It's mad, isn't it? I spent the first 33 years of my life free from the claws of the internet and all social media, surviving on the art of letter writing and the services of a landline phone the size of a breeze block, and now, here I am, after 15 days of being 'cut off' because of a snapped wire (ah...the joys of countryside living!) feeling little more than a twitching, gibbering wreck with urges of euphoria usually associated with the illegal imbibing of banned drugs, or paracetemol and codeine, because that is as far as my drug taking history has ever ventured.
Yes! The man with a van and some local council approved traffic lights arrived yesterday and twiddled in a new bit of cable and here we are, back again! I only got testy once with Plusnet, which I thought was pretty restrained for me, but then I was hampered by having NO phone and NO internet. Pah! It was an isolating couple of weeks, especially the two days when Andy was in Croydon and the neighbours appeared to have gone away, too. I told Flora that if there was an emergency she'd have to go for help. She gave me a withering look and carried on with her intense personal grooming regime. Useless things, cats. Well, in an emergency anyway. A dog would be better, but no dog for us because we are now both working full time and therefore not suitable for doggie ownership. One day. Maybe.
Does it feel Christmassy yet? Andy and I aren't quite sure. I caused myself severe lacerations last weekend making a wreath for the front door with holly and ivy garnered from our very own hedges. The Christmas tree, however, is still sitting in a bucket outside the back door, but it is coming in TOMORROW because I finish term at school and Andy has a day off. I started making some proper old fashioned paper chains and we've been slowly building up a little Advent village of tiny cardboard houses and shops, and slowly burning down the Advent candle. Maybe it is because we no longer live in a town and, ergo, are not being bombarded with full on Christmas stuff that Christmas seems less 'full on' this year? Maybe it's because we are behind with the decorating of the house? Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner? I'm not, but the children at school think I am. Except the one who insists I am from Australia. 🙄
Nooooo. I know what it is down to, this 'Where is Christmas' malarkey. It is because on 30th November I was all geared up to writing the annual Much Malarkey Manor Christmas Story Extravaganza, and then the Grinch stole our telephone line! That's what it is! No build up, no frisson of excitement, no fidget of tension, no 'Hip hip calloo callay!'
But fear ye not, oh Merry Malarkey Gentlefolk. Let nothing you dismay! Ding dong yea verily on high, for hark your Harold Angel - there SHALL be a Christmas story, albeit a short one. Probably a bit frantic, too, given my massive list entitled 'To Do Before Christmas.' Well, I can't NOT write a Christmas story, can I? I shall tease you with the title (because basically it's all I've got the energy to write this evening) - it's called 'Alice's Adventures in Damson Cottage Land.' There will be the usual quota of hens, cats and silliness. The usual underlying message of 'C'mon - be happy. It's Christmas!' The usual moment of disillusionment when I think I'm not going to finish on time.
The only downside is that I've had to pay Tango Pete a retainer fee to keep him on call, as he was threatening to take up a better offer as Long Cock Silver at the Liverpool Playhouse's very unseasonal (in my opinion) production of 'Treasure Island.' But I am hoping to recoup most of his fee from the compensation I am going to extricate from Plusnet for leaving us without a service for 15 days. Well...it could happen...
See you tomorrow then, with the first episode. I'm off to prep the camel.
Rantings, ravings, observations and musings, useful stuff, silly stuff, funny, sad and thoughtful guff!