Tag Archives: Christmas dinner

The Set Up: Christmas 2012

I wasn’t ready for Christmas this year. Supermums are supposed to be ready for everything. I’m not a supermum.

I have a new headteacher. Every word from his mouth falls like nectar on my nectar-starved ears. But – and there always is one, isn’t there? – he is obsessed with marking. This is actually a pretty outrageous idea nowadays, and most teachers will tell you (under SS interrogation methods, admittedly) that most teachers’ raison d’etre is to get out of marking/not create marking/put off marking until under Inspection-level threat of being found out for not marking. As I resolved in September that He must not find out what a complete idiot I am capable of revealing myself to be until at least Christmas, I have spent the last four months uncharacteristically punctual, planned and prepared. And marked.

I knew Christmas was coming. Decorations started appearing in the street on the way home from work in November, my daughter upped a gear in the ‘must have or I will die stakes’ and my son did his usual reverse psychology ‘I want nothing.’ (He has been in permanent ‘want mode’ since he realised that simply looking at me will get him pretty much anything my credit card limit can produce.)

In all fairness to me, I did drift on to Amazon in the middle of November but after two purchases for   each of them, I remembered the stress of awaiting deliveries last year and abandoned that particular method of self-torture for a while.

I swiftly moved on to more important people: the finance lady and photocopying woman at my school. These two ladies keep me afloat. I am a rare creature: a Head of Department whose  capitation balances annually and I am never short of lesson material regardless of whether my latest brainwave/inspiration hits me three days or 3 minutes before my lesson. So Tesco were duly ordered to deliver most of the items on my Favourites and a bottle of Baileys (on offer. Yessss !) and a bottle of vodka to ensure these particular areas of my general disorganisation remain well outside the Headteacher’s room.

The last day of term finally arrived: the Head played a blinder and stuffed the in-crowd’s in-joke fest of ‘Secret Santa’ by organising a full staff Christmas lunch at lunchtime in the canteen and in one sweep forced ‘certain people’ to exchange their ‘gifts’ (essentially props to show  the rest of the staff how well they know each other whilst making everyone else feel like they should check whether they actually work on the same premises) at break in the laughingly labelled ‘staff room’.

(You’re beginning to get the ‘ruminations’ thing, aren’t you?)

And so it was the ‘Saturday before Christmas’ and ‘supermum’-not had no choice but to face what the BBC and Sky News were both predicting to be ‘the busiest shopping day ever’ to find ‘something to put under the tree’ to make an 18 year old’s and a 20 year old’s faces light up on Christmas morning. And a turkey. And the vegetables, and all the other stuff that if you don’t have in your house, wanted or not, will prevent the entire universe celebrating the birth of Jesus. And the wallpaper for the corner in the kitchen around the new boiler; the grouting for the re-organised tiles around the new boiler; the curtains for my bedroom (recently and finally re-decorated due to a water leak back in the summer) and the mushrooms and bacon for my dad in Mid-Wales for his ‘mushroom gravy and bacon Christmas / Boxing Day / the 27th …. dinner’.

The  ’mushroom gravy and bacon’ was duly delivered on Christmas Eve. Thanks to the new boiler the house (actually, a bungalow) is now warm for the first time since we moved here in August 2002 and thanks to Tesco home delivery and a foray into town the fridge was now full. However, the turkey – demanded by my son (no argument or logical reason required obvs) – looked rather forlorn squashed in its metal-clipped plastic bag on the draining board as the house was locked up for the day.

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More perceptive readers are still with me because they will have sensed this is this ‘diary’ of a ‘fuck up’. Hitherto I have only revealed minor clues as to why reading this blog may in some small way make others feel good about themselves. Those still with me will have sensed some major shit being built up to. Well done. My solution to ‘keeping the turkey cold while we’re out for the next 9 hours’ was leaving it on the step outside the kitchen door. Despite not a chill in the chill-less air, despite the locale being swarmed with irresponsible cat owners and despite my brother’s empty fridge (another blog for another day) just begging to be filled with something to use up its ridiculously high electricity tariff, I did leave the turkey on the step outside the kitchen door. And yes, it did stink to Holy Hell when I opened it at 8 o’clock that night. And yes, that smell did stay with me through the basting and the gravy making and the carving and the looking back up at me from my plate on Christmas Day. And yes, that does sum up Christmas 2012.

This entry was posted on January 1 2013