Thursday, December 3, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

Phew! I am pleasantly content - today I started the countdown to Christmas and am beginning to feel festive.

I have decided to behave quite normally in my preparations for the festive season - but I shall have to be more economical with the present giving, and everything else will be as it has been for the past 23 years. I have been slowly accruing presents since September and have rather enjoyed having to really think about the expenditure. T K Maxx has turned up trumps as ever, although I do think the quality and choice is not a patch on the past. Very few recognisable branded goods - but not too bad. The junior daughter has been coaching me as to where the special offers are lurking - so, thank you M & S, you have enjoyed a lot of custom from me this year. And - I am learning to hoard, then redeem, all sorts of money-off vouchers.

To be frank, I am rather ashamed of the cavalier way I used to shop. Being brought up short, as I have been, is no bad thing. Times have changed, and so must I. I resonated with the senior daughter's recent blog about not hoarding, and how it was so much better to actually use things up - which is exactly what I hsve been doing for the past 18 months. So - I have had many wonderful baths, luxuriating in bath oils that I had lined up prettily in the bathroom instead of enjoying.

Dear S, the husband of the lovely H, who helps me in the house, came today and took me to buy my Christmas tree. I climbed into his van, little trailer attached, and off we drove. I nearly died when, after I had chosen the tree, I was told the price. No No! That will NOT do. Down the scale we went - and finally we loaded our choice on to the trailer and we trundled home. I have to confess that I am rather enjoying myself. Life can be quite fun I have discovered, much more fun than it has been for years.

By the end of today, S had mended locks and broken security lights, rehung a kitchen cupboard door that kept fouling the dishwasher, put up the Christmas tree and fixed its lights, piled a whole delivery of logs in the drawing room inglenook ready for Christmas, and dismantled my bed so we could clean underneath it What a star! Much better than a resident husband - more biddable and more charming. The senior daughter spoilt it all for me by saying "Get real, Mamma, you paid him to do it" I know, but they were not jobs I could have done myself.

I then took the dogs for a long walk up the track. It was soggy, damp and muddy - why is it that dogs love the conditions to be so horrible? They raced about and snuffled and snorted, in and out of the hedgerows and ditches, as I trudged along behind them thinking of my Christmas arrangements, the decorations, the food, and all the fun to come.

Billy then went missing and my heart missed a beat. Suddenly he came flying up the field to my right, and I realised he was trapped - I had no idea how he had got into the field, and there was no visible means of escape. He started to panic, seeing me on the other side of the fence, and unable to reach me. He and I are joined at the hip, so I knew he was getting distressed. The fence was solidly wired to ground level, and I too started to panic. Luckily I saw a small tunnel through the grass under the wire, and was able to persuade him to elongate himself enough to squeeze underneath. What a welcome, licks and whines and how I hugged him. Maud just stood, disdain written all over her face, and then when he rejoined us, she turned her back on him and caried on up the track.

Two days ago, Billy had caught his first rabbit. I do not actively encourage the dogs to catch rabbits, but this one looked as if it had been hit by a car, or perhaps was diseased. I called Bill over, and he quickly despatched it. Much kinder to do that - he was so proud of himself. It was his baptism - he is now a grown up boy.

So - the countdown to Christmas. The invitations are lining up on the mantelpiece, the first cards have arrived, we have started our Christmas choir practices, my tree lights are twinkling at me to decorate the tree itself, and all is right with the world.


Sarah said...

Dear Aurora

I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and it has given me much comfort as I am in a similar position to you with regard to my ex-husband. We too are divorcing bitterly and it has been very hard on all my family. Like you, I try to keep my children out of it all as of course one should not involve them in such a horrid mess. I was wondering: you haven’t mentioned seeing a therapist or counsellor? It’s been my utter salvation. Took a couple of tries with different people to find someone with whom I clicked, but I gather that’s perfectly normal. Don’t know where I’d be without her now. I just wanted to say I highly recommend it as a way of moving on and also for just having a scream!
Good luck with it all, your blog is so lovely.

Chic Mama said...

I've missed your last few posts, been wallowing a bit I have to caught up.
What is scary is how many of us there are....have you read any of my posts lately?
I feel our lives are so mirrored although unlike you I haven't had to suffer for so long.
I too am trying to sell things on ebay for the first time ever and am kicking myself for all the items I have given away, even recently. So far I haven't sold anything.
And TK Maxx- I have got nearly all of my presents for adults from there.
My legal battles continue although I am in so much debt now and this month Husband hasn't given me any money. He's playing games and yet his girlfriend has a new car, is pregnant!!! That's hard to swallow and they have just been away again! My younger children are having to leave their private schools.
I wish all of us, betrayed, could get together and form something to get justice against these men. I am thinking about what I can do for all of us in this situation.
Even our houses sound similar, all very spooky.
Anyway, didn't mean to rant on your blog. Take care. X

Anonymous said...

count yr blessings: at least you can afford help.

shayma said...

wishing you a very happy christmas with your lovely daughters and the dogs. i dont celebrate christmas, but lots of gifts are exchanged, as i go to pakistan during christmas vacation every year. this time i decided to buy toblerone for all my cousins between the ages of 3 and 11. during christmas they package them so beautifully. i wish i were as organised as you and had started collecting gifts for the fam in Sept. now the pressure is on- 2 weeks to go.
have a lovely christmas. i have seen photos on LLG's site of your home's facade, if that is anything to go by, it must be gorgeous from inside; a loving home to spend christmas in. x

Belle_Lulu said...

Am only reclaiming my life after 10 years in married hell. I do miss having someone to take the bins out on a cold night.

The worst is now over for me - I am totally and utterly free and it has only taken 3 years.

The 2 darling Ds and I can now purchase our little ex-council house and bed down for a bit.

Happy Christmas Aurora. I really hope 2010 is a much better and more productive year for us all.

L xxx

Isabelle said...

Dear Aurora~
The beauty of the countryside, the cheerful companionsip of your dogs, the love of your daughters and friends, the health that allows you to walk in the fresh air:
May the recollection of the beauty, blessings, hope and gratitude that you feel this day sustain you during times of challenge.
These memories are there for you to draw peace from whenever you can.
I hope you can sense the support and good wishes I send you for the healing of your heart and the best outcome for your financial situation.
I am so glad that this is a good day!

Jessica Interiors, Etc. said...

Dear Aurora,
I envy you...yes, I do. Even though you are going through such difficult times, you are reclaiming your life. You have your dogs, your daughters, your friends, and many of us, who admire and respect you...and your writing.
We don't buy gifts in our family..I do make things, and that's got to the point that everyone was dragging themselves all over creation, fighting crouds, spending money they couldn't afford, and giving gifts that noone really wanted...Being with your family and dogs is the greatest gift of all.

Anonymous said...

merci pour votre blog que je visite tre regulierement

Rose said...

Your post made me long to get back to my family for Christmas and wrap up warm to walk dogs. I can't wait. We've been doing a budget for presents for some time as it all got a bit carried away- and it's just as much fun if not more so and everyone doesn't feel as crippled.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at your fortitude and strength with all that you have been through these last 18 months. I hope you get every cent from your ex (all of it, that is) and I hope you will find new love. You deserve it all and more.

My father once had a man who worked for him, who was like your ex, and no matter what kind of work he did, my father never promoted him. He said that a man who would do that to his wife could never be trusted at work either. Karma has a way of coming back and taking it's revenge, and I think you are too gracious for revenge, some day you will have it "all" and he will not. You have your new life, lovely daughters and dogs and you will soon have so much more.


Make Do Style said...

Wow - I'm so pleased you are sounding so buoyant and happy. The new year will be a fabulous new beginning. Have a great Christmas and enjoy belting (musically!) a few carols out xx

Anonymous said...

I am missing reading your always interesting blogs. Hope you are simply into the holidays and too busy - just want you to know I wish you a very Merry Christmas (yes, even with all that stuff) and hope you will get back to writing when you can. You are a very classy lady. I am not a blogger, but I especially love all things English. And you are so good about writing about English city and country living.

Anonymous said...

Hello Aurora! One of LLG's readers - I always pop on over to read your lovely posts. Just wanted to say I missed them - and hope you're doing well! :)

shayma said...

we miss you, are you not blogging anymore ? :( wishing you a happy new year, shayma

Anonymous said...

Dear Aurora,

Hope new events aren't so stressful to prevent you from writing. The way you write about your life is simply wonderful; it's warm, honest and well written. Please do not give up.