So, H and I went away for Christmas. By ourselves. Which was just as well, as the heating had packed up the week before Christmas and all through the house, every creature was shivering, yes, even the mouse (who lives in the attic and canters back and forth up there on quiet nights. Little bastard).
We went to stay in An Hotel, not actually colossally far from where we live, and mainly because H spotted they were doing a special offer thingy several months ago and grabbed it with both hands. We stayed in An Hotel for four nights, and we did the following things:
- Drank (and, naturally, toasted the gonk)
- Lay on the bed and read to each other.
- Went for exceedingly long walks through assorted parks and along river banks.
- Went to the Sales, even, and brought trousers.
- Ate some more. And had another drink while we were at it.
- Watched telly.
- Played cards without bickering.
And then yesterday morning we came back to the flat, which was naturally unutterably cold and exceedingly clammy. The heating is actually working. Sort of. The emergency repairman did a MacGyver on it with something else’s spare part, and lo, we had hot water! But we are under strict instructions not to overwork said boiler for verily, it is held together with spit and chewed string. Ah well. We will survive on half-rations of heat until the emergency repairman can find the Peculiar Bit Only Our Model Of Boiler Ever Uses And That Will Probably Have To Be Ordered From Korea, sometime in 2011 no doubt. We are currently drying socks and vests on a rack in front of the gas fire, like an illustration of a Victorian nursery.
Anyway. We must wrap up the rest of the presents, for today we are Being Good and heading off to H’s lot for a couple of days, and then we are Being Very Good, Possibly Saintly, and going to my mother’s for New Year (I am packing the Chocolate Lichen).
Meanwhile the Clomid is Officially Messing With My Head, in that I am having daily anxiety – well now, attacks is too exciting a word. Anxiety being-shouted-at-on-the-bus-by-man-wearing-plastic-bag. I find myself feeling increasingly tense and snappish and absolutely sure something, somewhere, has gone hideously wrong, starting with ‘and the boiler has leaked again in our absence’ (it didn’t), cascading through ‘and our families will hate us for not spending Christmas with them and will torment us with it forever’ (even though it’s their own silly fault for spending Christmas abroad a-freakin’-gain), and ending up in the wilder reaches of ‘and a giant asteroid will strike the Earth on New Year’s Eve and the handful of survivors will only live through the ensuing ice-age by eating each other’ (oh, for fuck’s sake). Imagine what fun I was the first three goes, when I had Big Sensible Things to be worried about, like essay deadlines and dissertations?
There was one difficult moment, on Boxing Day. H and I were at Kew, freezing our faces off in the east wind, and as we walked round the lake I suddenly said ‘Look. That’s the bench where we sat and fed the baby geese on the May Bank Holiday, when I was pregnant but we didn’t know it yet.’
‘Oh,’ said H. ‘I hadn’t thought of that.’
And there was a long, rather anguished pause while I stood on the bank and stared out at the adult geese and felt horrible.
But it was just the one bad moment. Other than that, we survived Christmas.