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It will be a fairly quiet Christmas here. I finished teaching at the end of last week apart from three stragglers who came in at the beginning of this week. As you may remember, we are a mixed marriage - one meat-eater and one veggie - so he is having a duck breast with orange sauce and I'm having a roasted aubergine stuffed with a Sainsbury's nut-roast and feta - but all the Christmas veggies will be there - no sprouts, but spicy red cabbage with port (the only thing we're "cooking" this year) and ready prepared roast potatoes and root veg, with spicy parsnip mash I made last month and froze. And instead of Christmas pud, it's mince pie flavoured ice cream from Sainsbury's. My Christmas tree is about 9 inches tall, but there's not a great deal to go underneath it.
daughter #2 with her dad are probably coming on about the 27th, and hopefully d #1 in the new year. She has had a rough ride this year -, after a bad Christmas day on her mental ward last year with an incident which caused her five whole months later to be sacked in a classic :oops:-covering manoeuvre (somebody had to take the blame and everyone else made darn sure it wouldn't be them), married three weeks later, which gave her a little bit of respite, and five months after that, against all odds, reinstated, but moved to a different ward, where she was getting on very happily until suddenly two weeks ago they moved her off completely and gave her a desk job across town with no real explanation about what was going on. She had made a complaint against the ward manager she had worked for before, and had really caused her NHS trust grief for not providing documents they were legally obliged to and all sorts of similar irregularities. Her union says this was really rather a big mistake ("choose your battles carefully") as the trust now has its knife into her and will do anything they can to get rid of her on the flimsiest pretext. So she's gone on work-stress-sick leave and applied for another job in a different trust. They don't like whistle blowers, which is what effectively she was trying to do.
Added to which, she's already without her husband for a lot of the time as he works for an agency and they keep moving him around the country, so while their "bubble" is in Liverpool, he's in Nottingham, where I hope she is for the next couple of days.
Add to that various woes from this end - I have a slipped vertebra in my back which makes it impossible for me to stand or walk without pain for more than about 60 seconds, doctor says I have chronic kidney disease, I did one knee in last week (foolishly proving I could walk up 11 steep stairs without stopping) and now my other half, who had been getting more and more disorganised since before the retirement 15 months ago, has now been diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's, and is on medication for it. Luckily I can remember what day it is and I'm getting better at being the Memory Stick in this house - so I sit here most of the day putting on weight and telling him what to do, and he does all the grunt work. And as a result we actually still function.
All is compensated for by the lovely Gertie (as in Dirty Gertie from Number Thirty) who is now 16 months old and the fastest dog for miles around if you don't count a couple of greyhounds she's met. We bought her as a labradoodle, mum was definitely a labrador, and they said daddy was a miniature poodle - miniature he certainly must have been, judging by the nice compact size of Gertie, but I don't see much poodle in her: people have suggested she looks like a terrier apart from the ears and tail and some of the more delightful labrador habits. She's shaggy, not curly. Whatever, she's a muffy little scrutt and we both adore her, as does everyone who meets her.
Take care, y'all, wherever you may be, lurking or not. Have a good Christmas and a happy new year xxx
Gizzy in Cambridge
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
When money's tight, then have no fear
Come along to us, cos we're not dear
the Gloryhole in the best idea!
courtesy of an old advert on Beacon Radio.
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