Yesterday was Mini-Christmas here – the Lovely Melanie’s parents, Pam & Dave, came over and we swapped presents and enjoyed a, well, yes, a Mini-Christmas, to make up for the fact that they’re off to Australia for a month tomorrow.

And what a lovely day we had. 🙂

Millie, Amber and Inflatable SantaBefore they arrived we put the tree and decorations up, which was the cause of much excitement, as ever.  The inflatable Santa in this picture bore the brunt of that excitement (the poor guy)  It was gratifying to watch the girls almost able to do the tree on their own this year.  The Lovely Melanie put our old plastic tree up and I sorted the lights out, but the girls hung all the baubles and tinsel.

It needed remarkably little fine-tuning from us this year – normally the Lovely Melanie has to remain downstairs to – ahem – “tidy” the tree while we go upstairs and decorate the girls’ rooms. Fingers crossed that next year we might even be able to stay in bed while the girls do it all themselves (ahh, what a beautiful dream…)

Then Grandma and Granddad arrived with presents to be opened – and a good crop they were, too.

Millie was most happy with what I can best describe as a tin of magnetic dolls clothes that you then stick onto the tin, which has pictures of people on it.  Amber liked her Rapunzel dress and plait (from the Disney film Tangled) and I loved my microwave crisp maker which, although we haven’t actually made any properly delicious crisps yet has been proved to work in principle.

My brother Rich (of Koolaid For Beginners fame) has an uncontrollable crisp addiction so I cruelly sent him some pictures and texts throughout the day regarding our progress.  I think it’ll be no surprise what he gets from us this Christmas… 🙂

I’m glad we had a Mini-Christmas because it gave me some idea of what to expect on the big day regarding my feelings about Trev: turns out it’s probably going to be a bit tricky.  Not dreadful or unbearable, but simply harder than I had anticipated.  I was hit by sudden sadness halfway through opening presents, which seems silly because it’s not like Trev would have been at our little Christmas do even if he was still alive.

That’s just the way grief works, I guess.

Fortunately, forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and knowing a bit of spontaneous sadness is expected means I can prepare for it and get on with the rest of the day.  Conny is (sensibly, in my opinion) not even going to try and deal with it this year – she is going away to India on a tour for the duration of Christmas.

Anyway, this is supposed to be about our Mini-Christmas, not actual Christmas.

Amber and Millie with faces paintedAfter we’d done presents and the Lovely Melanie had cooked us a delicious lunch we headed down to Hurst Primary, Millie’s school, where by fortunate coincidence it was the day of their Christmas Fair.  Faces were painted, Lucky Dips dipped, raffle tickets bought, Tombolas, er, bola’d(?) and Father Christmas visited.  Amber was rather non-plussed by her gift from him – a baby’s rattle.  Millie got a mug to paint, but a rattle for a three(nearly-four) year-old?  Really, Santa??

Afterwards, Pam & Dave bought everyone a delicious slap-up dinner from the Albany Park chip shop and we watched Ghostbusters 2 on TV.

Just like Christmas (sort of)! Thank you, Pam & Dave. 🙂

Today, I’ve been to Bexleyheath about my new glasses because the new varifocals have not delivered on their initial promise.  I’ve been finding it actually more difficult to read, rather than less, not to mention getting unpleasant headaches at work since getting them.

Specsavers were very helpful again, however, and I’m getting some new lenses next weekend – non-varifocals this time, because the guy today, after consulting around his colleagues, decided I almost certainly didn’t need varifocals (“not at your age,” I was gratified to hear).

Instead, I’ll have some sort of intermediate lenses that I’m promised are particularly good for reading and looking at a screen (which, lets be honest, are the two things I do more than anything else).

And now, if you’ll excuse me,  I need to get on with start my Christmas shopping…

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