as a writer will it?

Of course I could do what I’m sure sensible people do and bring the rubbish in after each trip rather than letting the footwell’s fill up with wrappers, books, children’s clothing and various debris: That would be far too simple wouldn’t it? I have instead, a boot full of plastic bags, each one signifies my intention to tidy….. Before I set off on various exciting expeditions to the supermarket or the thrill of the school run, I load up the children into their car seats and add a carrier to the boot: for when I return home I shall bring in the wildlife!! On the very few occasions I have managed to achieve this, the plastic bags sit on the stairs for at least a week before my long suffering husband decides he has had enough of me walking past them and sorts them out himself….. Many a suitable child’s jumper has be worn and discarded in that car, only to be retrieved with such a lapse in time that it nolonger reaches the wrist.

But who cares right? I don’t often have car visitors. The other half has a quick jog round if the in-laws are coming for fear they will see it as another reason why I’ll never be good enough for their son….. If the MIL starts clearing it out then I know I’ve gone too far. Shame on me for allowing life to get in the way of a spotless car eh?. She does have a small point though, if passive aggressively made: It is fairly shameful isn’t it? I mean, I hate that moment just before I step out the car door, where I pray that a red bull can will not clatter out after me or heaven forbid, someone finds out we had drive-through Macdonalds a week ago… oh the shame!

Not too long ago the eldest opened her door, only for a sudden gust of wind to blow 10 sandwich bags across the playground (leftover from our half term trip, should H get travel sickness). Of course I then had a choice, do I run after them thus alerting even more people to the fact that I’m a complete Slummy Mummy, or do I leave them and risk the raised eyebrows of the few Chelsea tractor driving yummies who did see….. I opted for a third option, yes, I made it into a game…. Quick H, chase the bags, catch the bags, oh isn’t this fun….. Since that day the eldest has continued to ask me ‘when can we play the bag catch game again mummy?’….

The upside to all this however, is that as the car gets messier and messier I HAVE to get more organised in the mornings (?). I can now be found leaving the house at a reasonable time in order to avoid having to park at the school: I’m officially a walker now. The shame of being the parent who gets in THAT car is all consuming. I’ve seen more than the odd glance at the dashboard by families walking past, ‘wow mummy look at that’ the children point at the lose change, pair of sunglasses (yes, in the middle of winter) pieces of lego and wetwipes which festoon the ledge….. I can only hope that such families passing have the same walk/drive debate and can empathise…. If not, well…. Maybe they are cleaning out their cars rather than writing about not doing it..….
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Fa-La-La-La-La, La-La-La-La

Those of you who read my posts for aliljoy will know that this weekend we put up the Christmas tree! I know, it’s quite early but, after a week of Xmas music we thought, why not get really enmeshed in the spirit of Christmas, after all we did miss out last year!DSCF3807

Decorating the tree is one of those image perfect moments isn’t it? Where the family gather around in matching Christmas jumpers beside a roaring fire. The gentle whisperings of silent night crackles over an old gramophone and popcorn is thread delicately on string ready to be hung . The parents enjoy mulled wine and cinnamon cakes and the children tuck into hot chocolate and mince pies…….

REALLY?? NOT IN THE MACDONALD HOUSEHOLD

I guess you could say preparations for Christmas began in early summer for us. When house hunting there are those vital questions you ask yourself: is it near a good school; Is the area nice; are there enough bedrooms; Where will we put the Christmas tree?…. Luckily our house has a lovely little nook in the corner of the family room, perfect for our 6ft (artificial) fir. DSCF3799

On locating (and negotiating) the decorations from the loft and down two flights of stairs, we discover that said perfect nook does not possess a plug socket. It is conveniently nestled between patio doors and the archway to the kitchen, even an extension lead can’t compete with that. So what to do? Ah yes, the sofa shuffle!

For an hour and a half, we shout over the sound of Slade, while baby Roo sits patiently in the play pen and the eldest makes suggestions. We do a fantastic chuckle brothers impression ‘to me then, to you’ and finally, after trying and abandoning the idea of putting one module of the corner sofa upstairs, we successfully find an alternative place.DSCF3808

Unfortunately most of the letter guides have fallen from the tree branches and it takes 45mins to erect the beast. The eldest, having been very patient, asks to put the first bauble on the branches, ‘if only it had those little bits of string attached Mummy’ Oh Feck! Its 7pm and we need to start threading the ties. We promise her that tomorrow morning we will start the actual decorating. She is gracious and understanding!!

DSCF3815For two hours that evening, while I’m at work, the hubby painstakingly threads 100’s tiny ornaments and, at 10o’clock, I join him. We crawl into bed at midnight, satisfied we are all ready for the following day.

We don’t quite manage to fulfil that perfect image, we are all in our jammies and all too aware that visitors will be arriving later so the house needs to be in some sort of order, but, cup of coffee in one hand and plastic icicle in the other we have a great time making that tree sparkle! We are not even phased when we lift H to place the star on the top only to find it brushes the ceiling and needs to be placed lower, or when we discover baby Roo holding a loose thread and pray he hasn’t swallowed a bauble but, the shock comes when we decide to add the lights….. We don’t have an adapter plug. After all that hassle we have to decide if we want lights over Xmas, or a working telephone……………DSCF3812