I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

Farewell 2014

Me on Christmas Day

Me on Christmas Day

Christmas was wonderful although already it’s a distant memory of over-indulgence, Downton Abbey’s tortuous Christmas special and an epic two-hour Playmobil assembly session (hungover) that began at 5.30am.

We are now back home and preparing for the next Big Event of over-indulgence (but thankfully NOT Downton or Playmobil) – Hogmanay. We are hosting again this year as its easier with the kids and is a great excuse to use the posh room*. Also, there is the welcome bonus of being inundated with kind offerings of booze which kept us going until spring time last year.

As I fret over smoked salmon blinis (I think that plan will be shelved as I’m not entirely sure what they are) and Parmesan biscuits, I’m trying to steal some moments to reflect back on the past year.

Thank heavens then for Facebook’s clever ‘Year in Review’ feature as my memory seems to stop at two weeks ago. My vague recollections were duly confirmed: it was a bloody great year. The pictures, randomly selected by the algorithm, perfectly displayed a year of precious moments with friends, family, the kids, the puppy and an enormous catfish (WTF Facebook?). I couldn’t help thinking that something was missing though, that it was all a bit rose-tinted, and frankly, vomit-inducing so I turned instead to my status updates which gave a much more honest view of 2014.

Here are some of my favourites:


I’m not going to bother with resolutions for 2015 as I failed miserably at last years  (dust regularily?? Was I on drugs??) but I can only wish for more of the same happy, special moments, although I can live without the gigantic catfish, if I’m honest. See you next year!

*i.e. the only one that hasn’t been trashed by the kids. Yet.


Oranges and Angels

There are three more days until Prosecco Day Christmas Day and I am safely ensconced at my parents’ house with the girls. My husband is sensibly minimising exposure to the chaos and arrives on Christmas Eve. I am feeling pleasantly calm about the whole thing, having gone through the stress of having to be hyper-organised before we left. ‘Santa’ presents (for how long must we peddle this lie???) were dispatched, all wrapped, last week with my parents who came down for the unmissable school concert. Shoddy handcrafted efforts have been hurriedly finished off and wrapped before I change my mind and rush off to M&S. I’m even up-to-date with my Christmas cards , which is a miracle considering they were a week late arriving from the printer.

I strongly suspect that this is the last year of our exploitative festive greeting. Even the youngest was reluctant and I had to change the theme at the last minute as they refused to be wise men – “WE ARE GIRLS”. A mere nuance if you ask me but I respected their wishes and hurriedly hacked up a duvet cover to make angel costumes. Only the dog seemed up for it and is the only one in focus but we got there in the end and some have said it’s our best yet.


I am unapologetic for that pun. Deal with it.


As part of my ongoing, ‘Christmas Is Not Just About Santa’ series of daily lectures, I took the girls to church on Sunday so they could hear it from an expert who I hoped would carry more clout. It was a special family service and lovely minister Steve had organised some activities to hold the children’s interest. We had all been handed an orange and a bag of sundry items on arrival and after listening to the story of the first Christingle, we were encouraged to make our own. Soon the dulcet sound of muttered swear words echoed round the little church as we tried to pierce our oranges with a birthday candle then secure a ribbon round it with cocktail sticks. I was doing quite well until I discovered my youngest was happily munching away on my ‘fruits of the earth’ (dolly mixtures) and the eldest had expertly peeled her orange representing the world and was greedily scoffing the lot.


This was not achieved.

By the time I got over the shock of her eating a piece of fruit without emotional blackmail or threats of violence, Rev Steve had moved on to Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

I shudder to think what their interpretation of the true meaning of Christmas is now but it was a lovely service and I feel spiritually nourished and prepared for the festive onslaught ahead. Did I just hear a cork popping?