Call me Scrooge. I really don’t mind.

So I’m looking forward to 27th December.  Is that bad?  You don’t actually have to answer that; by which I mean, I would respect your view because you are entitled to one, but the question was hypothetical.   It’s simply how I’m feeling this year.

Our son is away in New Zealand working for five months until March, about which I genuinely couldn’t be happier.  He is well, becoming bored of the pizza he and his ‘flatmates’ heat up daily in their single story property which wouldn’t look out of place in a dated outback movie.   He is loving the long hours and the farm machinery he has been entrusted to drive.  The landowners have been singing his praises for the fieldwork he has carried out for the contractor he is employed by, an hour south of Queenstown (he’s only been stuck once in the biggest tractor on the farm, because he didn’t quite believe that thirty inches of rain can fall over two days and leaves some fields a little soggy.  (When you live in England, thirty millimetres is considered a lot!).

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But without him here, and with our daughter starting that tradition of splitting her time between us and her BF’s, there just doesn’t seem to be much Christmas spirit within me.   We have a tree, and some decorations rescued from the barn and the dust and they sit around purporting to contribute to some ritual undertaken by most of Christianity at this time of year.   I’m just not feeling it.   That’s my problem, not anyone else’s and not even how Man of the Woods feels.   He is one of four children and they had a ball growing up on the farm.  Christmas was a special time to be spent with cousins and extended family and his home would have looked not unlike the set of Home Alone I suspect and all the fun which goes with that.

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Now I’m not getting the violin out here, but having no siblings, nor cousins, (due to having only one uncle, who never married) Christmases for me were a somewhat subdued affair.  Spent with alternate sets of grandparents each year, I grew up listening to my mother’s hatred for her mother in law – thankfully a feeling I do not share as mine is a saint – and from a very young age would be, what I now clearly see is a manipulation of the truth, coerced into agreeing with her about all aspects of ‘granny’s’ behaviour.   I’m not going into the details.    I recall playing Monopoly each year and I would always insist on being the dog.  Sometimes dad and I would play Mastermind and I always enjoyed trying to work out what his body language might mean as he surreptitiously stroked his moustache and grinned when I placed a coloured peg in a hole.

Suffice to say that in two days time Man of the Woods and I are cooking the festive lunch for the first time in around fifteen years because we have always done the turns thing.   With my own mother being really quite ill this year and mother in law simply deserves a treat, we decided back in October to suggest this and, like everyone knows, it is the only roast meal which needs discussion from October.   They all said they’d love to.

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But all I keep feeling up to is reading and watching Christmas movies and thinking about writing!!   I’m about 68,000 words and am seriously contemplating not trying to produce any more, and instead reworking many of them and reducing it to a 50,000 word count aimed at Mills and Boon True Love line.     Then two days ago I felt like studying what their Dare line had to offer and downloaded a Clare Connelly title Season to Sin.  I read it in two sittings!    I loved Clare’s writing style plus the heat I fancied was there aplenty alongside a great love story.    If a bit of cheeky sometimes hits the spot, I recommend it.

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This was the photo I uploaded to my instagram account, having announced I would not be partaking in Insta until I’d reached 70,000 words.  I failed; what am I like?  Confused I think it would be safe to say.

Have a great Christmas everyone; see you on the other side! xx