Not Ready for Christmas…

Not Getting Ready for Christmas…

Hello and how was your week? And are you ready for Christmas? A little bit? I am not, and it will worry me soon but at the moment I am too busy.  

My college lectures finished—well, more fizzled out, due to Omicron and Boris and having to revert to being on zoom which doesn’t feel as satisfying. No big farewells and ‘Happy Christmas’ or silly jumpers. (Not that there necessarily would have been even if we had all met in person, but probably I would have done those things, even if no one else did.)

Next on my list was essays (just practice ones) then getting the results and realising that writing an academic essay is far-removed from the fun of writing a blog. We are meant to provide lots of quotes to show we are well-read (I do read lots, but am not very good at remembering who said what, where, and we have to splatter our essays with page numbers, which is very unsatisfying). We also have to give our own opinion (no problem there!) but not in a personal way (is that even possible?) and it has to be backed up with evidence. I’m not sure anyone else shares my views, so the evidence bit is not easy. I am also very bad at extracting relevant information from books, whilst not reading the whole book. I start to skim read (which feels like cheating, by the way) but then the author writes something interesting, and before you know it, it’s 6pm, Husband is asking what’s for dinner (nothing) and I have read the whole book and completely forgotten to write the page numbers of bits relevant for my essay. Which means I am enjoying my course tremendously, and learning lots, but I may well fail due to chatty unsubstantiated essay-style.

Another distraction was having the Covid booster. This was all very efficient except for the last bit, when having socially-distanced in the queue and shown into an individual booth to be stabbed, we were then told to wait in a crowded seating area in case we turned blue or something. Of course, neither me nor Husband are very good at obeying rules, so we looked into crowded waiting area and decided we would sit in our car instead. Neither of us turned blue. Though I did have a horrible reaction later, and had a temperature that wouldn’t go for two days. Very unpleasant but presumably less unpleasant than having covid.

We also had our traditional family meal in London. We went to The Ivy this time, at Tower Bridge. Very lovely. I drank pink G&Ts and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I like my family (even without the G&T I like them, they make me laugh). London is very pretty at night, and there were Christmas lights, and it was all wonderful. We wandered back to the station via Hay’s Galleria, which had a big Christmas tree, and I tried to encourage the family to sing carols (this might have been due to the G&T) but none of them would. Never mind, lovely evening.

London Lights (and children who I do not know but honestly! They posed in front for ages!)

Another nice thing is my cyclamen plants. Now, I am not very good with plants, and generally have a row of dead plants on my windowsill, but I try. A few years ago, my sister-in-law gave me a cyclamen for my birthday, and surprisingly, it has survived. I noticed that it was growing buds that weren’t buds, so checked online and sure enough, they were seed pods. The internet said I should wait until they opened, and then wash the seeds in washing-up liquid before soaking overnight in clean water. This is because they have a sticky coating and a hard shell. In the wild, ants will carry them away from the main plant, eat the sugar from the coating and pierce the hard shell, so the seed can then grow. They then need to be left somewhere cold and dark.

I have a lot of bad luck with cats sleeping on my seedlings, so after the washing/soaking thing, I planted the seeds and put them in the loft. I left it a few days, then went to check if they needed more water. A mouse had dug them all up and scattered the mud all around the loft. I shoved them back into the pot (the seeds, not the mouse) and put them on a windowsill instead. Two chances. Live or not. I assumed not, but you never know. Anyway, when I looked yesterday, there are two tiny cyclamen plants just sprouting. How exciting is that!

Of course, all this means I have done almost nothing to prepare for Christmas. I would delay it for a few weeks if I could, but instead I will have to hide my books in case I read them by mistake, and force myself to wrap some gifts and bake some gingerbread. I did decorate the too-big-because-I-wasn’t-there tree that Husband bought, but to be honest, I just sort of flung ornaments on it while cooking sausages because I was trying to read about Calvin. I still have a week, it will be fine…

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for reading.
Take care.
Love, Anne x

Anne E. Thompson
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