9 Dec 2010

Hestia and....The Bleak Midwinter

I'd get those gutters fixed, frankly.
Scotland put up a big 'Closed Due To Bad Weather' sign at the border a few days ago when we got hit with more snow in a week than we've had since mammoths cruised up and down Sauchiehall Street.

And I'm not talking about that hardy breed of girl that staggers around after midnight wearing a two-sizes too small boob tube and denim mini skirt in sub-zero temperatures singing Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me into an emty lager bottle whilst eying up some shivering youth waiting at a bus stop.

The airports were closed, the motorways became giant car parks.  Articulated lorries jack-knifed on sliproads meaning that the only thing you could do in the blizzarding snow was count mile after mile of stationery red tail lights.

Some lucky people spent the night in a John Lewis store.  Others in an M&S and a Tesco.  Spare a thought for the people enroute to Cambuslang who had to spend the night shivering in their bus.  A service bus.  Not a coach with inside lights, a telly and a toilet. Just your usual ricketty bus.  I would rather die and go to hell.  I imagine the travellers felt that they already had.

I watch all this from my snow-free island retreat with trepidation.  Tertarus is due home next week and it's looking dodgy.  I'm not trepidatous about Tertarus getting off the boat.  I'm trepidatous wondering when will be the right moment to start tidying the house.

Tidy too early and I peak before he gets home.  This results in the house degenerating into its usual Beirut-esque quagmire of piles of magazines and discarded shoes so that when he comes through the back door, drops his case, sighing in despair - he thinks that I've not even tried.

Start tidying too late and he gets home before I've completed all the jobs required....and he drops his case, sighs and thinks that I've not even tried.

We'll not go into the leaking mouse in the mouse-trap from a few leaves ago, nor the cure for cancer that he uncovered in the fridge.  I'm not naturally domesticated, ok?  I don't take PRIDE in a tidy home, there's just more important things to do in life.

For Tertarus though, nothing is more important than order and neatness.  In his mother's house, there were no drawers jammed closed with piles of QVC receipts.  No stacks of magazines next to the sofa.  No shelves stacked 2-deep with books.  No cupboards crammed with ancient cookery books.  In fact, there was nothing that indicated much of a personality at all.  When *I* die, he's going to need to hire a SKIP. Possibly two.

So you can see my dilemma.

Plus, it's Christmas.  I stepped out of the nanowrimo month into December without a Christmas present in my head or a card in the house.  I've still not bought a single card.  It's making me feel a bit panicked - like discovering you're on the bus in your slippers.

Have you actually tried to thin down your Christmas card list? All that happens is you get to 22 December and you have to run out to a Charity shop and buy several packs of emergency cards to frantically send out to all those people whom you had carefully scored off your list.  Why? Because THEY sent YOU a card. And you don't want to look bad.

The other problem is the heating.  I have the heating on until pretty late at night because the house, although beautiful, is like a goddamned crypt.  I took a meter reading and worked out how much I'd spent in a month. Just let's say I could really help reduce the country's national debt.

Tertarus is a firm believer in turning the heating off and just putting on lots of jumpers.  I am sitting typing to you wearing a bra, thermal vest, lambswool jumper and Weirdfish fleece.  And jeans and what not of course.  And the heating is on.  I don't need blood circulating in my veins, I need antifreeze.

Anyway, enough of the snowy doom and gloom.  Here's something to cheer you up, dear reader!

I've got a bit of a treat lined up for you over the next few days.  First of all, we'll be having a pukka GIVEAWAY thanks to those lovely people at Waldo Pancake!  It will run for a week or so and the lucky winner will receive a goody bag dispatched directly from WP Towers.  I thought it best not to get it sent here because, frankly, you will only end up with a goody pencil because I would make off with all the lovelies.

In the week before Christmas, we are going to have a Carol Concert on the blog.  Yes, really.  I'm going to load up some little widgetty things into the blog and the words to 3 carols.  The music will be provided by ME (courtesy of Frank, my poor music teacher who has been drilling Oh Come All Ye Faithful and similar into me since about September!) and you WILL sing along. Slowly. Wherever you might be.  Because life is too short to be sensible all the time.  Right?

OK - get practising!!!


  1. I like the pukka bit! and the snow of course. From a distance it all looks quite magical courtesy of Backwards in High Heels. Actually living in it may be a bit of a nightmare actually! I feel cold in Melbourne so you can imagine how I would feel there.

  2. Not sure if the Austrians are still putting anti freeze in their wine, but you might want to give that a go.
    I remember, some time in my dim and oh so distant past, working as a ski instructor up in Aviemore. It was so cold one year, my ski boots froze solid, inside my little cabin. I had to take them to the Badenoch Hotel and ask the chef if he would thaw them out in the oven before I could start work.

  3. Dearest Ali, how lovely to have you back! As ever your posts never fail to disappoint.

    I can't believe you missed out on the snow! My geography must be worse than I thought! I'm still smiling at the thought of mammoths "crusing" through Glasgow.

    I feel for you with the tidying up. I should come and life laundry your place... you won't know what's hit you! But don't panic, it's not likely I'll be passing at any point. And you wouldn't be able to crack me up with your domestic stories.

    I can't talk, I have an incredible and unbelievably brilliant (and appreciated) lady who does. Twice a week. I know that sounds bad. Victorian houses get dusty! Well that's my excuse anyway.

    As for Christmas cards I gave up sending them years ago as I have so many friends it took me bloody days. I give one to The Actor on Christmas day, I send my Dad one and give one to my neighbours two doors down who are like my adopted family. And that's it. No more stressing over cards.

    Hope to speak very soon for a catch up xx

    PS. In answer to your question; I don't tape myself into the Ossie dress as it's terribly well made and I don't have enough to pop out.

  4. I'm always cold too I leave the heating on all the time during winter,never goes off.I hide when the bill arrives.
    I made a decision a few years ago to only send cards to people I don't see(abroad etc).just seemed such an unnecessary hassle or is that bah humbug?
    Can't wait for the carol concert love a good sing along.I'll be the loud but out of tune one at the back!

  5. Thank you for the giggle this morning .. I loved the thought of the boob tubed girl..ahh memories of a mis spent youth :)
    We are also suffering not from snow but solid ice... we could charge admission..skating and bob sleigh...nightmare.
    Christmas cards..easy don't send them I stopped years ago..I make a donation to NSPCC instead.. people think I am scrooge ..I am not just fed up with the panic stress and the who's who of cards and after the first few years of embarrassment you get a thick skin LOL
    Get your jobs done..then leave the house until the last minute ..:) xx

  6. You cheered me up with the comment about the girls wandering down the street late at night which was spot on.

    And then the carol concert - amazing!

    I wish I could offer advice on the housework but I am in a bit of a weird place with that myself. My parents insisted we tidied up but left piles of newspapers and unopened post all over the place.

    Now I am houseproud but leave piles of unopened post about the place until it drives me crazy and I file it. In a filing system.

    But I think start too early and see if you can keep it up maybe. We are due a partial thaw this weekend.

    I shall try to join in the carol concert too but I really have no aptitude.

  7. no christmas cards. for the last few years i was only sending them out to several aged relatives. now, not even that. i call it environmentalism, even though it's mostly laziness on my part. also, i think cards, unless packed to the brim with cash, are sort of pointless. especially the ones where people only sign their name - really? you're letting me what your name is? that's SWELL!

  8. Polish Chick - yes, the single word entry in the card, seems hardly worth the postage, doesn't it?

    Siobhan - Keep your fingers crossed that I master the technology that will allow it to take place. And that I manage to batter out the tunes at a reasonable speed for singing to take place. Laughing is, of course, de rigour!

    Ruby Tuesday - like the idea of the NSPCC Donation - I think I'll do that next year. It's all gone a bit bonkers now, I think.

    NS - loud, out of tune singing is the only way to do it. Wait till you hear the keyboard accompanyment :-D

    Christina - good news about the Ossie Clark dress :-) I have thought about getting in a lady that does. Even in just the week before he comes home. Two of us would get through it all in no time!

    Legend - you are a man of many talents, ain't ya? *impressed face*. I can't ski. Went once, with my pal Seona and I spent the whole day sliding down the hillside on my arse shouting 'excuse me' to all the skiers as I whizzed past, knocking them down like skittles and apologising as my descent gathered speed.

    Mystica - how can you be COLD in Melbourne??? Don't even think about coming to Scotland. I think even our hottest days will leave you searching for a sweater lol! Only joking - come any time!

    Ali x

  9. I used to be a 'cards go out on the 1st of December' person. so not happening this year since it's the tenth and i haven't bought any.

    Also the snow and i have a love hate relationship. I love it when I'm inside or it's the weekend. I HATE it when i have to get anywhere.


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