Tag Archives: christmas

An ode to the AA man.

Interesting Christmas eve, eve for the Clarke household that meant we very nearly didn’t get our Christmas Turkey!

But Thanks to the AA man, our knight in Hi-Vis armour Christmas was saved…..

T’was the night before, the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

But out on the road the for the AA did they wait, because the exhaust it went clunk and on the road it did grate…

Then in the rain and the dark with orange lights all flashing,
The AA man in his yellow van came dashing.

He jacked up the car and fitted a temporary clip. So to the supermarket Steph and James could nip.

Around Asda they went to get their Christmas Dinner Because on that cold wet night that AA man was their winner!

How’s it go….God bless us everyone

Starting the year with a sniff

On my way to work this morning I caught my reflection in a shop window , I looked awful, I’m exhausted, it’s four days into the new year and I’m only on my second day back at work and  I look like I’ve been dragged through an hedge backwards.

I am ill, I have had the beginnings of a cold since some time mid October and finally broke on December 27th leaving me a snotty wretched mess for most of the new year celebrations and is still dragging on.  I had no time to be ill. What with the new job and commute to get used to, the being a Mom and a cook and all round domestic goddess*  and then that Christmas thing right in the middle of it all.

Christmas the time of good will to all men. The time off to relax and just enjoy each others company. Christmas the time my brother chose to declare to the whole family I was a fat slut across the dinner table  (no really), the time my sister ends up with hypochondria an ear infection at the emergency doctors with me in tow , James gets manflu  after playing a  gig, the time for present shopping, food shopping, medicine shopping, gift wrapping, visiting relations, forced merriment and  no time to look after myself so just make myself steadily worse.

I returned to work to hear of glorious tales of Christmas afternoon beach walks, mad uncles playing charades and country get away’s. and all I had to share is a runny nose, annoying cough, slightly depressing tales of a half hearted family get together and a desperate need for more sleep.

I knew it was sleep I craved when I got off the train this morning I looked at the tracks and thought “I could use that pile of gravel as a pillow” while my inner monologue was telling me that the train on the platform 4b is heading straight back to Wolverhampton, so go on, get on it no one will miss you for just one day. But I didn’t I continued on my not so merry way convinced the walk into Digbeth would clear my head and I’d feel better after a hot Lemsip.

It didn’t and all the cup full of liquid paracetamol succeeded in was giving me something to cough into. Thankfully I have a pretty awesome boss and when he arrived this morning to find a sniffling mess choking at the desk  he said I could just go home – just like that – “You don’t need to be here” and I don’t know who was more relieved when he dropped me off at the train station, me as I could, you know, go home, or the him as he didn’t have to listen to my self pitying sighs and hacking cough all day.

So now here I am just before 7pm sitting in the arm chair I haven’t left since getting here shortly before 2, waiting for my dinner, central heating on as I just can’t get warm, tissues on one side, lemsip on the other smelling of Boots own brand vapour rub and feeling sorry for myself. Christmas a distant memory other than the rack full of wine we were too ill to drink, trying not to annoy James too much as he attempts to get some work done at the desk behind me, wanting to sleep but exploding in coughing fits every time I lie down, limping into 2012 in the most lacklustre style!

Happy New Year!


*I am only a part time cook and cleaner James does his fair share around the house too but for the purposes of this post and gaining the most amount of sympathy possible I do it all myself

Seasonal Craziness

I have issues!! Seriously Christmas brings out the crazy in me in the form of OCD and boy have I got it bad!!

For years the Christmas season starts for me in a flurry of decorating, the tree, the windows, the fire place….  but do I share a tender moment with my devoted son while we choose whether to have the angel or the star atop of the tree this year?


I have to decorate in certain way, in a certain order, lights, then ribbon (NOT TINSEL) the fir cones, then the baubles. If anything, in my mind, is out of place it drives me insane, It has in previous years taken me a a whole day just to put up a tree, but even better THEN and only then can the star or angel be put on top  – and this has to be chosen last of all and sometimes not until the day AFTER putting the tree and the rest of the decorations up because once chosen it has to stay there – no swapping and changing AT ALL so this is an important choice!

The colours have to be evenly spread and JUST SO and the fireplace swag has to match the tree and be decorated in the same order at the same  no compromise – as an example of how bad this is when we unpacked and erected the tree this year I couldn’t decorate it!! We’d managed to leave the swag in the loft and I just couldn’t put anything on the tree until this was down too!!  Luckily for me James is very understanding of the crazy and went back up to hunt for it as I could feel myself become quite silly about it!!

Last year was the first year I introduced colour to my tree in the form of bronze and red to go with the well established gold and ivory theme I’ve had going for years in an attempt for make myself loosen up a bit – I’m insane!

All this causes much mirth and derision particularly from my not so understanding sister and much exasperation and frustration from myself.

BUT IF You think that’s bad I used to be worse, much worse, for instance (and  I’ve worked hard at getting over this one because it was ridiculous as I would hunt for days to get this right), the gifts used to have to colour coordinated – the adult presents would be gold or ivory paper with red ribbon and the children’s red with gold or ivory ribbon and wrapped just so….

Notable insane moments:

  • The year I unwrapped ALL the presents and started again because they didn’t look right (unwrapping one or two to start again isn’t a rare occurrence in my house BUT all of them is a stretch by even by standards)
  • Taking down the tree and starting from scratch TWICE!
  • Letting TBK and James hang baubles only to go ahead and move them when I thought they wouldn’t notice because they were in the “wrong” place.
  • Point blank refusing to let James bring any of his decorations with him when he moved in with us as they wouldn’t match mine, and then buying him decorations that matched my colour scheme and still refusing to let him hang them on the tree because they’re just not right!
  • Finally succumbing to my OCD and buying TBK a tree & decorations for in his room as I didn’t want him to miss out on decorating his own tree and he can have as much tinsel as he likes!

So with all this in mind imagine how I’m coping this year with two very mischievous cats who are spending their first Christmas with us!!

I took the decision early on not to put out my nativity scene and I’m glad I didn’t because they keep knocking things over and pulling things down. They keep climbing my tree and flattening the branches and knocking off baubles  and chewing my ribbon, and yesterday they discovered if they pull hard enough they can pull my fireplace swag clean off the surround thus clearing any obstacles for them to sit on there – somewhere THEY NEVER CHOOSE TO SIT AT ANY OTHER TIME OF THE YEAR.

This year it’s going to be kill or cure for my OCD as I’m either going to have to deal with it – or go not so quietly insane battling with those damn cats – I’m hoping for the first option but as I left for work nearly in tears this morning as I again found my beautiful fire place destroyed I think odds are I’m currently leaning towards the latter!

Good Deed December

December means  Christmas, which to most means presents and food and drink and parties…and to be fair it does to an extent to me too but I’ve been thinking lately about the spirit of Christmas, the good will to all men and peace on earth sentiment possibly the romantic view but I thought why can’t it be like that? At least a little bit anyway, All it would take is a little effort to put a smile on peoples faces…

…So this December has been decreed Good Deed December, my own advent of good deeds.

Between now and Christmas day I plan on trying to complete a good deed each day and hopefully update here and my twitter feed (@essitam) using the tag #gooddeedfortheday, (when I get around to it, I suck at keeping blogs up to date maybe this is the impetus I need).

I’m sure some deeds will be more worthy than others but it’s important to remember the little things also count……

1st December Carried a ladies bags up a flight of stairs.

2nd December Dispatched James to an elderly neighbours to get her shopping list and went to the super market after work just for her (I needed nothing myself)

3rd December took the lovely lady in the post office a Lemsip, she was suffering when she dealt with my parcels and I thought she could do with it.

Continue reading Good Deed December

Merry Christmas

Maybe you are my friend, or maybe we’ve never met before.
Maybe we speak to each other daily, or maybe we’ve never so much as passed on the street.
Maybe I know you virtually in my on-line world of Twitter, of flickr, of moblog  or facebook.
Maybe I know you in the real world and every so often we’ll see each other in the pub or you come to my house and we laugh and joke the night away…
…but but however we may, or may not, know each other friend, family, acquaintance or stranger may I wish you the best for this festive season and a very prosperous new year…..


Merry Christmas.

A thank you

To the girl on the top deck of the 559 bus travelling from Wolverhampton towards Wednesfield at approximately 5:30pm last night.

I was the girl sitting in front of you wearing the black coat. You were the girl sitting behind me in the atrocious yellow jumper, purple skirt and black tight combination, complaining like an ungrateful bitch to the long suffering friend on the other end of your phone call,  that “like my mom and Dad have only got me a laptop for Christmas yeah, and I like sooo wanted a laptop last year but not now!!” and coughing every two minutes without a thought of placing at the very least your hand in front of you hole you were hacking out of.

Thank you,

Thank you for coughing down the back of my neck and sharing your germs. I really loved waking this morning with the start of a cough of my very own and a heavy head, It was so much fun to know that this festive season people were so into the whole sharing thing they’ve extended it to strangers on buses even if it wasn’t required or even really wanted.

I’m going to really enjoy spending the first Christmas in 5 years I’ll actually be at home with my son instead of stuck in work, feeling like shit, wrapped up with an hot water bottle and having to watch the festivities go on around me as the flu you shared has sapped me of all energy. Thanks a whole lot!

To anyone who knows this caring sharing person, The one with an annoying habit of holding conversations at the phone at the top of her voice over the phone while on the bus, please pass on my gratitude, and if you know her parents may I suggest that you go and offer them an alternative to the laptop they were going to buy for her that she blatantly isn’t bothered about getting …

…ask them to buy her some fucking tissues!!

Seasons Greetings Wolverhampton

‘Tis the season to become obsessive compulsive.

Christmas is once again upon us and amid the annual rush to the shops and the seasonal sense of having to enjoy yourself, a madness creeps upon me that I am desperately seeking a cure.

Mid November right through til mid December I become the worlds WORST obsessive compulsive. Christmas without fail brings out the perfectionist in me!

The tree has to go up at the first available opportunity in December – allowing for TBK feelings about having the tree up on his birthday which differs from year to year. Then the decorations HAVE to go on in order, lights first, then ribbons, pine cones, plain baubles, glitter baubles, and finally depending how I’m feeling either the star or the angel is sat on the top. We have one of each as I couldn’t make up my mind which I preferred so now every year I agonise over which one should go up as once the decision is made it has to stay that way! Everything has its “proper” place and I have redecorated whole trees if they don’t look just right.

James and TBK have learned not to be offended if they put something on the tree to later find it’s moved, after all there has to be and equal spread of decorations and colours or it wouldn’t look right! Right? At the same time as doing this I’ll also decorate the matching swag which sits on my fire surround in place of the family photographs which sit there for the rest of the year and all my candles etc get removed and replaced with nativity scenes, Santa Claus figurines and snowmen because Christmas supersedes EVERYTHING including family photos!

I wish it ended there but it gets worse…

I am relentless in my pursuit of the “perfect presents”, I beat myself up about them searching endlessly for just the right thing for each person. I make repeated lists of WHO to buy for, then other lists of WHAT I should buy. Then once a purchase has been made I spend hours deliberating whether I’ve made the right choice and “will they like it?”.  It takes James ages to talk me round but then once he’s finally convinced me that the gifts are fine and nobody really cares what they’ve receive, they have to be wrapped….

…For this I save a special kind of neurosis…

…All my presents have to be wrapped to a colour scheme – complimentary to, but different from that of my tree (which is gold and ivory) and it’s one scheme for the adults presents and one for the children’s but everything gets wrapped with matching ribbons and tags and if they aren’t wrapped just so they WILL be unwrapped to start all over again!!

Once finished they go under my tree and have to stay there unless I move them to put other presents people bring around behind them that don’t match my colour scheme!

My wrapping compulsion is such that two Christmases ago my manager at the time bought me all her Christmas gifts from home to wrap in work and it has been known for my sister to deliver her entire Christmas booty to my house complete with wrapping paper and sticky tape to wrap all her presents for her as “You’ll do a much better job than me”.

I’m such loser!

This Christmas I’m striving to be more relaxed and well, less anal about the whole thing.

The Christmas tree still went up the first chance I got (last night) but get this I let James choose whether the star or the angel went on the top, I let him hang some of the baubles AND I’ve left them where he put them(Kind of). I made a conscience desicion to buy wrapping paper so the adults and kids do NOT match and I haven’t finished putting all the decorations up, even though in previous years I’ve insisted i all go up in one night!

Now if you’ll excuse me as I have to go sit on my hands to stop me returning the lights I bought for the window that are just the wrong shade of white, adjusting those two red baubles which are much to close together (one should really be in the middle of those gold ones to distribute the colours) and moving Santa to the other side of the fireplace because he just looks so much better there….