Everyone I have spoken to today has been tired - all my friends seem to have poured all their energies into family Christmases, and are now feeling wiped out. I actually sat and sorted out a few bills, checked my credit card receipts (ouch) and tidied up more paper. We have created more paper and packaging rubbish this Christmas than I have seen in a long time; it can't be good for the planet. Our bins are overflowing and I'm planning a trip to the tip in the morning, because our binmen (sorry waste operatives) don't collect again until Monday. I'm also trying to find places for my many presents. I just don't want to add to the stuff in my house, so will have to prune some items. I have to find room for a new, white teddy bear with "Best Mum" embroidered on one foot, a pair of pink spotted (and reversible) slippers which I don't think I'll ever wear, various boxes of chocolates which I'm trying to ignore, gardening sundries, and some very pretty padded, scented hangers. Obviously some of these things are more useful than others. This year I had no soap (I must be looking cleaner), no perfume (must be smelling OK) and no candles (not so dim?). Anyway, my favourite things are my radio, my music and my books - everyone knows I love getting books - and my handbag from Daughter, a lovely white, shapely mug with "M" on it in curly black script, and a gorgeous picture frame from the White Company (chosen and given by my lovely Aristocratic BF). Sorry about the list, but I feel I shouldn't leave anyone out!
Actually, one of the nicest things I received for Christmas was a splendid bouquet from the mother of Grandson's real father. She was utterly mortified when her Son dumped my Daughter with a four-month-old baby, and has since tried to keep in touch with Daughter and to give support and help when she can. She is rather unwell, and so I was very touched when she sent some money to Daughter, asking her to buy me flowers. I understand why she has done it - she would love to be able to see her Grandson and be involved in his life, just to do what I do, but it isn't going to happen. They live up North, and her Son is unlikely to ever change his spots. It's sad for her, but Daughter sends photos and keeps her informed of Grandson's progress. I guess it's the best we can do under the circumstances.
I ventured out this afternoon for a breath of air and to pay my gas and electricity bills (I know I can do this on the phone or on-line, but I do have to get out). It wasn't seaside walking weather, being very blustery and cold. Every time I crossed the road I glanced towards the sea, and it looked very dark and grey, ruffled with white-topped waves. This evening it's raining and very windy, but I'm hoping for a bright morning tomorrow - Daughter and Grandson will be around (thankfully the Boyfriend won't) and we might get down to the beach for a bit of exercise. I'm still hoping that Sister and her Son will find the time to visit this weekend, though I do know that after the festivities everyone needs a bit of quiet time to get over all the sound and fury.
I can hear the wind rising and rattling at my windows, it's time for a festive cup of hot water and a snuggle up in bed with a good book...