Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy days

Hurrah! It's nearly all over. Thank God. Christmas has come and gone, you can almost stop saying "Happy New Year", and no more children's birthdays till November. Our problem is one boy has his birthday on New Year's Eve and the other's was yesterday. And now that's it. No more presents. No more treats. Call me a party pooper but I've been on my knees here with the "welcome to our lovely home" routine with friends and family, making endless cups of tea and meals, spending money I haven't really got, and being "happy, happy, happy".(OK, I know I said I was going to be positive. It's just the relief. I'll be positive tomorrow.)

47 comments:

Natasha said...

Judith I know the feeling! My 2 (to be 3)year old's birthday is on Wednesday and my husband's is 5 days later... it's almost a pity for them to have to 'celebrate' so soon after Xmas and New Year as the parties are generally rather low-key after all the excitement of the festive season. At least this year the credit crunch, though awful for many/most, has a silver (pewter?) lining... there were fewer excesses at Christmas and more returns to old-fashioned activities and values...paper-chain making being one and more book- rather than gizmo-'gifting'another! (I've always advocated books as the ideal present myself!)... However, having had a really rough time personally for the whole of November and half of December (two operations in quick succession) I felt it was time to delegate the festive preparation to others, which however was not without its thin but nagging sense of guilt at leaving mother-in-laws and grandparents to slave over hot stoves, exhausted, instead of me! Nevertheless, old acquaintances having been contacted, distant friends called, visitations made, cakes baked and goodies scoffed, at least we're all set and fortified for a new year, tired out or not! So, hurrah to a new year for all of you, and I augur lots of positive energy - at least we're better off than the Gazans...that alone, for me, is enough to put my (petty?) little world into perspective...natasha

justme said...

Yes, YES! I am SO happy that it is all over. If I have to say Happy New Year ( through gritted teeeth) one more time, I may explode......

Sally's Chateau said...

Yes thank god its all over, as I wrenched baubles off trees and wrestled with the brutish branches I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

dormouse74 said...

It's nice to get back to "normal" life really. This festive season I did getting married, Christmas and new year... and amazingly I havent said anything of the permanent rift variety or run off to some small outcrop with the plan to be a hermit.
I hope the new year resolution thing goes well, i resolved not to make any :)

Pam said...

I know exactley what you mean! I dragged that sad old spiny tree out yesterday and breathed a big sigh of relief. In 3 weeks I've got a baby coming though, so I'm going to try and savor this little bit of down-time.
Happy New Year by the way!

Antipodeesse said...

Well please take pity on we France-dwellers:

here you have to say "Bonne Année (et bonne santé)!" to EVERYONE right up until 31st January...

Kaycie said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel. But I'm not done yet. It starts in late October with the little man's birthday followed by Halloween and just after I recover, it's time to think about hosting Thanksgiving; then our lovely daughter two weeks before Christmas, and finally, my birthday two weeks after Christmas. I know it's horrible, but I hate the holidays!

I'll be celebrating right along with you come next Monday!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

It's nice to put all the decorations away ... and sit looking at the winter sunshine illuminating the shapes in the dust where they were!

mutleythedog said...

I would prefer a gin to tea if possible... I shall be with you as planned on Thursday! Bottoms up! Hic....

Rhiannon said...

Wifey - this has nothing to do with your post (please don't take offense), but I realized how rude I have been. I've been lurking for months and months (since alpha mummy mentioned you I think), reading your blog and have never let you know how much I enjoy it. Bit like enjoying a party and not writing a note to ones host afterward.
Anyway - just wanted to say thank you. And glad the worst is over until November.
Rhiannon

lizzy said...

Oh I feel like the post ahead of me - I enjoy this blog ever so much (just like I did the book) and never stop to say a simple "thanks" - So, here it is...Judith, thank you!! You make me laugh, make me groan, make me a bit weepy, make my day!

I've tell everyone that asks for something to read "You must read WIFE IN THE NORTH."

Blissfully thankful that the busy birthday, Christmas and New Year season is done for yet another year as well.

Blessings to you!

Sarah said...

Hmm, the humbug in me says, don't like it? don't bother, then; no just like party bags say 'no' to parties of more than 4, to trees, inviting family members to call who you don't like...
We live in a country when we can afford to stuff turkeys with partridges or raid Fenwicks on a whim and have the audacity to complain about it afterwards; what is it, exactly that you like about christmas, birthday? stick to it, bollocks to the rest, no party? The kids survive, don't implode or need therapy; pizza for christmas dinner, brilliant, use paper plates and enjoy a stress free dining experience.
Make things easy, if you like, give all the money you were going to spend on a children's entertainer/christmas dinner/ whatever on, say an anonymous charity donation.
Too acid, too cynical, Sarah, but even if you break the rules in your head, really believe you don't need it, then you have choices.
In 2 minds as to whether to post this- go on, then...

The Coffee Lady said...

I'm with Sarah. We did nothing this Christmas, and it was lovely.

Oh, I tell a lie. We did a snowman picture.

And there were birthdays. We're just idle, see? It's the way forward.

softinthehead said...

Hear hear - my rooms seem so much bigger without all that "stuff". Happy New Year!!!

Minx said...

Eeeek! It's my birthday next week - why did I decide to throw a huge party? Bugger.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

oh i do hate that welcome to my lovely home routine. altho i suspect yours is lovely (and tidy)unlike my own. i discovered yesterday that the screeching from inside the house can be heard in the street. i am going to have to tone down my bath-time routine.

And in fact this post was very positive; you were happy, excited and positive... that it's all over. This is progress.

Howz the chocolate deprivation going? ;-)
Pigx

sunshine said...

This Christmas season was too quiet -- sort of flat. When there no children visiting, I think a lot of the activity just isn't there. And we opted for buying windows, frig, sink and toilet rather than fun gifts.

Got lots better this last weekend with a visit to grandchildren! Feels like a new year has started. May our shiny new President, with our support, find a way through the many heavy situations we are in!

Rebecca said...

We were all sick over all the holidays, so we feel cheated out of the whole caboodle...
I can never really enjoy Christmas now. For the last two years I have worried about how we would then cope with our baby's anniversary just before NY. Which was actually okay in the end. We lit a sky lantern without setting alight to ourselves (not easy).
Now I feel somewhat flat.
Rx

Braja said...

Well, never mind: I feel that way and I don't even have visitors, nor do we feel Xmas...imagine how negative I must be? :)))

Actually it is dull in 'ull said...

We have missed Christmas due to flu and I have promised to have another in March - WHY? Like most others on here I am glad to be back to normal, whatever that really is. So Happy New Year and thank you for a wonderful book and such an entertaining blog.

billatbingley said...

Great to hear you've survived Christmas. Let me tell you about ours....
My birthday is on Dec 22nd - Wifes is on Dec 31st

We were going to visit a friend who was celebrating 40 years in the ministry on Dec 21st at a place approximately 45 mins drive away. The get together commencing at 4.30pm. My wife didn't realise I was playing at our home church for a Nine Lessons & Carols at 6.30 pm. She had booked a surprise night away 5 mins from where the celebrations were, as a birthday treat for me. ["A relaxing evening away"]so she said!
Before we set off for the celebrations she discovers her purse is lost - complete with all credit cards etc. We decide it was lost the previous week at the Royal Hall in Harrogate where we had been to see Gervaise Phinn. I phone there and wonder of wonders they have had it handed in!

Now all I have to do is drive 45 mins to the celebrations, a quick cuppa and a bun, then 45 back to play the Nine lessons and carols, then 45 mins drive back to pick up wife from celebrations and spend a quiet night away. As she had no purse or credit cards guess who had to pay for it..........
But we have to be up early the next morning to go to Harrogate to collect the purse, and then proceed to Ilkley where we had arranged to meet my brother in law, wife and daughter, who have driven up from Leamington for the day!

I'm now looking forward to a quiet relaxing New Year

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Sorry to, seemingly, rain on everbody's parade but we enjoyed Christmas thoroughly. We were 7 on the day itself including our 4 year old grand-daughter, saw the New Year in quietly, just the two of us. Friends came to lovely, long, leisurely lunches and on 4 January I reluctantly dismantled the tree and put everything away! Perhaps that is part of the joy of being retired.

Happy New Year!

Miriam said...

Cheers to that, and to our kids going back to school tomorrow! Tree is still up, though, it'll now have to wait till the weekend. Our kids do eat pizza on Christmas Day, it's what they want, and it is their Christmas too. Anyone we ever tell that to roars laughing!
Anyway, thank you WITN for many entertaining moments in 2008, and I for one hope that you do write another book, thoroughly enjoyed the last one, mimi

Vargas said...

Thank you for your excellent blog. And all the comments are interesting too! I still have my tree up - usually leave it there to let the spirit continue into the cold reality of January. But soon it will come down, just as soon as I have rested from all the holidaying! Once again thanks for your posts - I am new to them but will be back for sure.

Hilary said...

I used to keep my coloured Christmas fairy lights on all year round.(Draped on my bookshelves,not the tree!)

wife in the north said...

re natasha: sorry to hear about the ops (re your guilt, I think people like to be needed sometimes.)
re rhiannon and lizzy: how nice of you to cough loudly, thereby announcing your prescence. Welcome to the party (or not, bearing in mind my bah humbuggery.)
re pig in the kitchen: as for my lovely home, i think i may have said already it featured in xmas Red edition. My friend refused to believe the photograph was actually of my kitchen (slight tidying up may have gone on prior to photographic team's arrival.)
re Rebecca: anniversaries take you different ways different years I find. Your lantern sounds lovely.
re billatbingley: i hope you blogged it, i'm going to go look.

Braja said...

I don't know if this kinda thing floats your boat, but I've given you a shoutout today...quite naturally in the flow of things, as it were...

http://www.sylviafromoverthehill.blogspot.com/

Pig in the Kitchen said...

nooooo! in the xmas Red edition? I will never mention my house and your house in the same breath again.

off to google the photo.
Pigx

Maddie Grigg said...

It's good to focus on the year ahead. But no twinkly decorations, just dull mushy weather outside? What's good about that?I love Christmas and so glad the pagans came up with it in the first place. It brightens up a cold dark winter when we most need it.
This is Maddie Grigg, putting my head above the parapet in freezing cold Dorset. x
http://worldfrommywindow.blogspot.com

Miriam said...

I tried to google it but get nothing! If anyone has the secret, or WITN, if you're willing to share photos, would love a look, I love looking at photos of other people's houses, basically nosey, I suppose.It sounded fab in previous descriptions, all that aga and stuff, mimi (green)

Fifi Flowers said...

I LOVED the holiday season however I am like you HAPPY they are over... too much drama and go go go!
BTW... Happy New Year!
ENJOY 2009!
Fifi

anniemac said...

I dont know if you get much time to read this Judith, but I have just read your book and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. It was a gift from my husband (who doesnt normally do gifts so that was a very good start!) and I have read it almost at one sitting. I have laughed, cried and remembered with you.

We moved to rural Aberdeenshire from my Derbyshire hometown in 1998 with 3 children then aged 3 5 and 8. As I sent the boys off on the yellow schoolbus I frequently despaired of ever settling in the crumbling old half renovated house. And this was my dream??!! where was the labrador and the quarry tiles?

Eleven years on, I love my life and my still boisterous teenagers. The benefits of lots of outdoor space is they can have very loud parties and no-one objects! (And we are on hand to supervise from he safety of the hous) We have also made some very strong friendships, which have helped through good times and bad.

We are now in the position of losing them as they go off into the big wide world, eldest at university in Edinburgh, a million miles away it seems. Second soon to go. I do want them to see the big wide world but letting them go is very scary.

Anyway, sorry if I have posted in the wrong place, hope you get this message. Well done on a great book. Happy New Year.

occasional northerner said...

Happy New year. I don't know when the first day of the working year last fell on a Monday but this is seeming like a very long week and frankly I'd rather be back at home watching the decorations wilt and eating cold turkey.

Braja said...

Bless you :)

Jaywalker said...

I get a big fat fail for Christmas this year - no cards written, no meals cooked, presents a bit rubbish. Starting 2009 with a guilt/inadequacy cocktail, as I mean to go on.

Fingers crossed for a bearable January - so far so good for me, since I have a ridiculously cute and brainless puppy to entertain me. Whoopee!

archiesmum2002 said...

Thank you for your book. It was passed onto me by a friend in a book club I used to belong to when I lived "up north" but she failed to warn me that it was too similar to my own life to be even remotely funny unless armed with a large glass of wine! I have the wonderful sensitive 6 year old boy, the darling not quite 3 year old dancing girl, and the enormous gap inbetween that will always be haunted by my second-born precious son. Another unexplained middle-class stillborn.
I moved north to Yorkshire from London for love and marriage, but decided not to stay where everyone knew me as "the one who lost the baby" and have dragged unwilling husband back down south. Am I happier? Well, the children are thriving, and I'm more fulfilled as a working mum (+guilt) than as a stay-at-home (because often the weather is too appalling to venture out) and my pain is not continuous or as sharp as it once was. Husband is struggling though. In the end, I think I will adapt better than him - so I will enjoy the south while it lasts.
Bet you didn't set out to be our voice, but thank you for writing about your first son. Please use your new found fame (and your talent for writing) in whatever way you can - no one should have to bury their own child. With virtual hugs for each of your FOUR children, and wishing you peace and a few less black cloud days in 2009.

DARWEN REPORTER said...

Yep, me too. My wedding anniversary is the 19th Dec, my hubby's birthday the 23rd Dec. My daughter's birthday 5th Jan. Next birthday Feb 7th and so on and so forth!

Frances said...

expended is the term I used for myself the night before my three boys went back to school!

mutleythedog said...

You have lots of creepy friends... do you think any of them would like to buy some prescription only anti-depressants?

Natasha said...

I know I agreed that Xmas and birthdays in quick succession are quite tiring but let's all have a bit of perspective! I tend to agree with Mutley the dog. When there are children dying over the other side of the world and people without enough food to live, we really should be grateful and cheerful for the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the company of family and friends. Otherwise it's just disrespectful to those who are wondering if they will get through the day with their families alive and homes intact. If we have the luxury of it, let's enjoy it to the full - unashamedly but never forget those less fortunate. As I Mum I cry for the suffering of children everywhere. Please help at: http://www.unicef.org.uk/emergency/emergency_detail.asp?emergency=54
Thanks
Natasha

itscurtains4me said...

Hi Judith,
I am in the process of reading your book and can't wait to get back to it.
I just read the cover page about you and your history.
Thank you and your family.
Janis

Mopsa said...

A pair of huge, hairy, lively dogs is the answer...no point tidying up house/hoovering floor for guests as it's trashed before you've turned your back. I can't believe how I couldn't give a monkeys, but there it is...

Altaglow said...

This was the first Christmas I was able to spend with children/grandchildren for many, many years and it was a blessing. Most years I can't wait for the "festive" season to be in the rear view mirror.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Heard about you recently and popped on over. A very Happy New Year to you.

wife in the north said...

re braja thanks (can't find it but thanks anyway)
re miriam.. it's not online basically everything looks very clean
re anniemac:thanks I'm glad you enjoyed it. Now your husband has started to give presents, I would suggest something much sparklier and more expensive next time
re archiesmum2002: I was really moved by your comment, and I am sorry for your loss. I wanted to put stillbirth out there, to say what it involved, to give some insight. You've probably seen Marie Claire ran a feature (which I posted up here a while ago).I had a lot of feedback on it - it does still feel like a hot stone in my mouth when I talk about it at readings and stuff, but if you don't talk abotu it, it becomes the unsayable doesn't it?
re mutley: I don't know about my friends but please send more of the drugs. They're just not working.

Joanne said...

Hi, I have just finished reading your book. I could relate to so much of it. Thanks for the laughter, and the comfort to know it's not just me that needs a good cry to get throught the day every now and then! I know the area you write of and love it too. My 3 are older now (9,12,15), but I have had to face challenges of the absent hubby, bullied child, moving but also illness. I am 18 months into move number 3, having lived in Montreal, Yarm (north east) and now Solihull. I have always fancied some kind of communication to help, encourage those with similar trick circs. I have a rhuematoid type arthritis. As a writer, any ideas would be welcome. Keep blogging please, I will be watching with interest!

parsnip said...

I left my (dead) tree up until 9th January and was tempted to wrap the whole wretched thing - lights and baubles included, in cling film, and bring it out again next year.