Well, thank goodness that's over! Finally finished with Christmas, though the tree won't come down until Friday, despite its needles littering the floor already. We're very traditional... But at least the holiday guests have now departed and I spent most of yesterday doing the laundry they generated and re-arranging the rooms they disorganised.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Christmas, and I enjoy entertaining, it's just rather intense when the OH's distant cousin and family (all seven of them!) more or less invite themselves on Christmas Eve eve to stay for what felt like months. It was hard to say no when Celeste wasn't even here, and George only dropped in for a couple of days, though even he brought two friends with him. Fortunately, they were happy to sleep on the floor of George's room with sleeping bags, otherwise I'm not sure where we would have put them. We already had bedding in the living room for the duration. Joe was less impressed, I'm sure, though he didn't say anything, as he had to move all his writing stuff out of Celeste's room to make way for two large loud Americans and their toddler.
"I'm really sorry, Joe, but if little Kenobi got hold of your notes, you probably wouldn't have them anymore," I said, when I told him what was going to happen.
"Really, it's no problem. I don't think Alison's home much over the Christmas period anyway. Family comes first, after all."
I don't think Alison's been home much full stop since they moved in, and certainly not since the Royal Wedding fiasco, but from the little Joe has said about it, I think she spends most of her time arguing with him when she is here. I did ask Joe if he wanted to join us for Christmas dinner, since one more would hardly make any difference once I was in double figures, but he said he'd rather have a quiet day watching old-fashioned movies and eating a microwave meal. I'm not sure if he was joking or not as I haven't had an opportunity to ask him what he did in the end. He gave me a beautiful bracelet for Christmas, with some matching earrings, that look far too expensive and all I gave him was some notebooks. He seemed pleased enough with them when I saw him at in the pub when we went down to welcome in the New Year, along, it seemed, with most of the village as the place was heaving, but we didn't have much chance to talk. I shall pop down tomorrow at coffee break time and see how he really is.
Talking of how people really are, I must mention Janet and Brian. Janet has spent most of her waking hours at the hospital but Brian has been home a few times to pick up clothes, post, etc, and dropped in briefly to thank me for the offer. The surviving twin is holding on for the moment but they're not taking anything for granted and they're not making plans as such. "Later in January, maybe. And am I right in thinking that you're the biscuit lady?"
I wondered briefly what he meant and then realised that he must have seen some of my biscuits at the deli. "As a business idea, it didn't really work, so my New Year's resolution is to only make biscuits when someone places an order. My hips can't take it otherwise."
"Okay, well, when I've had a chance to talk to Janet about it, perhaps you can do some chocolate cherry cookies for us? For the funeral? It'll be a pretty small affair, but we ought to have something. And I know Janet really loved them when she tried them."
My other New Year's resolutions, for what it's worth, are to contact Chloe and try to get fit again (haven't called her yet) and to try writing a mini-poem a day, using 'A River of Stones' as an inspiration. There has to be more to life than cleaning the house and worrying about your children!