Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas day

Christmas day – and Sam turns up wet and miffed because she can’t find her flamenco dress… she returns a few minutes later with a suitable gown for the day and makes snowballs for everyone. Russ and Pietro drop in on their way to Pietro’s dad’s and we share a drink.

My parents arrive mid way through the morning’s present opening. They’ve already seen two car accidents on the way – people drive madly on Christmas day – Two years ago, we returned to Sam’s flat to find a trail of blood leading to her cat (Archduke Ferdinand) who was hit by a car. He still bears the scars. Sam taped up her catflap this year.

The digital picture frames we got for both sets of parents and Grace and Igor seem to go down well (once people figure out what they are!). It’s the one format in which the wedding photos we’ve got look good - our wedding photographer, before he disappeared did furnish us with very low quality copies of the photos (too low resolution to print) and in the absence of the full images we’ve had to make do with these, and the digital frames are a great way to do this.

Christmas lunch was courtesy of The Green – a French restaurant just off Goose Green. Knowing we’d have George at Christmas and guessing that families would all want a piece of him, we decided to avoid the hassle of cooking Christmas dinner by booking into a restaurant.

It turned out to be a great decision. Not cheap, but well worth not having to spend Christmas eve chopping veg, Christmas morning cooking, and Boxing day washing up! Everyone had a great time and even my Dad (notoriously fussy with his food) managed to eat well without having to re-arrange the menu.

Andrew, my brother was missing – he told us that he had a cold and didn’t want to come anywhere near George in his pre-operation state. However, Andrew hates Christmas and it’s more likely that he just didn’t want to come. He usually takes on any extra shifts he can at this time of year and avoids answering his phone.

The sound of Doctor Who

We didn’t want to end up having the TV on over Christmas with everyone sitting round it like overstuffed zombies… and we managed it (with the exception of the Coronation St Christmas special and the new episode of “to the manor born” which followed it). Most of us managed to avoid those too, by playing a game of Trivial Pursuits which started off in the normal way, but ended up (some hours later) with everyone playing for Sam’s team just so we could finish the game.

This meant that I had to avoid watching the Doctor Who Christmas episode. Not difficult, you’d think since the TV wasn’t on. However, in order to not watch it, I had to record it on the TV in our bedroom. That meant leaving the TV on (don’t ask me why, it’s a video/TV combined and it just works like that). George’s bedtime fell just at the end, so I had to sit in the bathroom playing with him trying not to listen to the sound of the episode in the background until the credits had rolled! Then in trying to turn “to the manor born” on, our parents somehow located the only channel showing a repeat of the episode and then couldn’t turn it off without my help… I managed to keep out of the way until the end of the episode – and ended up standing in the kitchen trying to avoid listening to the sound again.

The sound of Doctor who seemed to be with me all day – with Sally, Colin and their children (is Nephews-in-law a correct description?) having bought me an incredibly loud Doctor Who mug which played the theme tune and TARDIS sounds every time it was picked up. I did figure out pretty quickly that you could remove the noise making part for washing, but this only meant that it stood in the kitchen and went off whenever anyone tried touched the kitchen surfaces…

Calling Grace and Igor
We phoned Grace and Igor to wish them a happy Christmas, but it wasn’t one. Grace had a couple of bad turns over Christmas – her breathing is not so good especially when she’s stressed – and she had to resort to the oxygen bottle in her room. This must be frightening for her and Mum and Dad were in two minds about whether to come to us at all.

Igor told me it was his “worst Christmas ever” but that he’d just have to put up with it. He’s been in a real poor mood for months now (not that I can blame him) but he could make a lot more of his new life in the home if only he’d decide to try to engage with it. I know this has to be hard given what they’ve both been through, but it’s his only choice.

Sociability and Skype

George at least seemed to enjoy having lots of people around him, being passed from person to person, and being happy to laugh, cry, sleep or pooh on anyone. He’s not showing any signs of illness apart from the fact that his head gets a little sweaty (something we’ve been told to look out for). It doesn’t seem that bad, but we’re keeping an eye on it.

We also Skyped Lucinda and Giancarlo in the US in the afternoon – it’s great to be able to have a conference call with everyone joining in – so much better than a phone conversation. I couldn’t get our side of the video link up to work, so they couldn’t see George, but it was nice all the same.

Another dream
I had another dream last night. This time I was performing heart surgery myself – on a mackerel. It was a bit of a Heath Robinson job, but if you ever need to do the operation, here’s how it works: you open up the fish and locate its heart. You then place the vibrating mechanism from a mobile phone battery just behind the heart, and seal it up again. Now, if the mackerel has any problems, you can re-start its heart simply by phoning in.

Later in the dream, I was attacked by my uncle Roy in the streets of Hertford. It wasn’t a serious assault, more friendly than that, but when it became clear he wasn’t going to win, he ordered in re-enforcements – a squadron of 8 or so trained babies. The babies were no good in a fight – but I was impressed that he’d managed to train them to move together and respond to verbal instructions…

Santa Claus is coming

Am I the only person who finds the lyrics to Santa Claus is coming to town disturbing and threatening?

You better watch out

You better not cry

You better not pout

I'm telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list,

Checking it twice;

Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.

Santa Claus is coming to townSanta

He sees you when you're sleeping

He knows when you're awake He knows if you've been bad or good

So be good for goodness sake

he sounds like some kind of sharp-fanged-monstrous psycho-vigilante - doesn't he?

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