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Happy bloody new year – what a start! Was being sooooo good, and nice to children, and everything: focusing hard on the date of release – term starts 7th Jan – term starts 7th Jan – term starts 7th Jan – THEN IT DIDN’T. Bastard, buggering snow.

Hockey club dinner kicked the season off splendidly. Seems an occasion designed to cause maximum embarrassment all round – but that is my milieu and I rather shone. Secret Santa being required I gamely headed off to Ann Summers (obviously ) but having been super busy ended up doing this late in time with all 4 children in tow. Left them standing just inside the door acting as an awful warning – don’t shop here look what happened to me! – while I made smash and grab raid on the chocolate willies. Unfortunate that most of the children can now read as had to explain various interesting advertisements whilst queueing to pay – interspersed with roars at Ben to “take those off your head”. The dinner itself was a rather raucous affair. I did well though – Was possibly the only one to achieve the hat trick of – no snogging, no vomiting and home with all the articles I started with.

Rather missed my usual attempts at a Martha Stewart/Kirstie Allsop/ Nigella Christmas as was still with-builder on Christmas eve. So no protracted madness of baking, crafting or decorating and all rather thrown together – much to Oppressed Husband’s relief. Having been reasonably organised about present buying I had hidden all the Father Christmas merchandise very cleverly in the music cupboard which backfired splendidly as Impatient and Imbecile Husband, having no part in these proceedings and finding STUFF in his way, threw it into the hall in plain sight of the children – thus endangering the whole crafty, morally dubious, subterfuge that is ‘Santa’. Put it this way – NOT PLEASED!

Christmas holidays went surprisingly well. Domestic machine failure confined to the microwave and the crap dishwasher so really much better than usual. We braved Bath Abbey on Christmas morning hoping that our last visit had been forgotten or at least not connected with our faces – Sam and Ben quickly made sure that we were remembered by starting a Cowboy versus Indian fight in the pew, complete with scalping and war cries.

Was particularly grateful for the remote control Tarantula entertaining greatly both the boys . They particularly enjoy placing it in people’s beds then listening for the screams. So thanks from me are somewhat muted. The beastly thing feels much too realistic to the toes.