My life tends to be very much like this. Either everything is going really well. Or things are going terribly. So, after my fabulous week last week, where I won a £250 voucher and I met my favourite group Lawson, it was inevitible that this week was going to be a bit of a 'mare.
Mr G had another school meet-up. Not officially a reunion, which took place the year they all turned 50, when they all had so much fun that they decided to have one every year now, just before Christmas. I stayed behind with the boys and Caitlin went with him to see her auntie and cousins. My sister in law was having her laminate flooring taken up and had asked Mr G if he wanted it for his shed pub (which is, currently, decimated after he insulated it and made a new bar!). My other sister in law had managed to acquire two pumps for the new bar, a lager pump and a wine pump, so the bar will look the business, when (if!) it stops raining long enough to empty the place and put the flooring down. I really want this doing soon as I want to entertain there over Christmas, and possibly have a little New Years Eve party.
Just before lunch time on Sunday, the local hospital phoned to cancel Mr G's CT scan, which was scheduled for today, and as the woman didn't know when the scanner would be fixed, she couldn't reschedule. This was a huge disappointment because his specialist won't even consider operating again until he has some answers. The poor woman sounded so flustered, having to spend her Sunday ringing around and from the sounds of it having a hard time. There's no point in shooting the messenger, is there? I told her it couldn't be helped and wished her luck with the rest of her phone calls.
Mr G phoned to tell me he was on his way home, and when he was about half an hour away from home, I could feel my eyelids drooping. I fell into a half sleep in my chair, asleep enough to snore and drool, but awake enough to be aware that I was snoring and drooling. The phone woke me from my sleep, and I realised that they were about an hour late. I answered the phone and it was Mr G. My heart sank. 'What's happened?' I asked. It turns out the car had broke down on the A55, spluttered, and then cut out. No hard shoulder where it happened. Super luckily he was right by the Llandudno Junction turn off and managed to exit and pull into somewhere safe. Also a blessing that we have Breakdown Cover. And probably really, really lucky that it happened there and then, so close to home, and while still daylight, than had it happened gone midnight while we were on the M56 coming home from Manchester in the early hours of Friday morning! They were towed home, and our mechanic friend came out to recover the car today and take it to his garage. He seems to think that it's going to be a big job, which is naturally, what we need just before Christmas. The problem with our car being that it's old, so parts are really hard to come by, especially if it is a new engine needed. The other issue is, that we've invested so much in the car, new radiator, cylinder head, exhaust, brakes, you name it - that we can't afford to scrap it and take a chance on buying another second hand car, and maybe have to start throwing money at that too. So, it's better the devil you know for us. When there's nothing wrong with it, it's been a brilliant car for us, plenty of space. After owning people carriers for over nine years, the thought of having a small car now fills me with dread.
So, with less than forty sleeps before Christmas, I am trying very hard to be as Zen as possible. I have very few presents bought. Even less money to buy any. And no transport. And... breathe. Tomorrow's another day.
I'm going to start my Christmas preparations on Sunday, when I am going to be making and steaming my Christmas puddings, known traditionally as Stir up Sunday. I make them every year for myself and friends and family, and I must blow my own trumpet here - they are really good. One person who has them from me every year, has tried the most luxury ones from Waitrose and Marks and Spencer, even paying up to £20 one year, and she and her husband maintain that they're not a patch on mine. The key is loads of cider. More than the original recipe contained anyway ;-) The fruit really soaks it up and it makes it really moist. I may make my Christmas Cake too, it's not the most traditional of cakes, so it doesn't lose out by not making it early and feeding it. It's a Chocolate Christmas Cake, and I use sherry in that. Even ardent fruit cake haters absolutely love that cake. I know if I make it too early, like most years, the cake is so good that it doesn't even get to the marzipan and icing stage! One year in particular, everyone was eating it while it was still hot, from the oven! That's a sign of a good cake, right? That will be a start anyway, that's something within my control. Everything else will fall into place, one way or another. I'll have to take the bus, and go shopping with family, and hurrah for Amazon. When all else fails, there's always Amazon!