So, here it is, Christmas Eve.
Actually, 7.00 a.m. on Christmas Eve.
Is it the excitement of the big day tomorrow or the thought of all the work I have to get through between now and then to make the magic happen for the family that has driven me out of my bed at such a stupidly early hour when I’m not working or could it something a bit more mundane? Something like, for instance, the snore meister driving out of my warm, comfy bed once again?
Yup. You got it in one. It’s the snore meister striking again. I could have done a bit of striking of my own but decided that it wouldn’t be good for marital harmony. No amount of bellowing “SHUDDUP!” in his ear or poking him with a sharp elbow made any difference so I got up to chat with you instead.
I’m feeling a bit cheated in the Christmas tree department this year. The tree we got is undoubtedly very beautiful, bedecked as it is in all it’s finery. It isn’t a hump backed tree or suffering from any kind of male pattern baldness, it doesn’t lean awkwardly and is beautifully proportioned, it isn’t stunted in height nor does it go in for streaking by shedding all it’s needles every time everyone looks at it the wrong way.
Sounds like a perfectly well behaved, polite and well brought up tree, doesn’t it. It just has the one MAJOR fault.
It smells of………..nothing.
Where’s the gorgeous evocative christmas tree smell that fills me with nostalgia and makes my tum tickle with excitement at the thought of Christmas being just a few days away? There isn’t even a whiff of it. Before you ask. No. I didn’t buy a fake tree by mistake. I know there are some very good ones around but even I’m not that stupid, stressful as it’s been over the last week or two.
Am I? I’d better go and check. No. It’s definitely real!
I may have to go and squirt toilet cleaner all over it to make it smell of pine and then tie a few cinnamon sticks to it for added depth and then get a dog or two to pee up it for the finishing touches.
My poor posh cat has had a time of it this last week or two.
Firstly, I set about him with a grooming brush and clippers a couple of weeks ago. Every winter his fur gets matted but this year it was worse than normal so I ended up clipping huge great rugs from each side of him. I’ve since been seen down the local market hawking thses rugs since his fur is as lovely and soft as pashmina. I got a good price for them as well, I can tell you. Great lumps of cat fur are now gracing the doorsteps of local gentry. I’ve also been selling the fur that I’ve extracted as I’ve combed him to local gypsies who have been sending it to the gnome down the road to weave into a tapestry for the forthcoming royal wedding. (I’ve been watching too many pantomimes!).
What? Don’t believe me? You don’t think one cat can possibly have had that much fur removed? Well just take a look:
So apart from the shame of being shaved and sporting a very trendy (if I say so myself) mohican. The poor creature has since developed a problem with his ear. I noticed it the other night when he sat under the Christmas tree crying. I thought he was crying because it had no scent and he felt a bit cheated but it turned out he was crying because a lump the size of a grape had appeared in his ear and was clearly causing him great distress.
Off to the vet we popped. The cat had needles stuck into his ears and came out minus 10 mls of blood that they drained off his ear. I came out minus the £60 they drained off me. All’s well that end’s well, I hear you thinking.
But no, that would be far too simple. After risking losing my face administering the ear drops as I’d been instructed, I noticed the lump had returned.
Back to the vet’s we popped, this time with the cat growling ‘ you’re gonna pay for this, bitch’ under his breath at me all the way.
The vet stuck the needle in his ear again. And again. And again. All the while the cat looked at me malevolently, the threat of retribution in his eye as he held my gaze. “We need a bigger syringe,” the vet announced. The cat’s legs buckled, as did mine. Poor kitty had a huge needle stuck in his ear followed by another one, this time injecting him with steroid.
Steroid! Don’t give him steriods!! He’ll be wrestling Great Danes to the ground with one paw! Not to mention what he’s going to do to me when we get home!!
With instructions to give him yet more ear drops, this time in both ears, we were sent away once again, ear and wallet both stinging.
Unsurprisingly, the cat won’t come near me now. He sits on the landing, kissing his steroid built muscles like a body builder and staring at me as if daring me to approach him. The ear drop game is developing into the sport of cat wrestling. I think we may start to sell tickets soon. If I’m going to lose my face via the cat’s claws I may as well make some money out of it!
The snow and ice have resolutely stayed with us. As you already know, I love this weather. Not so much when it comes to driving on it but you can’t have everything.
Isn’t it funny how you develop new strategies and adapt behaviours as conditions change?
I used to get in my car and drive away. Easy.
Now I get in my car, sit sideways on the seat and clap my feet together like a seal for a minute or two. Not for the entertainment of passing strangers, or in the hope of getting the odd mackerel thrown to me, you understand. It’s to get rid of all the ice on my boots before I set off driving. One scare too many in the, ‘feet sliding off brake pedal’ department soon taught me that strategy – and if I get the occasional mackerel as a result then that’s just a bonus, isn’t it?
Just to keep the winter theme going, here are a few more photos:
And finally: Hasn’t Baby Bunting grown?