Today was the annual family get together. We aren’t usually all together at Christmas so, the first day we are all available after that we meet in the same spot, at the same time, every year, and eat in Chinatown.
This year was the same as any other, yet different. It’s the first year I’ve gotten up and really appreciated that we are all still here. It was also the first one without Helena, my brother’s recently-ex, who I missed. But my dad said it was different because, I’m advised, I’m ‘more smiley‘ than I’ve been ‘in ages‘. My bigger brother agreed.
Apparently I should take time off more often or, as my Dad put it, ““Can’t you break a leg or something next?”
I expect most people who are supposed to be flying into London today are huffing and puffing about their flights being cancelled due to the snow. I would love my flight to be cancelled, but it is not. As I type I am huddled under a rug in front of a fire, over which someone has just toasted me a pile of warm marshamallows that smell like spun sugar, and listening to the sound of tearing sellotape as the the same someone wraps Christmas presents in the other room. As I already wrapped all his presents to others for him, I wonder if they might even be for me…
A little bit of normal is here and I’m loving it. This is the first week where I’ve felt like I can do things without making too much of a back-up plan. If they said I could go back to work next week then I would. And in hindsight that kind of fits because my GP originally said a number of weeks but it turned out that meant going back Christmas week – i.e. next week – and so she said avoid the busy-ness of that and go back in the new year. How funny and cool that she predicted to a tee.
The weirdity of being off ill for more than a couple of days is, of course, that you’re not in a position to enjoy the fact you have some time off. My boss recently pointed out that when you’re in most need of a proper holiday is when you’re too busy or too sick to take one. Apart from the insurance issue, getting there is too tricky and tiring, exploring is not an option, energy is not available, your own sofa and bed aren’t there, and basically it’s easier to be at home anyway because you’ve already put everything in the most ergonomic place for the circumstances and worked out how to make it work. Though the idea of sitting by a glorious outdoor pool, with sunshine warming your skin, with a big fat novel (that you can’t read) and a pretty cocktail (that you aren’t allowed to drink) is still the most appealing thing in the world. Anyway… I digress….
Going outside the UK is a no-go because of the travel insurance, but Northern Ireland is in the UK and on Thursday I’m getting on a plane and going for a few days. My friend at the other end has stayed here since ‘the incident’ so knows the score. And, not that I want to feed an already-in-danger-ego, but my dad credits them with the week that he thinks I turned from ‘obviously sick’ to ‘nearly normal’. And, let’s face it, ‘nearly’ is as close as I’ve ever been.
So now I need a new Christmas party frock, because the warfarin weight makes the ones in my wardrobe less flattering than I would like. (I ought to blog on the warfarin weight thing, but my hair stopped falling out before it became an issue so I’m trying to look on the bright side;though WW beckons in the new year!) And then I am sorted. It’s almost like a real holiday. With drugs and sidelong glances from people just checking my head hasn’t exploded!
People ask if I’m still doing physio (no) and going to hospitals (occasionally) and for bloods on a regular basis (yes). But the best therapy I’ve found so far is baking. I kid you not.
This began one morning when I wasn’t feeling like the happiest bunny, and my friend suggested making a Christmas cake. Within minutes this escalated into a competition between his cake – now revealed to be Delia’s recipe – and mine – a Nigella recipe.
You can see the progress on mine below. As it turns out… men seem to like his cake, which is dense like… bread pudding; women seem to like mine, which is lighter and more cake like. An analogy of the sexes? Perhaps, but nevertheless it is true. In almost scientific tests compromising of 4 men and 5 women, this was 100% true.
What’s that you say? There were more women? Which meant mine got the most votes? And therefore technically won? Gosh, I hadn’t noticed!
This morning we are making bagels. You boil them for 2 minutes before you bake them. I love bagels so we shall see how they turn out. If it works, well, they are sooo much cheaper this way that I may be a convert.