Updated: Dec 26, 2020
A very Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours, may your days ahead be merry and bright.
We made it this far together didn't we?
We so did, didn't we?
Thank goodness for that!
What a strange year its been! I really don't think there's ever been, such a challenging year like it in my lifetime! We will never ever forget this year, for all the wrong reasons I guess?
The blog title I was going to use today was ' London is Broken', which it is, but it really does feel like old news now and not for the likes of a festive eve, when we should be very jolly. My own special brand of 'jolly' will mostly come from listening to the lovely UnFrench Wives reading children stories online, later tonight and I shall absolutely be joining you for Christmas Eve Apero at 9pm! See you there!
Anyway, him and I got back from Blighty just in time on Sunday evening and I have to say I do not want to repeat the 'selfish southern experience' anytime soon, which as it happens is a good thing, given the current travel restrictions.
I'm just not a city slicker thank you very much!
One, I couldn't breathe very well in London. I felt like I was suffocating, especially in a mask. I don't believe I have asthma, but I certainly felt my lungs were dangerously constricted.
The pollution, congestion and commercialism were very ugly! I was so over it in minutes few. The COVID rules clearly did not apply to Londoners and our first hotel was an absolute disaster! The wine bar in the hotel reception area was attracting the great unmasked general public and was really badly managed. We felt we had unwittingly entered COVID spreading hell!
Our bed was just awful and definitely in need of throwing out!
If the May Fair London is a flagship hotel, one; I will eat my hat and two; I won't be bothering again thank you! Will leave it to the WAGS in future. They are so welcome to it!
The hotel we actually booked was out of the city but Booking.com changed the booking at the last minute. We were initially grateful, that we still had a booking but that was very short lived! The new booking turned out to be very inconvenient as we had parking at the booked hotel and not at the new one. The May Fair is in the congestion charge area and parking was a kings ransom and your granny legs. We ended up leaving the car at my son's house to avoid further silly costs and took a taxi in. What an absolute faff trying to get a taxi to enter the congestion zone at peak time! It was utter chaos. We stayed two nights and then moved out of the city.
London was definitely on point, going about business as usual, never skipping a beat. It just all seemed very wrong, considering many other cities were in Tier 3. Everyone was racing everywhere. The stress was palatable and I could barely keep up. It really is the rat race and it didn't feel safe!
I'm not a bystander to bullying by any means, but I really should not have gotten involved when a 'chav' racially abused a Starbucks worker in the Mall. His little chubby kids emulated his abuse and trailed behind him sticking twos up at the poor woman, the poor woman just doing her dam job! I think I've forgotten how vile and dangerous some people are! I just couldn't believe my ears! So sad that being asked politely to pop a mask on and keep a distance from the customer in front almost ended in a punch up! Thankfully the security guards protected me and I hope I protected the girls job?
Of course, it took me just a few minutes few to load my shopping basket full of stuff I didn't need and I dove into that old habit: shopping, with gay abandon. I wish I hadn't but it's so easy to get pulled back into it all!
I did very much enjoy eating out until the Tiers changed. It had been so good to be offered decent Gluten Free grub but I fear I would definitely grow fat and lazy, with takeaways just a click away! Safe Celiac eating in restaurants, seems to be one things I've had to give up, living in France.
It was so good to see the big kids, pinch their cheeks, hang out in our little bubble and bother them a bit, but I am so very, very glad to be home, home being France. Our own blissful, comfortable bed and the peace and quiet of the Norman countryside, priceless.
I feel 100% much safer here than I did there, frankly.
As soon as we were off the ferry my chap finally started smiling again! He really doesn't need the trappings of British life, never did. I think I need a little buzz once in a while and that's enough. I really can't imagine living there permanently now.
It's a very mild winter here in Normandy. Still very green, quite windy, wet and wild but we are very cosy in the rental cottage. A huge contrast to last winter in Canada. This year I don't much care about a white Christmas, keep it!
We now have only three months left in the rental cottage, before the big move to The French Wreck and that will be a rather different beast than we initially imagined, thanks mainly to BREXSHIT. My brother was supposed be coming over at the end of January to craft our kitchen and still may? Still, we've had to be realistic, as we truly don't know what travelling back and forth will look like post Armageddon....er I mean....Brexshit! With the added restrictions of COVID and my crystal ball being totally without any second sight......Who the fudge knows?
What will be, will be!
The dogs came back from the kennels in fine fettle but a little 'weighty Katy'! So the festive period will be mainly walking it all off with them (including our over consumption of food in the UK), after a turkey dinner or two of course.
In the last few days, I've finally gotten round to making a soupçon of Christmas effort, lightly decorated and set the table for two this year. It's the first ever time it's just been 'me and him' in nearly 32 years. Normally its a full house. He's busy 'rolling' the turkey, I've basted the ham and the fizz is achillin, it's all good. I can totally do this!
Honestly, it feels really strange, self indulgent and oh so quiet. No last minute anything. I'm not exhausted or concerned I've forgotten some ingredient or gift! No pre Christmas Day anxiety! Bizarre. I find I'm actually watching the movies I usually hear from the lounge whilst tied to the kitchen sink! I could possibly get used to a chilled out festive season? Who knows!
Being brutally honest, I didn't want to celebrate without the family initially, but 'him in doors' is insisting on business as usual. He's kinda pulled me along with him and I have finally found a little Christmas spirit.
We had hoped to see the 'parentals' and our eldest daughter when in the UK, but given the different tiers, we both decided it was a bad idea. Personally, I couldn't forgive myself if I'd unwittingly passed the virus on to my Mum and Dad.
Somethings are just worth waiting for eh? This pandemic? It's just little life interruption that can't go on forever!
In other news, Beth is doing really well in the care home! We were hoping to visit but we realised sadly that it was much too early. She needs to get used to the routine first. Find her feet as it were. She's had a pretty bad couple of years and I'm hopeful that with care and management, she will thrive there. We can visit when this pandemic is a distant memory and she's had time to settle. It's good news though and the care home has been telling us she is doing really well, so far.
Does rather feel like a Christmas miracle now doesn't it?
Apparently, our girl is spending time quietly crafting and has made all the Christmas decorations for the home. I couldn't quite believe it, brings tears to my eyes just thinking about her.
I'm signing off for a week now, but I'd like to thank you all for your support and kindness over the years. Thank you for the friendship and a very merry Christmas to you all. Wherever you are, may you be safe, happy and healthy. Remember, it's just one year of turmoil out of many other good ones. Lots of love......!