The festive season always starts for me with the traditional carol service held by my old school in the local parish church. We old boys and girls gather in a local hostelry before and enjoy some Christmas nibbles and beverages before heading over to join in with Silent Night and listen to the young choir carolling. There is something magical about the candle lit church and the smell of mulled wine and spice in the air. With every year it becomes slightly harder to get myself there, slightly less predictable to know if I will be physically able to make it or if fatigue and pain will have laid me out. I made it last week! Never mind that the old neck decided to spasm or that by the end of the service my ear was nearly touching my shoulder, forget the howling wind and heavy rain outside the doors, it was time for Christmas to begin.
The blog posts that I have found have actually been sitting on this page for a week now, but other events overtook – some planned, others not so much. You might have noticed a little political debate surrounding the UK in recent months and a small matter of a General Election, but much more important in this house was the Christmas drinks event that fell on the same date. Several months back, definitely before the date was stolen for the election, the young engineer and his business partner booked a new bar in Convent Garden for their second Christmas party. You may recall that the lovely girl did some work experience with her big brother over the summer, but she was shocked to receive an invite to said party……we all received them, a dead give away that they came from the business partner and not the young engineer. He would not want parents and grandparents arriving and getting carried away with the festivities! Or so he says….
The family suffered a huge loss on the morning of the 12th December as our old dog took a turn for the worse and had to be taken to the vet for the last time. He has been my constant companion since chronic illness struck and I am heartbroken…..another post for another day. A trip to London that evening was not something any of us wanted – it was windy and raining, and Mum and I needed waterproof mascara for other reasons. The whole country was waiting with baited breath as the election exit polls started to emerge and we were looking for our parking spot in a Covent Garden car park. The weather was playing havoc with my pain – my back and leg nerve pain was screaming at me and my shoulders felt like something was grating away the bone each time I moved my arms. Naturally the wine bar was in an old building and the young engineer had booked the basement bar – the barman was convinced that he was going to have to carry this middle aged woman down the stairs, whilst hubby suggested an inflatable slide like they use on aircraft. But I shut them all up and slowly (I like to think of it being dignified!) I made my way down the stairs as my Dad waited at the bottom to catch me. No, that did not fill me with confidence.
A good time was had by all and yours truly managed the whole evening without shedding a tear – even when my boy gave me a hug. Please note – this is a very rare occurrence!!! The music was loud and sent magnificent vibrations through my titanium spine and spinal cord stimulator – I still can’t decide whether it was a pleasant or horrendous feeling – the food was great and the cocktails were exorbitant (price!). We met the rest of the Risk Ledger team, which has increased to 8 this year and were amused to hear what our boy is like as a boss. We, the parents and grandparents, did a good job at being the embarrassing family – we are all quite loud, sociable and will chat to anyone and are very different to the young engineer! I think that several of his friends/employees were surprised that hubby and I aren’t tech geeks -no he doesn’t get it from us. It would have been very easy to stay at home for so many reasons, but I am glad to have pushed through the pain and the grief to have been able to come away a very proud mum – just don’t tell him that I said that!!
My pick of inspiring blogs are all festive themed – some of them full of cheer, others about coping with this time of year as it is not great for us all. So grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy!
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Have a great weekend,