9th January 2011
After two and a half weeks of festivities, culminating in Reyes last Thursday, I thought I would reflect on the lessons learnt by a wannabe goddess during a fantastic holiday season.
On the first day of Christmas my headache said to me, “mulled wine is not a good idea before breakfast!”
We’re not big drinkers but that mulled wine just slips down the throat far too easily. After a couple of glasses on Christmas Eve, and more on Christmas morning, I was ready to snooze through the Queen’s Speech and Christmas Day soaps. Not a good look when you’re staying at your in-laws!
On the second day of Christmas, my true love said to me, “why on earth did you buy me a magic wand?”
I love sourcing new and interesting presents but this time I may have fallen into the trap of buying something that I wanted rather than thinking it through! He is so difficult to buy for as his birthday is right by Christmas so I have to come up with two sets of presents. He also has an annoying habit of buying himself whatever he wants so I have to think outside of the box. Well, I’ve got over the humiliation of him laughing at my present in front of his parents but I notice the magic wand is still in its box. Oh well, I’ll sneak it out when he’s not looking and cast a wicked spell on him.
On the third day of Christmas, the high street said to me, “let the sales begin!”
I was thrilled to be in the UK for the start of the sales even if time constraints meant that I only had time to visit one store. Still, M&S was a great choice and I pepped up my wardrobe with a few bargains and, since I didn’t have hours to hunt around the shops, for once I didn’t come home with a load of turkeys that I’ll never use or wear.
On the fourth day of Christmas, the boss, she said to me, “right, let’s get back to work!”
It was back to Spain and back to work with a bump. I was disappointed to have rushed back from all the fun in the UK. Although the office has been quiet, it’s been a great time to reflect on 2010 and make preparations for the year to come. Next time, we’ll stay a few extra days in the UK as a long weekend with family just isn’t enough – especially over the festive period.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my dogs they said to me, “all change!”
It was time to move into our temporary accommodation where we regularly dog and house sit. In pouring rain and thunderstorms I drove all my kit and caboodle, and my dog up to their mansion only to find that I’d been told the wrong day. In future, I think we’ll double check dates told to us at Christmas parties!
On the sixth day of Christmas, my truelove said to me, “don’t forget to pick me up from the airport!”
Finally he was coming home and it was his birthday! I made a cake, wrapped his presents and battled through yet more rain and thunderstorms to rescue him from Malaga. On reflection, I always book his flight for 30th and perhaps it’s not very goddess like to expect him to leave his family and fly back on his birthday. We’ll have to work around that.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my friends did say to me, “come to ours for New Year’s!”
We had nothing planned for New Year’s Eve and I was looking forward to a night in with our dogs and a bottle of champagne. But a last minute invitation to a friend’s penthouse turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. Standing on a roof terrace, oohing and aahing at the fireworks from all around in great company. You don’t need to spend a fortune at a restaurant or bar to enjoy New Year’s Eve – sometimes the most entertaining evenings are those that are not planned at all!
On the eighth day of Christmas, my stomach said to me, “no more food!”
Right, that’s it. Next year I will not bake myself into a flabby stupor. It’s all good and well saving money baking Christmas presents left, right and centre but not only did I fly to the UK dreading customs asking me exactly how much brandy I had poured into the Christmas cake, but I also appear to have piled on the pounds, obviously by tasting everything I created. Sorry everyone but next year you’re getting home baked healthy treats.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my dogs did say to me, “let’s go out and have some fun!”
After a week of rain, we were all glad of some sunshine so that we could take the dogs out for a proper walk, as oppose to a miserable, tail down, “I don’t like the rain” walk. We had a fantastic day walking along the beach, hanging around our borrowed mansion, playing in the garden and catching up on some Christmas telly in the evening. A superb day’s entertainment and not a penny spent. The best!
On the tenth day of Christmas, my wallet said to me, “don’t spend so much money!”
The first working day of the New Year here in Spain and the bills they all did come a tumbling in. I have to confess that none of them were unexpected although, as per usual, I seemed to have blanked their existence from my mind while I was preparing for the holidays last month. It’s not a disaster and we’ll be fine but I still need to spend less at Christmas.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my truelove said to me, “what did I get you for Christmas?”
The best thing I did for Christmas was buy my own presents. There was none of the fake grimaces while I thanked relatives for yet more talcum powder. My in-laws may have been a bit surprised when they received a list of suggestions at the beginning of December but my parents weren’t at all surprised when I showed them how to order my kindle from Amazon and even typed in the credit card details and delivery address!
My truelove was perhaps the most surprised (and not terribly amused) when I told him that I’d bought us tickets to see Take That in Milan as my Christmas present. Still, it got him out of a shopping hole!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my family said to me, “let’s do it all again, the Spanish way!”
And so, I bought a Roscon de Reyes cake, cooked a roast meal for four humans and four dogs, and chilled the champagne. Well, it’s the last Christmas we’ll see before December!