Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas

We're in the UK for Christmas. It's been tremendously snowy here, which has been gorgeous, but has caused complete chaos. My husband got delayed in the Middle East for 12 very frustrating hours. Luckily he was flying Business so got treated very well, but I pity the poor economy passengers who I think were left on an aircraft for more than four hours with no food or drink, waiting to see if Heathrow would re-open. It didn't....

In the end my husband changed to a Manchester flight and flew in minus his bag, which has just arrived, four days later (to be honest, we didn't expect to see it again this side of Christmas!) Dad and I set off at 5am to collect him on icy roads in -12c. It was a scary journey, but we were determined to get him!

We're now down south with my father-in-law getting ready for our first family Christmas. Our son is changing every day, and he's so much fun. He's sitting up and trying to talk. Brilliant.

Merry Christmas! We are so lucky to be together, as so many families aren't this year. And we are truly, truly blessed to have our beautiful little boy. We will never, ever, take that for granted.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Things I hope my Grandmother hasn't taught me

My son and I are currently in the UK, staying with my parents. My husband's flying in tomorrow for Christmas. We can't wait.

Yesterday, we all went up to the north of England to visit family there, including a visit to see my Grandmother, who hadn't yet had a chance to meet my son, her third great-grandchild.

Those who've read my blog for a while will remember this post about a trip I made to see her just before I moved out to the Middle East. It was a lovely visit, one I will always remember.

Sadly, yesterday was a day I'd rather forget. Mum had been telling me for some time that my Grandma's attitude had deteriorated. She has always had a rather selfish, stubborn personality, but this seems to have got worse and worse over the last ten years or so. Added to this, she also seems to have become very paranoid. And, as I mentioned in my previous post, she's a wily old bird, but she's putting this to bad use now, unfortunately.

At 95, she's still living in her own home. The problem is, she's finding it harder to look after herself, but continually refuses to pay for the care she needs, insisting her two daughters (one of whom is my Mother, who lives 2 and a half hours away) should be doing it instead. She continually claims to be lonely, but refuses to be picked up to visit family members, has refused an invite for Christmas Day, and won't even countenance visiting a local day centre (not HER sort of people or HER sort of food, apparently!)

When we saw her yesterday, I started trying to have a nice chat with her, but instead of responding in kind, she laid into me for not phoning her when I'm visiting the UK. I tried explaining how busy and overwhelmed I am when I visit, but instead, she then said "Yes, well at the moment, your life is full. But you wait until you're old and nobody cares about you, your husband has died and your son has left home, and you're all alone, and then you'll know how I feel". Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, indeed...

She complains nobody visits her enough. Well, it's clearly not surprising when she's so horrendously unpleasant. The sad thing is that if she wanted company, fun, laughter and family, she could have it in abundance! Comparisons with Scrooge come to mind...

So, I really hope that if I have the honour of getting to her age (she also told me I might get lucky and die before her age! Briliant!) I hope I manage to keep my ability to wish joy for other people, and find joy all around me. Because, if she even tried to look for it, it's definitely there.

Monday, 6 December 2010

A baby just like you

Earlier today I was listening to a Christmas album I've listened to every year since I was tiny - John Denver and the Muppets, A Christmas Together. I'm not exactly John Denver's biggest fan, but I have to say that an album which could have been horribly cheesy actually succeeds in being funny, charming and touching, and I'm looking forward to playing it to my son every Christmas as he grows.

Whilst listening to it, I realised there was a song lurking on there that held a lot of relevance for me this year. John Denver wrote it for his little son. I thought I'd share the lyrics with you. I particularly love the third verse.

A Baby Just Like You

The season is upon us now
A time for gifts and giving.
And as the year draws to its close,
I think about my living.

The Christmastime when I was young,
The magic and the wonder.
But colours dull and candles dim
And dark my standing under.

Oh little Zachary, shining light
You've set my soul to dreaming,
You've given back my joy in life
And filled me with new meaning.

A saviour king was born that day
A baby just like you.
And as the Magi came with gifts
I've come with my gift too

That peace on earth fills up your time,
That brotherhood surrounds you.
That you may know the warmth of love
And wrap it all around you.

It's just a wish, a dream I'm told,
From days when I was young.
Merry Christmas little Zachary.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Words and music by John Denver and Joe Henry

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Room to grow

We've now been in our new place for a few weeks, and it already feels like home. Despite it being slightly empty of furniture (we will get there in the end!) it's light, bright, and comfy. We love it. It's made such a difference to how I feel about living here. I thought I might feel cut off, moving from a compound full of other aviation wives, but in fact, I feel free and far less claustrophobic. It was definitely the right decision.

The house currently looks even more gorgeous, as we've just put our Christmas decorations up. Yep, it's a tad early, but that's because we're going home to the UK for Christmas! I'll be flying home with our little boy in less then two weeks, and my husband will follow four days later after a trip to the far east. We can't wait - my husband is particularly looking forward to the break, as he has permanent jet-lag at the moment from too much flying! An occupational hazard...



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