Today we went to get the Christmas tree as always from a little farm in Higher Disley which always seems to have the brightest, bushiest and freshest. I set off in the Landie - Archie - with the little ones singing along to a bad christmas song tape (yes, someone still makes them, tapes i mean). I was feeling quite upbeat and looking forward to choosing a tree together. And then it hit me. Sometimes the smallest thing can push you over the edge. Perhaps it was the fug and warmth and bad carols, but i found myself sobbing silently, trying not to let the children see my tears. This is our first Christmas on our own. Choosing the tree had been one of OUR special things as a couple. Bad time of year this - so much expectation, so much forced and real jollity, so much pressure to have a nice time, get everything right, be everything to everyone...Sometimes it's all just too much.
Molly said to me," Are you going to carry the tree, mummy?" Yes, who else is there? The plight of single mothers everywhere is that you just have to get on and do the things you thought you couldn't possibly manage.
"My big mummy," she says - and i am, to her four year old frame. I'm contemplating how i'm going to get this huge tree we've just bought onto the Landrover roof rack - luckily there's a little ladder on the back. I'm 5'2" and fairly slight and this tree is considerably bigger than i am. But i manage, and i give myself another gold star for grin-and-bear-it; and another first is passed and i'm still here.
I bought some little chocolate Santas to go on the tree. Small children love them out of all proportion. I don't suppose they pass the taste test or the style test, but i would never be allowed to get away without them - not for a good few years at least. I remember when i was small we had chocolate candles and angels with gold radiating fronds; ridiculously ornate affairs for christmas tree chocolates (and maybe that's why you never see them anymore), but they were magical things that remain where other things have faded.I'll keep the santas under wraps until Christmas is fully upon us or the mice will surely visit and deplete their number.
There's no entry for you today so maybe you ate light. We have pudding - sticky toffee pudding with custard - but no dinner planned as such. Expect i'll just see what i can do with whatever i can find in the fridge. Increased the timer on the heating as it gets darker and colder earlier, and there's nothing more miserable than waiting for the heating to come on.
Yours from the depths of a winter's day,