I woke up at 4.30am this morning, my brain fizzing and whirring. It’s that time of year when it all feels a little chaotic and I need the security blanket of a detailed list. You know the one – the long list, with ‘things to do’ written chronologically, possibly even colour-coordinated. (Just me?) Most of my things to do are enjoyable (wrap presents, make mince pies, cook the ham, ice the cake) but there are a lot of them to fit into a shrinking amount of time. I also pile pressure on myself by wanting to make sure the house is clean and tidy, laundry up-to-date. This isn’t all to do with having visitors; it’s because I want to buy myself some time so I can fully switch-off and relax for a few days. My daughter says I shouldn’t wear my reading glasses, then I won’t notice the dust. Maybe I should have a gin and tonic and not worry about it!

It’s not all been ticking jobs off the list, though. We’ve just returned from ice-skating at the magnificent Victorian cruise terminal in Dover. It’s all decked out in Christmas trees, sparkly lights, Christmas market stalls, with an ice-rink as the main attraction. This is not the Dover you may know – nose-to-tail lorries queueing to get on the ferry, depressing post-war architecture and a slight air of neglect. This is the new Dover – optimistic and confident, and it’s a joy to see. There was a Michael Buble-style crooner serenading us as we stumbled and skidded around the ice. It took me a while to find my ice-skating feet (the last time I went skating was 20 ago!) while David channelled his inner ice-dancer, much to our children’s mortification. It was hilarious. Afterwards we had mulled cider and giggled. We’re definitely starting to get into the spirit.

Before I get back to my list and sign off here for the year, I would like to thank you for visiting, for reading my blog and commenting. I wish you the most wonderful Christmas (or whatever you are celebrating). Here’s to you. See you in 2017.

Sam x


15 thoughts on “Felicitations

  1. We have clean, this Christmas, as the place is too new to us to have got very dirty. We don’t have order yet, although it begins to emerge. . . There are definitely lists. And lists. And lists. . . .
    But activities like your ice skating are so much more important than anything on your lists, I’ll wager. Probably what the kids will remember years from now. Very clever of you to arrange.
    May yours be a very Merry Christmas — I’ve so enjoyed your blog this year, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sam, such a warm, honest, perfect, post. I read it yesterday while I was still knee deep in laundry and starting to despair of ever leaving the utility room. I shouted to the kids at lunch time that I was ‘putting on the LAST wash’ and was soon after buried under an avalanche of school uniforms. . You reminded me, and I needed reminding, that I’m not cleaning for the visitors but for myself, and in hope of earning some precious moments of time off.
    I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated your words this year. My dearest friend and closest sister have both emigrated in the past year so I truly need to hear a voice of reason reminding me to get out to the garden and fill a vase of flowers. I hope you eek out a few quiet moments over the holidays and that the chaos is all the good kind. Happy Christmas, Lynda.x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lists here too. I cleaned the house yesterday and made a table cloth (as you do) so today onwards the pressure is off! Have a great Christmas Sam, CT x


  4. Good to read about your preparations Sam – glad you have found time to include some fun as well – not quite sure I would class ice skating as fun though…! Best wishes to you and your family


  5. I’ve just thrown my last Christmas list in the bin, plus I found out that our little village shop is only closed on Christmas day itself, so there is no need to panic. Wishing you a very happy and relaxing Christmas!


  6. Your ice skating sounds fun. Although, not something I would try again. I thought it would be like riding a bike, once learnt, never forgotten. I found out very painfully and embarrassingly, a few years ago that this is not so.
    I hope you can relax and enjoy the festive season with your family. Have a wonderful time.


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