Sparkle and shine

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Our not-so-sweet little black cat brought two small rodents into the house earlier today. Two, a few hours apart, both still alive and fast on their feet. This is very much the down-side of cat ownership. I managed to catch both with the help of my eldest boy who was home from school early. We’re quite the mouse-catching team. Each mouse/vole/small brown rodent was carefully transported down the road and set free. I always worry that I’m inadvertently taking them far from their homes and they won’t find their way back but at least it beats being the cat’s dinner.

How are you?! Feeling festive yet? Or totally fed-up with the whole thing? I’m ok – neither overly stressed nor zen-like, sort of in-between. The children break-up from school on Friday but, as there will still be over a week to go before Christmas day, there is plenty of time to get organised. It is a lot easier now they’re older and there isn’t that pressure to have everything ready before the end of term when all free time used to go out of the window. My three are all so tired and ready for a break that I suspect I’ll have at least the mornings to myself next week.

There is still decorating to do – greenery, garlands, etc – but our tree is up. It was chosen en-famile and, as a result, we ended up buying one that was too large to fit into the car, so it was strapped precariously to the roof and driven slowly home (sorry if you were following a tailback on the A2 on Saturday afternoon). David had to saw it down to size (twice) and we managed to squeeze it into position with a little accompanying cussing. It is ridiculously big for the space, but it does look gorgeous festooned with Christmas loveliness. All five of us took part in the decorating without too much agro and I don’t have the urge to rearrange all the decorations. I also agreed to the use of coloured lights instead of the usual white. I must be mellowing.

Present-buying is what usually tips me over the edge at this time of year. I am trying to remain calm and focused, and keep track of what I’ve bought for whom and how much I’ve spent. Ordering gifts online helps but it is nice to have a wander around shops for inspiration. I found this lovely shop in Canterbury last week and managed to tick a few gifts off my list. Nothing is wrapped yet, of course; that’s another job for next week.

Whether you’re all set or still have loads to do, I hope this finds you full of cheer. I’ll leave you with a clip from the film Nativity, which was on tv at the weekend. It’s one of the Christmas films that we all enjoy. I warn you, though, it’s a bit of an ear-worm and you might find yourself belting out the song whenever you come over all Christmassy 🙂

PS Thank you so much for your comments on my recent posts – I don’t often get round to responding but I read and appreciate each one  x


The force is strong, it is *


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The excitement is building in our house. Voices are getting louder, there is more running up and down stairs, more snack-grazing, school bags are being discarded and ignored… School breaks up for the Christmas holidays on Wednesday and there are only two more very early starts this term. I’m sighing happily at the thought.

But the impending festivities are not what is causing the major excitement here. Oh no. Christmas pales in comparison to the biggest film release of the year – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My boys Cannot Wait. Since about the age of five, they’ve been captivated. They’ve watched all the films on dvd (although I wouldn’t let them see the scary one until they were old enough), played with light-sabres, built the Lego models and created elaborate battle scenes, been to exhibitions and poured over the books but they have never seen a Star Wars film at the cinema. To say that this film will be the highlight of their holiday is not an exaggeration. They’ve even been on a Star Wars dvd marathon this weekend, watching all six films (for the umpteenth time) in chronological order to get ready. The first day of the holidays is usually started with a very long lie-in but I’ve booked tickets for them to see it on Thursday morning, so I know they will be up and ready in very good time!

In other news, we decorated our tree yesterday. It’s fair to say that there was some initial disappointment – it is smaller than in years past (I am trying to keep a lid on spending) – but once it was bedecked in twinkly lights and beloved decorations everyone was smiling. There is still more decorating to do – greenery to be gathered and brought indoors, garlands to hang – but I’m going to take my time and enjoy doing this with whoever wants to help me over the coming days.

Whatever you’re doing this week, may the force be with you 🙂

*if you’re not a Star Wars fan, this title will make no sense at all!