That was always my total worst nightmare about going back to school – the bloody essay you always had to do on the first day. I’m never going to be someone who posts every day, but here I am choosing to write about “my holiday”...
I was well pleased to get over the cold thing; I had it so bad it was practically manflu, then one day it was just – gone. Pity it couldn’t have done it before I ended up paying arms and legs for special delivery in time for Christmas because I was previously too knackered to order things in good time.
And speaking of Christmas, the Santa thing for the kids is always a major balancing act. Starting with the budget, which bears little resemblance to how much money I’ve actually got, and moving on through juggling all the various criteria – fun, educational, cheap, expensive, something to actually do on Christmas Day, things they’ve been wanting for ages and things which will come as a total surprise, things which will stretch them and things which will provide gentle mindless fun. Then I adjust for value, volume and quantity – so they each have roughly the same size heap, worth approximately the same amount and taking more or less the same amount of time to unwrap. And yes, I have a spreadsheet for all this. And then I lay out the results in the sitting room late on Christmas Eve, realise that I’ve still got it wrong, and spend an hour moving things about from one pile to another...
Anyway, come the big day and I scored at least one genuine delighted grin from each of the kids, and one heartfelt “Wow, cool!” from each, so it all worked out in the end. One of the best reactions was from my oldest (14) on something I’d moved into his pile from that of the youngest (9) at the very last moment, so that just shows how much I know.
Doctor Who - aww, David Morrissey. I’ve only seen him in State of Play before, and I won’t say anything about the plot, in case anyone is still waiting to see it, but how sweet was that character? And how slashy??????
The wine was excellent, thanks for asking: Casillero del Diablo, a Chilean Shiraz Rosé, £6 from Waitrose.m31andy can probably vouch for the fact that my Christmas email was relatively intelligible this year which just goes to prove that my burning the dinner last year was more to do with extreme lack of sleep rather than the – oh all right, then, I drank the wine too fast last year, all right? This year I rationed myself a little more sensibly and was able to enjoy the dinner as well as the drink.
The 1911 census (England & Wales) was an unexpected bonus – I got an email out of the blue inviting me to take part in the beta test, which I duly did. I got very lucky on the counties they’d loaded, and was able to get images of the original pages for three of my grandparents, all the parents and most of the grandparents of those three, and similar scores for OH’s side of the family. As far as I know the beta site has now been taken down, but when it’s launched live next year I only have my Canterbury people - Cooks, Stents and Francises - left to do as Kent wasn’t included in the beta, plus of course my Dundee people – McPhersons and Cowans – whenever Scotland becomes available.
And Green Day... I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’d never even heard of them until the end of October. Then a rare conjunction of events – my youngest allowing other people to listen to his mp3 and my oldest allowing us to use his laptop as an amplifier – led to my hearing Boulevard of Broken Dreams and American Idiot while on holiday on a boat in Norfolk.
Anyway, long story short – got home, listened to Boulevard of Broken Dreams lots more times, loved it, wrote Broken Dreams. Then I started googling the band, reading a few interviews and watching a lot of their live performances on YouTube, and then a couple of days ago I suddenly got a fic idea and wrote it up. It’s just a vignette, about 350 words, and I’ll probably post it here once it’s edited.
I’d quite like to post it at a comm as well – I know there is Green Day slash out there, so if anyone knows any good comms, do let me know. Equally, if anyone has any negative comments or warnings about any Green Day comms I’d still like to hear them, but keeping in mind this is a public post, I’d prefer a PM as you never know who’s reading or what other comms and fandoms they might belong to.
Anyway, the witching hour approaches; I’ve just put out my offerings to the spirits of the New Year (a tradition from my grandmother, which may be Scottish – you put out coal, bread and a coin on New Year’s Eve to ensure that you have fuel, food and money for the coming year). Any minute now I’m going to insist the kids stop rewatching Doctor Who and turn over to Jools Hollands’ Hootenanny just to get the bongs.
Happy New Year to everyone, I hope it’s a great one!