Monday, 12 January 2009

I Can Do Positive Spin, Too (Part 2)

Thanks for your comments on my previous post. I do feel, however, that at least one of you might have commiserated with me, about the lack of a paper hat in my Christmas cracker. It was quite a traumatic experience and I think that I may need counselling in order to come to terms with it.

Anyway, on with the rest of the story:

We spent the time, between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, looking forward to my husband's family coming to stay and share in our New Year celebrations.

Husband was at work on the 29th and 30th December, so he wasn't around much to help with the preparations. My usually helpful student son became suddenly rebellious and refused to give me any extra help, even though I was still suffering from the after effects of flu.

I had to work hard in the house, for 3 full days, so that our visitors wouldn't run the risk of strangulation by cobwebs, or sustain a compound fracture as a result of tripping over piles of stuff, littering the hall and landing. I developed eczema between my fingers and a throbbing whitlow on my left thumb, which proved difficult to keep covered with a plaster.

Our visitors were arriving in time for lunch on 31 December, so Husband and I sprang out of bed that morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, heading for the shops at an early hour, so that we could stock up on the necessary provisions to feed 10 people over a 3 day stay.

Husband and I dragged ourselves out of bed and were late leaving for the shops, on the day that our visitors were arriving, as we realised that our tom cat had sprayed somewhere in the newly cleaned dining room and we couldn't find out exactly where.

We returned home, with everything we needed, plus some little extras, arriving in plenty of time to prepare a delicious lunch for our visitors.

Husband's family arrived before we got back (although student son was at home) and we realised much later, that we had forgotten to buy crackers, fireworks and eggs for cooked breakfasts.

Husband and brother-in-law cooked us a wonderful barbecue in the evening and we toasted in the New Year, using our new, expensive, lead crystal wine glasses, one of the many Christmas presents showered upon us by my sister-in-law.

The barbecue wasn't ready until 10.30pm, by which time we were all self digesting. It wasn't necessary for any of us to toast in the New Year out of mugs, like last year, when Husband and I forgot to buy new wine glasses. My glass only contained water, because anything else was still making me cough incessantly.

We celebrated into the early hours, before we all retired to bed to catch up with our sleep.

I was up until 4am, clearing away and washing up the stuff that wouldn't fit into the dishwasher.

Husband and I had no problem waking early enough to cook a substantial breakfast for our guests on New Year's Day.

We crawled downstairs, half awake, mid morning, to start cooking breakfast. I poured oil into the frying pan, ready to fry the eggs, which my sister-in-law had managed to obtain from the local Esso garage. I was annoyed to discover that a small piece of ham had strayed into my pan, the second I turned my back. This was very puzzling, as I wasn't cooking ham and I couldn't imagine where it had come from. Husband, who enjoys the benefits of contact lenses, finally managed to explain, between bouts of uncontrollable laughter, that it was the plaster which had fallen off my left thumb.

After breakfast, everyone set off for a healthy walk and lots of fresh air, leaving my mother-in-law and I to relax and watch Mamma Mia, undisturbed, on DVD. We then met up, later, at my son's new house, which our visitors had not yet seen, for another delicious family meal.

We were all supposed to meet up at my son's house, after the walk, so that my husband's family could have a look around and then return to our house, for our evening meal. (We ate breakfast so late, that it turned into brunch, so lunch became unnecessary.) The walk took such a long time, however, that, in order to avoid a very late evening meal, I had to load up all of the food, plus extra crockery, into the car, so that I could cook and prepare everything at my son's house. Trying to prepare a buffet, which included some hot food, in my son's small kitchen was quite challenging. I was short of space, plates and help. My son's girlfriend, a wonderful girl, did her best to help, but it was still incredibly hard work.

After tea, the men decided to light the wood burning stove in my son's living room. (The central heating wasn't enough for them, apparently) The atmosphere became so dry, that I couldn't stop coughing and had to sit in the dining room.

The next day husband and I cooked a tasty brunch for our guests, before bidding them a fond farewell, in the middle of the afternoon. We were all in total agreement that a jolly good time had been had by all!

Husband and I had to get up incredibly early, as we had booked an appointment, a few days before, to take our 3 cats to the vet for their boosters, assuming that our visitors would be leaving after tea, on New Year's Day, as usual. By the time we had paid for 2 months' flea treatment, as well as their injections, the total bill came to £190.00.

I really did enjoy spending time with my husband's family over New Year, but it was still an immense relief to collapse on the sofa, with a nice cup of tea, when they had finally left for home. Oddly enough, a few minutes after their departure, when Husband bounced into the living room, in a very lively manner, suggesting that we should go for a nice country walk, I was already fast asleep and snoring. Yes, OK, I may even have been dribbling - just a little.


Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Sounds as though you certainly had a fabulously average Christmas and New Year, Mean Mom. Plenty of laughs (for us anyway). I particularly liked the ham in the pan story, made me guffaw, but would have been livid if it had happened to me.

Sorry I missed the missing hat incident - how are you now!

A x

Maggie May said...

You are funny and very talented at writing this kind of post!
I think I should be slightly nervous of coming round to yours..... in case you wrote a funny post about it, later! LOL

Thought the funniest bit was your response about the ham in your fry pan, that turned out to be your plaster!
Anyway..... glad you had a good time. I think you did em proud!

auntiegwen said...

I tell my nearest and dearest that I am always right. When I read this (whislt commiserating with you at every step and empathy oozing out) I realised that being anti social and very rarely inviting people to stay with me and refusing to have pets has actually served me fairly well.

Mean Mom said...

Strawberry Jam Anne - My husband couldn't get his breath, when he saw my plaster sitting in the egg pan. I did the decent thing and threw the whole lot away, but I did see the funny side.

I have almost stopped crying about my missing paper hat, thank you. Very kind of you to enquire.

Maggie - I wouldn't blame you for being nervous about coming round to mine! Anyone should be.

The plaster incident was funny. We didn't tell our visitors. We thought it might worry them, but I did discard everything in the pan - really, I did!

auntiegwen - I have to confess that I'm a bit lazy, so I don't often invite people to stay. I find it tremendously hard work, having to be 'on duty' all the time. As soon as you've finished clearing up after one meal, it's time to start again.

You know how I feel about pets. Sooner or later, you will become totally responsible for them, the only question is 'how soon?'

Working mum said...

Hee hee hee! Exhausting, but ultimately satisfying?

blogthatmama said...

You must have been exhausted Mean Mom, you deserve a good old dribble after all that work.

Mean Mom said...

Working mum - Yes, satisfying 'cos I managed to perform my duties, in spite of everything! I missed them after they had left, of course - a bit, anyway. ;0)

blogthatmama - I was really and truly exhausted and my energy levels still aren't back to normal. I'm turning into such an old crock!

Jennysmith said...

Aw,MMMM, don't talk to me about vets bills. raw subject indeed.

lovely detailed blog again but please promise me you'll have a quieter christmas next year. I need to sit down after just reading that! Hope you've recovered now.

Js xxxx

Anonymous said...

Maybe egg and fried plaster breakfasts could become a New Year's tradition in the Mean Mom household?

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Tremendous. How on earth do you find time to blog as well. 'a women's work and all that..'
If I've not already done so I wish you a happy, carefree, lazy (no hope)2009.

Mean Mom said...

Jen - I often feel exploited after a visit to the vet. In the current climate, animals will not be properly looked after, if vets' bills are extortionate.

I may well have a quieter Christmas next year, but one where I'm just not ill would be bearable, I think!

Mud - LOL! Excellent idea! It could be my signature dish!

Grumpy - I have been known to go without sleep, so that I can catch up with my blogging. Last year, I confess that I was often around at 1am, getting my daily fix!

I'm having an enforced lazy time, at the moment, as my energy levels aren't yet back to normal. I'm getting there, but slowly.

I have 3 sons. I haven't experienced a carefree year since 1983. ;0) A Happy New Year to you too!

Robin said...

Mean Mom, so sorry to hear about the empty cracker. I know your pain because the last eclair I bit into had no filling. Can you imagine the pain? Perhaps we could start a support group.

Mean Mom said...

Robin - Never let it be said that we have never known real misery! A support group is a great idea!