Friday 26 December 2008

Yo ho ho

Well Christmas has done its usual trick of creeping up (in a rush) unexpectedly, bursting out in a rather brash and loud fashion, and then disappearing into a dark hole for another 364 (or is it 365 this time) days....I guess 2009 isn't a leap year. So another year when I don't have to worry about being proposed to on February 29th (I should be so lucky!)

I've been the most bah humbug about Christmas this year ever...mainly due to the sense of economic gloom crystalising rather sharply in December, and escaping complete financial collapse by the skin of my teeth...but more of that some other time. For no logical reason I remain quite confident that 2009 will turn out better than the press expect...and that whilst I know the world will change, it will be for the better.

More than ever, the festive festivities have had their surprising moments...a trip on Christmas Eve to Theresa the Nanny, followed by a relatively gentle stroll down the motorway to the Rhonnda. I played my cards well, and managed to keep the boy's much wanted present a secret...a watch that tells you the temperature (I work it out by whther I'm sweating or shivering), whether the tide is in or out (wet or dry feet), and which direction you're heading in (do they speak in a southern drawl, or scottish brogue). If you push the right button, it'll even tell you the time.

My present from the boy was a Stereophonics DVD, but not quite a surprise as I'd had to buy it myself; at least he wrapped it!

The day was pleasant enough...a trip out to Aunt in the Valleys, followed by a walk down in Cardiff Bay...bloody freezing, but delighted to find somewhere to buy a steaming cappuccino...hurrah, my hands were falling off, and a return to have a late lunch, traditional snooze followed by Doctor Who. And in the same vein, here's a picture of the boy standing by the entrnce to Torchwood.

The boy gave us a few fine songs on the guitar, which entertained me and delighted the Wicked Witch. Late, the boy and I retired to our shared guest room, where I was surprised to be confronted with the request that next year, "Could we go skiing?" I don't know why; I thought he was enjoying himself.

Boxing morning, I normally leave for Brighton early, but this year we headed off to the discount outlet centre at Bridgend...not that either of us was desperate to spend money, but I'd not been there, and the boy wants a smart coat. As it happens, surprisngly no coat for the boy but a pile of stuff for me, returning to Grandma's house with half an hour to spare before the boy's challenging sister arrived. Suddenly the boy turned as scarlet as Santa's costume, as he suddenly appreciated the downside of throwing a strop a couple of weeks ago whilst we were shopping for festive gifts. Surprise number 4. No present for sister. A major disaster was averted by 'Live with mother uncle', who produced out of a hat a magical iTunes voucher.

Having meeted and greeted, I've retreated to Brighton for 24 hours of RnR, until the boy descends again. And I'll probably spend some of that time re-writing this...

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Bloody annoying (2)

Or maybe "Wool, the, eyes, my, pulled, have, had, I

After a few nights when the boy has struggled to settle down (surely at 13, Christmas is not that it?), the boy came down tonight long after he should have been soundly in the land of nod. By the cut of his jib, there was clearly something not quite right. Off goes the TV, closed goes the laptop (evidently boys can multi-task sometimes...but only when electronic gadgets are involved). Come and sit down and tell me what's wrong. Some hesitation (works well for dramatic effect), the boy sits and tentatively hands over his glasses. Broken glasses. Bad but not that bad...although whether they were snapped in his jacket when it was on his back as claimed or thrown on the floor is open to debate. Time for blubbering tears (works well on the heart strings). School jacket has been lost. He's known since last week and stayed stum. In (new) jacket was ipod and expensive headphones.

Loss of sympathy immediate.

Knowing what to do or say is beyond me.

He's only 13....but bloody annoying!

Merry Christmas one and all...

Monday 22 December 2008

Bloody annoying

I seem to have nothing of any note to report. Zilch. Nadda. A big zero.

What is it with teenagers? They always do the exact opposite of what you expect. How annoying is that?

Having had pretty much a free run of things since school broke up ten days ago, he's done nothing that should send me into high dudgeon. Yes, there's a few clothes on the floor, yes he was ten minutes late back from meeting friends, yes he left a plate on the floor. No he's not stayed in bed all day, no he hasn't answered back, no he hasn't asked for extra pocket money. He's being perfectly reasonable about everything. So with the best will in the world I can't seem to find anything to get uppity about. grrr.

So it seems this really is the season of peace and goodwill to all men. And long may it last. I'm very grateful really.

My favourite line of the year, comes not from home, but from the office. We have a man of a different generation in the office. He reads the Daily Mail. He's married to Jane. One day last week he went home early because, quote, "Jane's washing machine has broken."

Naturally, we've followed his lead in assigning all things kitchen and bathroom in the office to the 'girlies' to look after (in between making cups of tea and coffee), whilst I'll sort out the boy things. I've extended this to home as well. However, it now seems that neither the boy nor I have any responsibilities for cooking, washing or cleaning. So soon we'll be dirty, starving and unkempt. But at least we have a big telly and lots of tools in the garage.