A Cracker of a Christmas

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks and now someone has told me that it’s Christmas in only 10 days time. I really think I should have been given more warning of this so that I could get Panic Mode cranked up to its full splendour. Or maybe Panic Mode is more spectacular when there’s less time to feed it. Perhaps next Christmas no one should tell me until the very last minute then see what happens: Christmas lunch would be chocolate on toast and everyone would get money with a bow on it. This could work fabulously as a system.

I learned a new fact today. Apparently the millihelen is used to measure beauty. If Helen of Troy’s face launched 1000 ships, 1 millihelen is the amount of beauty required to launch one ship. A whole new vocabulary opens up. Before I party tonight, I’ll spend time Helening myself up. I can imagine the children will launch into the scoring system. ‘32.4 millihelens tonight, Mum, but some of that’s the new dress.’ Or ‘Slept badly did you, mother? -16 today.’

I was interviewed on Friday by the lovely Katie (999; one hair was out of place) from Liz Lean PR Agency. PR Agency to a doctor doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as to the rest of the world, but luckily she had come to examine my mind, not nether regions. One of the things she wanted to chat about was how I managed to keep all the plates spinning: business, kids, writing. Easy answer: synergy; kids help with the writing and work in the business. (No, not sin energy; that’s an entirely different subject.) Although sometimes I feel a bit like the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland; running flat out to stand still.

What I failed to tell her was that my mind operates like soup, a morass of all sorts of bits of stuff swirling around. Thankfully for the inside of my skull, it’s not boiling, despite bubbling; body temperature to be precise. Stuff floats to the surface, then I skim it off and deal with it or think yeah right, like I need to do that. Flotsum off.

When I’m writing, it seems as if there’s one of those electric whizzy things in the gloop, stirrings up more quickly, so some very interesting results rise to the surface. Although I have control of my mind most the time, the soup-swirl-ideas effect is pretty much out of my control. Caffeine whizzes it faster, cooking or laundry slows it. A game of Monopoly seizes it for a month.

This week saw the sending out of Christmas cards. It’s something I love doing as it brings to mind all friends that you hardly ever see. We always write a Christmas letter although we stick to having fun with it rather than shoving in much news; more of a Christmas Non-Newsletter (CNN).

My youngest son has been helping me wrap presents. I should have the wisdom to leave him wrapping only square things but foolishly, I didn’t. We now have a pile of bizarrely shaped secret things which look like wrapped hedgehogs, mini-Christmas trees, shovels, representations of the solar system; usual stuff. Thought I’d left t-shirts and mugs. My error.

This year I seem to be relatively well-organised owing to digs in the ribs from various people, including best friend, husband and children. I’m now black and blue from the waist up, but successful. I just need to put the mince pie for Santa and saucer of milk for the reindeer by the chimney. Though if somebody could explain to me why a reindeer needs to accompany Santa down the chimney, I’d love to know. Drawn by the scent of milk is my guess.

By the time I post again, the great Christmas hoopla will be over and we’ll all be looking forward to the New Year rara. Since I completely love all of this, one could assume that the aftermath would be almost mentally post-apocalyptic, but January looks rather good fun from this distance, so I decline being sad. I shall remain my current state of being like a room without a roof. Also smiling adds at least 50 millihelens. That makes me 34 today after my bad night.

Enjoy the festive season, everyone.

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About alisongardiner1

Writer of YA series of books. Broadcaster/podcaster Litopia After Dark.
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