I’m trapped in the house, not by any kind of seasonal weather or illness, but because I’m waiting for a delivery of the umpteen things I’ve ordered from my sons’ Amazon wishlists. Whenever I feel like grumbling about the trials of Christmas shopping, I have to pause and remind myself that actually I bought all my in-laws’ presents in one go from Marks and Spencer, and now I’ve bought all my sons’ presents in a similar raid on Amazon. I’ve even thoughtfully provided a wishlist of my own to encourage them to get me something I want. How much more smoothly can Christmas go?
I’m even using the ‘opportunity’ of being trapped (this is after a week of gallivanting around from a festive lunch to a theatre trip then to another lunch, so I don’t feel too hard-done-by) to do some urgent house-cleaning. This isn’t the kind of ‘redding up’ for New Year done by my late mother and her mother before her, when the house is already in what I would consider a reasonable state and you just have to polish the piano for a jolly pre-television knees-up, but the kind of cleaning where you uncover terrible secrets at the back of the fridge, and almost run out of Mr Muscle lemon-scented kitchen spray cleaner while you’re in the middle of your third attempt on the worktops.
Of course, it takes more than being trapped in the house on a Saturday to make me do this kind of cleaning, and I must admit it is mainly a procrastination strategy, because I’m trying to write a romantic short story for a Valentine’s anthology, and I am not sure where to go with it next, romance being a blind spot of mine. Or at least, I know where it’s heading eventually, I just don’t know how to get it there – I don’t know if this is a common problem that all writers have, but it does seem to attack me quite a lot.
Just as work is winding down for the year – only two more days to go, woohoo! – my theatre group is gearing up to perform a pantomime. We move into the theatre tomorrow and from then on it’s just a series of different kinds of rehearsal until Friday, the opening night. At this very moment I have a lasso in the conservatory with me, drying after another coat of PVA (don’t ask). If anyone reading this lives in Edinburgh and is planning to go to the Churchill Theatre and see ‘Mother Goose’ (an excellent show and very good value!), then please don’t look too closely at the largest golden egg. That’s all I have to say. You’ve been warned.


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