Christmas Doings.

Christmas Eve dawned early with a six o’clock awakening of my wife. One bleary eye opened when I announced her cup of tea. ” What time is it ?” she asked. “Getting on for eight” I replied fearing the Wrath of Khan before the tea was drunk. Knowing that for some reason she generally sleeps without a watch helps. The reason for my duplicity was twofold. Firstly, I wanted to get to the shops before they became too crowded and secondly, I wanted to go without the girls having been given playtime or we’d be lucky to get out before ten.

Anyway, by 6.30 we’d made real progress in that the tea was drunk and not thrown at me and Ju was looking much more bright eyed than I’d hoped since she’d been in some pain on the Sunday. By 6.45 we were in the car and on our way. The road was quite busy with people rushing to work or rushing home from the party the night before. It was quite foggy and atmospheric with the lights of approaching cars coming towards us. In the supermarket there were quite a few early shoppers but not enough to worry me. Yes, it’s me that has a thing about crowds….more on that later.

I left Ju to pick up some cigarettes for me and go for a coffee while I shopped. Normally I wouldn’t do so alone in case someone spoke to me but today everyone was conscious of their own needs and getting what they needed before someone emptied the shelves. Not wanting much other than fresh bread, milk , ham and some coleslaw I was ready to head for the tills when I spotted some trifles. I bought one then decided to look at the Christmas puddings and fresh cream. By the time I’d got the extra things and gone to the tills it was eight o’clock. Smiling at the cashier to avoid speaking I paid up, packed the shopping and wheeled the trolley to the MacDonalds where Ju was sitting with coffee. As she saw me approach she tipped her hand asking if I wanted one and I nodded. Reaching the table I asked her to order a bacon roll for me too, I passed her some money then dipped into her bag for my ‘before food’ tablet and sat down to take it. “Brown or red sauce ” she called from the counter. “Brown please” I replied wondering why I bothered since it’s so thinly spread it’s questionable whether it’s really there sometimes..

Ju brought me a latte over and a fresh one for herself since I must have been feeling so generous. The bacon roll arrived, was eaten and for dessert I took my two ‘after food’ torpedoes. Ju asked me the time. “It’s almost 8.15 sweetie” I risked with a smile. “Hmm, we’ve made good time this morning then” I heard and wondered which of the Pantheon of Gods I owed that favour to. We were soon on our way again heading for the trading estate which has a handy pet shop where we could get some treats for the girls. One of my favourite shops is there so I was allowed to look round in case anything new and interesting was in. There wasn’t so we hit the coffee bar where the staff treated us to a latte each before we head for home.

At ten o’clock we were home and had the shopping inside. Unfortunately you reach the kitchen of our home through the lounge and as we entered we were greeted by four wide awake and very hopeful faces from one cage and the sound of frantic activity from the other. I knew what was coming so as Ju removed her coat I put the shopping away. She’d no sooner opened the rats cage than Priya ran down her arm and plunged inside the neckline of her cardigan. Bernie wasn’t far behind preferring to sit on her shoulder and nestle into her neck. Penny and Amy climbed inside one of the tubes in the cage and patiently waited to be lifted out.  Ju put two large picture frames against the degu cage to stop the rats climbing up it and upsetting the degus . They’re not enemies but they certainly don’t get on. If Bernie climbs on to their cage to see them in her friendly way they set up an almighty chittering sound. Anyway, Ju played with the girls on the settee for half an hour as usual and then put them back in their cage where they happily settled down to sleep. Removing the picture frames she then got the degus out one by one and put them into balls. First Poppy then Honey with Mummy degu Saffy last to go. With three balls hurtling round the rooms aiming for your ankles it’s easier if you’re not on your feet. I swear if they catch you a Dick Dastardly snicker comes from them. I beat a hasty retreat to catch up on emails I hadn’t finished earlier. The eventual call of “Sweeties” has the balls tolling back to the lounge so they’re given a sweet before going back in their cage.

The rest of the day was a light lunch, television. emails and an assortment of phone calls before Ju went to bed at 6.30. I was luckier than usual and she went to sleey just the right side of midnight so I was able to turn my computer off and rest myself.

Christmas day I was up at 4am. I answered messages and sent messages of greeting out to friends around the world. At 6am I took Ju’s stocking ( a carrier bag really) and placed it one her bed before going to make a drink. Turning the lounge light on I gave all the animals a sweet and went through to the kitchen. While the kettle boiled I turned the tank light on and fed the fish. I took my meds then made the tea and took them through to Ju to gently wake her. Unusually it didn’t take much. She moved over for me to get in and passed my stocking ( a large sack) to me to open. We always do this together and in the past when Yvonne lived at home or stayed with us she joined us in bed to open her stocking too. There are always fantastic treats and always something funny. One year Ju go me some washing up gloves with a fur trim. This year I’d got her a rubber horse head mask and used bags of her favourite sweets to fill it out. It looked like a scene from the Godfather.

Tradition says we would normally go and have breakfast next before being allowed to open main presents but since Ju can’t face breakfast these days it’s just me. Up went the barriers and out came the girls. When they heard me put cereal (Shreddies) in  a bowl they all rushed to my end of the settee to wait. I sit down gingerly to try and avoid sitting on anyone before the fun starts. Four heads in unison try to get to my bowl first and I have to rush to get a shreddie on the spoon before one of them snatches it off. I usually manage a mouthful in between each of their courses which is usually three each though Bernie only eats one and squirrels the others away behind a cushion for later. Priya usually finds them within minutes.

After both sets have played and been returned to their cages it’s our time. We opened our gifts from Santa , or each other if you like. This took quite a while and was accompanied by lots of Oohs and Aahs. After that it’s time to open gifts from friends and family we won’t see on Christmas day.After each one we phoned or texted our delight. Finally finished Ju collects the wrapping to go for recycling while I make another cuppa and it’s time to get dressed. I show Ju a tee-shirt I printed up with a picture of us both on with wording that says Happiness is Love shaped. I have on new warm socks, new underwear, tee-shirt, new black jeans, black cardigan and black winklepicker cowboy boots with a cuban heel. Suddenly I’m as tall as I used to be. Ju spends some time picking through her finery before settling on a nice outfit and we’re ready to go. Yvonne’s first Christmas as a wife and her first cooking Christmas dinner for us all.

We have a great time at their home swapping and opening presents before settling down to dinner.She’s cooked a small beef joint for me and done my favourite onion sauce with it. For Ju she’s cooked a small lamb joint with her favourite mint sauce and for Ugo and herself she’s done  a 3 bird roast. We wouldn’t normally undertake such a large task but she wanted us all to have our favourites. I struggled to eat a small Christmas pudding afterwards.

A nice couple of days started to go downhill then. Ju was very quiet and excused herself to go to the loo. She was there quite a while and when she eventually rejoined us looked very pale. I asked her quietly what was wrong and found she was in great pain and her bowels were not holding again. We had to go home. Sadly we made our goodbyes saying we wanted to give them plenty of time to travel to Ugo’s family in the Midlands. Fortunately they accepted this. We made our way home where Ju took some fast acting morphine and got into bed. It was about 2 pm by then. There were a couple of trips to the loo early on and I couldn’t persuade her to have a cuppa at all. She lay there watching TV and resting while I worked on emails just occasionally sticking my head in. When I did so at 8 pm she was well away. I turned the TV off, and her light, went back to my room and just listened out for her waking.

I woke Ju at after eleven hours of solid sleep without waking once.She seemed to be a lot better and got up to see to the varmints. By half eight they were done and dusted and Ju said “Come on then. let’s hit the sales.” After checking I wasn’t hallucinating and she wasn’t running a temperature I ran to the car in case she changed her mind. She hates shopping…..I love it. It was well worth her while though since she got some nice outfits.We we’re home by half eleven though and things still seemed OK. The  rest of the day went well. Today it wasn’t such an early start but the girls were still done by 9 am and Ju was taking me to a different sale. We’d done quite well and got some nice clothes each before we stopped for coffee. As she finished I noticed something wrong and knew it was time to go.We made it home and Ju’s stomach betrayed her again. She’s back in bed. She’s very unhappy at what’s happening though I ask her to remember what the alternative is.Tomorrow I’ll get some imodium and see if it can stop the problem for now though as soon as she takes it there is usually a period of painful constipation. Sometimes the morphine helps and sometimes not with the pain. Her biggest worry is letting herself down in public but I try to say it can’t be helped and she can’t isolate herself on the off chance.That’s no life for anyone.



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26 responses to “Christmas Doings.

  1. I liked the first half of this post, the second half, not so much 😦

    So glad to hear that you both had a (mainly) good xmas day, it sounds like Yvonne certainly outdid herself with the dinner, I wish I had been there to help with the leftovers!

    I am still smiling about the “It’s almost 8.15” “Hmm, we’ve made good time this morning then”. You have the ability to control time! 😉 I bet that Lady J did the very same thing to Yvonne back in the days she was trying to get her off to school on time.

    Hope she feels better quickly.

    • Thank you Metan. Poor Ju keeps apologising for spoiling Christmas but of course she hasn’t spoiled it for anyone.Yesterday’s repeat was awful for her but we’re seeing the MacMillan Nurse today so maybe there’s something we can do.
      Sending Happy New Year Hugs. xx

  2. Belated Merry Christmas to you and Ju.

  3. I enjoyed your post. As an American I love the music of your speech. What is commonplace to you is sheer poetry to this Yank’s ears. I read an earlier post (perhaps 6 months ago) about Ju’s health issues. She is a courageous woman and you are both fortunate to have each other. Have a happy and prosperous New Year.

    • Thank you Jay. What a deligthful thing to hear. Maybe it’s my Welsh blood singing the words.Ju is a very brave person and she shines for me and I’m very lucky to have her. Poor soul, she got the rough end of the deal.
      We wish you a Wonderful a New Year full of joy and delight.

  4. Each day. Each day. Best for the New Year. A brave post.

  5. All the best for you and Lady Ju. I hope the MacMillan Nurse was able to offer some help.

    • Thanks Pete. As it happens she didn’t turn up so it’s just as well I bought imodium today. She was feeling a little better this afternoon so didn’t need the track shoes as much. We may go out tomorrow before I get the shakes at missing out on the sales.
      Nice to see you back again.Blwyddyn Newydd Dda,

  6. There are millions of silent souls who would nod their head vigorously when I say how much I understand her fear of loss of control when she goes out in public. Of course, most of us dont have active cancer, but chronic uncontrollable diarrhea is part of so many conditions, including inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome(IBS). So let her know that someone across the pond, who has had cancer in the past and has active IBS (a side effect of fibromyalgia) is thinking of her and understanding the cage that it puts her into. May your 12 days of Christmas be peaceful.

  7. Many thanks Lorene. I’m so sorry you have IBS and know what a bind it can be since my daughter suffers from it though not as a side effect of fibromyalgia. You’ve really been through the mill haven’t you though I’m glad to see you must have cleared the cancer since you talk of having had it in the past. Congratulations on that at least.
    I hope you find a way to go out without the fear of mishaps. It’s not much to ask is it?
    I’ll pass your kind message on to Ju when I wake her. I’m sure she’ll join me in wishing you a wonderful, happy, joyous and lucky 2013.
    Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.
    David. Hugs

  8. It sounds as if Lady J over did things a bit. Hopefully with Christmas past she’ll settle back down again. Still, you two did have quite a bit of fun and that’s the important thing. -hugs-

    • I don’t think she had chance to overdo the eating but the excitement certainly got to her. We still had great fun and that hasn’t stopped ( at least for me)) since we hit the sales.. Having fun with her is what life is all about now and I’m not wasting a minute. Hugs back and best wishes for the New Year. xxxxxx

  9. As I’ve said before, David, thank you for allowing me to listen in! My best to you and Ju!
    Sincerely meant!

  10. Catherine Johnson

    It sounded like such a wonderful Christmas. Hopefully Ju can remember the good part of it, and I hope she is feeling better now. *hugs*

    • It started well and went rapidly downhill Catherine.Ju’s not at all well with her tummy and couldn’t even manage some time on the couch today and she definitely doesn’t feel like eating. I’m hoping to get the MacMillan Nurse tomorrow tom see if we can perk her up for the New Year.Talking of which, I wish you a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda. xx Hugs

  11. A little late for commenting, but I wished to say how lovely your description is, David. Every single detail shows how much you care for your wife and your family.

    God bless you all with a peaceful and happy New Year!

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