Tuesday, 21 December 2004


I am ready for christmas.

We are spending it with my parents in Somerset.

It's the first time for ten years I have been back ... . The last time, Natalie and I fell out on Christmas Eve, she went off to Terrible Tony's, promised Ma to be home for lunch the next day, didn't arrive, and Ma sobbed all through the meal. The only one who had a good time was my now-deceased 98 year old Granny, who was concentrating on managing her teeth and was therefore oblivious. Dad and I sat there in acute embarrassment and drank far too much cider whilst wishing we were somewhere else.

I swore after that that I would never go back for christmas again.

However ... time is a great healer (they say) and after a decade to let the memories fade, I feel about ready to try again. B is a very calming influence on everyone, and also, Natalie doesn't misbehave in front of him ... so hopefully it will be a pleasant few days. The main reason that we feel that we need to visit is that Pa isn't very well. Every time we go down he is more frail and I would very much like to spend a christmas at home with him.

We are leaving on Friday and have already gathered together the following necessities:

  • Presents
  • Wellington boots
  • Waterproofs
  • Shovel and sleeping bag to go in the car
  • Fleece pyjamas
  • Bed socks
  • Pillows - Ma's are very old feather ones and full of dust
  • Rescue remedy
  • Secret stash of booze - Ma doesn't really drink and Pa is on so many tablets he isn't allowed to.

Wish us luck.

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