Tuesday, 23 December 2014

A Christmas Staple

See what I did there. Replaced Story with Staple? Yes was a bit lame. Its meant to be a nice lead into signing off till after the big day. The Christmas staples have all been taken care of. That is the Gingerbread House, the school plays, school parties (seems like a million years ago), carol concerts, mince pies, spiced Xmas muffins for friends and my postie men folk. Seriously, you have to look after these guys. The postman and two Hermes guys get a fiver each and Xmas Muffins.  They deliver all my stuff all year round. Look after your postman and they'll look after you! The hairdresser also - even if they do give you a 1980s retro Madonna haircut.

The gingerbread xmas jumper biscuits for teachers and doubling up as place settings, the table centre piece (courtesy of my husband who's sexuality I'm doubting! Don't worry its a standing joke in this house whenever his creative juices are flowing even he says "I'm soooo gay").

My husbands wonderful table creation 

My turkey is on its way from the butcher (again tip the delivery guy -which may be my friend's husband - even better), the Aldi shop was done with military precision with my daughter. We went just after it opened, got a prime location parking space, was first at the check out and were home by 10.15 am on Sunday.

Its nearly Christmas Eve where all the preps will be done with my daughter - who loves helping out in the kitchen. I have my parents and one sister coming to join us for Christmas dinner.  I might even fit in a church service with the kids.

Now, this all sounds lovely but I would also like to remember the people that can't be with us at Christmas time. Christmas can also be a very upsetting and basically a shit time for people. It isn't a glitzy John Lewis advert full of festive cheer and merriment.

I am thinking of  the families that have lost people this year. My great uncle died last week and a mum I know was left widowed with 3 children - he wasn't even 40.  I suspect this Christmas will be one to get through rather than a joyous occasion.

I will also remember my wonderful grandad who I always miss at Christmas and generally feel blessed to still be around to experience life. Sadly, we can't always live life as if it were the last day. Life doesn't work like that. But we can feel blessed with what we have. The simple things.

Finally, I keep remembering an old work colleage Parryman - as I used to call him. He was called Peter Parry and we started our job at the same time. We sat opposite each other and immediately bonded. The love affair was instant. We used to email each other across our desk. We had bacon sandwiches together in the staff restaurant every Friday. We would phone each other on our 'working from home day'  and discuss cases before me going for a swim and him going to the gym.

We would be joint at the hip and have such a laugh. I was high maintenance and dramatic. He was my reason and calm. We did compliment each other though and made each other laugh in equal measure. Peter was gay. He had been with the same boyfriend from his late teens.  He had been anorexic when he was younger and whilst skinny he did eat but was extremely conscience of his slight frame. He would work out and always have a snickers bar sitting on his desk. I used to say "are you going to bloody well eat this thing?" - of course he never did and replaced the ones that I ate!

He would tell me of the drunken things I said at the office party between pissing himself with laughter. We would whoop with delight when wagamama's arrived at Canary Wharf and following on from 2001 we had a standing joke to "hold onto your legs" whilst travelling the tube. He was also such a gent - he'd always open a door for me and be so kind. And no you didn't need botox in your 30s. You looked fine Peter. I'll always remember him telling me, before he went on holiday, he'd hoover backwards until he reached the front door and how he'd pay his sister to wrap his Xmas presents. He had a wonderful close relationship with his family.

I have so many stories and memories I couldn't possibly list them all here but he so loved Christmas and a G&T.

Peter in his nice shirt - am sure it was French Connection
Then I got pregnant and after the birth I never came back to work and had 2 more children.  We keep in contact for a few years then, as things do, it fizzled out and we lost contact.  I found out a few years ago he died.

So Parryman, Peter "I know people", Peter and your wrapping issues. I'll be thinking of you this Xmas and feel grateful for those wonderful years we had together.

Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you all so much for reading my waffling blog and commenting. I wish you all peace and happiness in 2015!



  1. Wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas. And all the best for the New Year too! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

    1. Happy Christmas Carole wishing you a wonderful New Year also xx

  2. Merry Christmas! (LAte I know - sorry). And wishing you a wonderful New Year and 2015. xxx

    1. Lovely to hear from you - wishing you and your daughter a wonderful 2015 xx

  3. I hope you've had a fabulous time with the family Natasha. Mich x

    1. Thank you Mich we did and hope you did too xx