Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ho ho ho...

  A selection of photos to mark the season - these ones not taken by me, but by the person that inflicted the infamous cat-pee licorice experience upon her relatives last Christmas.  It was a traditional gathering for the group - my nephew fetchingly adorned with gold balls from the Christmas crackers (my work, thankyouverymuch),  Christmas pudd that burned so long you could have roasted marshmallows, a cracker-crown wearing dog looking longingly at...well, everyone - and parents ignoring the collapse of their eldest on the floor.

I am surrounded by idiots (don't worry, they would agree).  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tis the season...

And when I say that, I wish I meant "'tis the season of all good things", but it is not that simple.  Certainly there are good things, but it's also a season that is difficult for many.  There is nothing like a holiday that celebrates the coming together of friends and family to remind you of those that aren't around anymore, or to highlight the thorny parts of relationships.  I'm hardly pessimistic, I'm just a realist (yes, I'm trying that old chestnut on for size).  The expectation that everything will be fun and joy is the dark underbelly of Christmas - if society would stop marketing that illusion, we'd all be a whole lot happier.  That being said, I'm not downplaying the fact that we should all take a moment to think about the good things, the family and friends that we have around us, because life can change, and take those things away, in a heartbeat.  Recent world events serve as an unfortunate reminder of that fact.

This year has marked a change for me - I'm back to decorating the tree on my own for now.  Well, not quite on my own, Mags observes - and judges - my every move from her perch on a diningroom chair.  Mum and I picked out a gorgeous tree, but it took me a few days to get up the energy to decorate it.  Now it is done I love it, but it took some willpower to get there.   But change does require willpower I suppose.  I have yet to take a good photo of this or any tree - trust me, it looks much less like an alien space craft in person.

And in sad news, my Mum's crazy, lovely boxer's life came to a peaceful end this week.   She had a great run of it, no doubt, but that doesn't make it easier.  My family has had a string of boxers over the years, but Chobe had a special place because she was around as my Dad got sick.  As he declined, she became more and more important to him, and I can't help but believe she knew exactly what her role was.  She didn't judge or mind his declining health, she was just there to provide contact and affection and a sense of the silly - something Chobe also gave my Mum as she went through the hard adjustments of Dad's decline and subsequent passing.  The plan is to scatter the dog's ashes along with Dad's this year.  It feels like the right thing to do.  But, life does go on, and hopefully there will be another canine in the family fold in the not too distant future.

To end on a positive note (yes!), I have three weeks off work. I have a fantasy that the end of that period will see an organized basement and a kitchen without wallpaper - wish me luck!