Friday, November 30, 2007


We are very much in need of the Christmas break here. It seems to be a long while since everyone was 100% healthy and there’s a lot we must do...

There is a long list of decorating to be done.

Christmas shopping needs to be fitted in somewhere, along with all the birthday pressie buying. We have a nephew, Dani, and my mum, all in the next eight days.

The kids’ panto is coming up next week and Dani has completed a magnificent woolly tail and hat with pig ears, for Leo, but I’ve so far failed to engage him in snout making.

Pearlie is off to a Woodcraft youth hostel camp tonight.

Tickets for Squeezebox Rocks (the gig the kids are performing in) are on sale and we must pick them up for various family members. Kids have to remember to keep running through their songs!

All this is going on alongside our usual work pattern – plus some odd variations. I booked some leave, ages ago, right at the end of the uni term, to give me some time for decorating. As is typical, we have managed to fill most of that with other commitments. Dani has to go to London for a meeting and I have booked in a Christmas shopping day with my mum. I find that this always happens. One of us will take some leave, just to give us a bit of space, and then we seem to see it as our mission to fill it up again.

I can see this decorating getting done late in the night. I think the reason that I’m so keen to get on with it is the fact that I think we could easily just stop right here and live with lots of bare plaster and filled holes forever. We had various bits in my family home, when I was growing up, that were never quite finished. Looking back, it was rather lovely – and quite typical of the happy, relaxed place that was out home – but I can’t bear to have spent all this money and not see the job through.

So, we’re busy.

The kids are pottering along with their own stuff too, of course. Leo is rather in need of a break from all the groups, I think. Whenever we are at home he is totally absorbed in comic making. He produces several a day at the moment. I can hear him now, humming away faintly as he works at the kitchen table. When Leo hums he is very content. He often hums while eating an enjoyable meal! His current crop of comics are great. He is adding a bit more commentary to make them easier to follow. They are rather in the Captain Underpants tradition – evil toilets and so on – but also very much his own.

Pearlie has packed up all her stuff for camp. It seems like just the other day that she went to summer camp. The weather looks lousy for this weekend, so I imagine they’ll be doing a lot of games in the youth hostel. She’s also enjoying playing cards. In fact, I need to go as she’s asking for a game now.

Oh, and here’s a bit of Pearlie wisdom re. the fascists speaking at the Oxford Union. She was asking us who David Irving was and Dani told her he was a man who denies the holocaust happened. She just stopped dead and looked at us in total astonishment.

“But, how can you deny the holocaust?”

Well, exactly.

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