Category: Reclaiming the Home

90 minutes to go

About 90 minutes until Harry comes home.

Things I have done:

  • Two loads of laundry
  • Nearly all the tidying
  • Cleaned the hall
  • Finished knitting the scarf
  • Been to the supermarket for the remaining ingredients for Xmas dinner

I may have over-compensated with Xmas food as the fridge is rather full and there is a large chocolate cake that I think we will struggle to finish. Tomorrow we are going to roast a chicken because Harry is around to help me cook – in  previous years I’ve been content with pre-cooked slices. There is chicken gravy and all the veg and stuffing. Pudding will be a choice of traditional Christmas pudding or else there’s a pumpkin spice sponge pudding, both with custard. We have wine.

I remembered to get ice for cocktails and we have this year’s Christmas flowers too, there were still a few bunches left in the supermarket. I’ll post a picture of the flowers tomorrow, in daylight.

Things I still need to do (quickly!):

  • Clean the small bathroom
  • Put a table cloth and flowers on the dining table
  • Weave in the ends on this scarf and wrap it up
  • Have a shower and make myself more presentable

In the supermarket, there were heavily-discounted gift wrap and tags so I bought a couple for next year.

Xmas Eve

I just want to sit around and do nothing but Xmas is tomorrow and Xmas Eve is this evening, so I have a to-do list which I had better get on with.

  • Clean the smaller bathroom and give the larger bathroom a once-over.
  • Give the kitchen a quick clean and put the rest of the groceries away.
  • Reboot the laundry.
  • Superficial tidying in the bedroom and living room.
  • Clean the hall, this will mean disposing of some junk as well as mopping the floor.
  • Take the rubbish out.

At this point, all my rooms are clean at the same time, this always requires several days of housework and basically only happens once a year when I am on holiday from work.

  • Finish knitting that scarf, quick. There are only 22 rows left to go and I have to weave in the ends, then we’re done.
  • Find out what time Harry is expected. Have a shower, put on some clean clothes and make-up. Put a bottle of something fizzy in the fridge.

I’d better start on the hall. Hopefully it won’t take too long.

Maybe we can have a Xmas tune to help ourselves get in the mood. Check out this upbeat medley from the 1930s and 1940s. ‘In my Christmas letter, I asked Santa Claus to bring me you’.



I have missed World of Warcraft so much. I haven’t played any PC games for a whole year, because the TLYW Year of Console Gaming began at exactly this time in 2016. I will do a separate post about that soon because we need to figure out how to complete the programme.

That’s obviously Santa on the left and on the right is my main character, a level 104 undead warrior who is 11 years old this Xmas, isn’t that amazing. I’m going to collect her Xmas presents now and then repeat the process for all of my alts, there are a lot. They are all Horde. Lok’tar Ogar!

warcraft xmas 2017

That’s better.  I forgot she had a Christmas jumper.

warcraft xmas jumper 2017

It is the eve of Christmas Eve

Xmas is finally approaching. Santa is finally coming to my house. I’ve waited months and months.

I am home, having discharged all my responsibilities. Groceries are coming this evening. Tomorrow during the day I will finish cleaning the house, then Harry will come home and we will have Christmas Eve tomorrow evening. Then it is Actual Christmas Day on the 29th.

I would like to finish the cleaning this evening but I am too exhausted so here is my alternative to-do list for tonight (it is already 4pm and starting to get dark).

  • Make coffee, I have cream in the fridge.
  • Log on to World of Warcraft and collect my in-game Xmas presents (the first Xmas presents of this year, there will be more from Harry on Xmas Day, which is of course Friday).
  • Take delivery of the groceries.
  • Pour a drink, put on a Xmas movie and attempt to finish a hat and scarf that I’ve been knitting for Harry so I can wrap it up and put it under the tree before he comes home.

I want to quickly say thanks to everyone who has worked over Xmas. Thank you for that. Your efforts are appreciated. I hope you have a restful new year.

Xmas is not here yet.

I don’t care what it says on your calendar, it is wrong. Xmas has arrived when the following things have happened.

– My house is clean. It is not there yet despite my valiant efforts. I still have to do the bathroom and hall. I missed the last day of cleaning because I was in bed with a tension headache.

– Family members have been visited. Spending time with family can be challenging and effortful, esp when you are already tired from work. I expect you don’t need to listen to me going on about it.

– I am making dinner in my own kitchen.

Today I am going to eat leftover curry while looking after Mom.

So that’s why it’s not Xmas yet, no matter what you may have been told. I will let you know when it happens. It is still a few days away.

And quite suddenly, it’s Christmas

I am a bit hung over today because I had too many cocktails in the same evening. One the one hand, this is obviously bad and is the reason I have time to blog instead of working. On the other hand, they were delicious cocktails – I was drinking ginger, chilli and lime margaritas and they were bloody amazing, but don’t drink about five if you only had a small dinner because you will have a headache the next morning. I will post the recipe at the end of all today’s news.

It is well and truly December so as well as dealing with the huge pile of work, I am trying to clean the house so we can have CHRISTMAS. I am very excited. Look, I managed to put the tree up.

xmas tree 2017

Best tree decorations of the year –

Glass figures by Gisela Graham. Robot Santa, snowman astronaut, a gingerbread baker, a letterbox.

Tin toys. Train, fire engine, plane.

Sugar skulls and dinosaurs from Paperchase.

Some lovely robins.


I stayed up late that night, cleaning and decorating the tree. During the night, it snowed. I woke up to this in the morning, how apt.

snowy tree

Happy almost-Christmas, everyone. I am looking forward to a lot of blogging in the immediate future, as I attempt to take a few weeks off work. Hooray! And now for the cocktail recipe. This is probably wrong but it is the way I made it.

Ginger, Chilli and Lime Margarita

To make the syrup:

  • Finely chopped fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon
  • Finely sliced hot chillis, a bit less than a tablespoon
  • White sugar, 2 cups
  • Water, 2 and two-thirds cups

Heat up the water in a pan. Add the sugar and dissolve. Add the ginger and chilli. Simmer for 20 mins, the mixture will reduce. Decant and put in the fridge. You are supposed to strain it but I didn’t bother, realising that the cocktail shaker will do that for me.

To make the drink:

  • Tequila, 200ml (I think it was 200ml, I was drunk)
  • Syrup, 150ml (probably)
  • Triple sec, 50ml
  • Fresh lime, one
  • Crushed ice, a lot.

Get your glasses that look like this:


Frost the edge of the glasses (instructions below). Put crushed ice in the glasses. Put crushed ice in the cocktail shaker. Add all the alcohol, the syrup and all the juice you can squeeze from the lime. Shake vigorously until you can’t be bothered to shake it any more. Pour into glasses.

If you are fancy, you have saved a very thin slice of lime to use as a decoration on top of the pile of snow. It is refreshing and freezing cold, yet warming and spicy hot. It is like the best bits of winter all smashed together. It kicks like a mule.

How to frost the rim of your glass:

Choose either salt or sugar. Take a clean, small paintbrush. Dip it in the syrup and paint around the outer edge of the glass. Tip some salt or sugar into a saucer and roll the wet rim of the glass in it. Doing this will ensure that the salt or sugar stays on the outside of the glass and doesn’t leak into your drink, spoiling the flavour.

How many drinks this makes: quite enough. I will not drink so many next time. Harry tried to stop me but I just laughed and said “I assure you I’m not drunk, officer, honestly, I’ve only had a few ales”.

An evening off.

Wow! I have an evening off! It has certainly been a busy few months. Let me give you a news update, now that I have the chance.

Work. There has been plenty of it, for fun and profit. Business is very busy indeed. I was a little overwhelmed for a while there and couldn’t blog or do anything outside of work. But it is easing back now and I am so looking forward to Christmas holidays.

Travel. There was loads! I went to the Netherlands, then went a second time. Then I went to India and then to California. I’m back in London now and I have lots of photos to share with you. In the spring of 2018 I am going to Washington! I’ve never been there before.

Romance. Omg! It has been really exciting. I had to check back to earlier posts to find out what I told you so far about Harry. We are getting along very happily. We had our first date in mid May and that means we’ve been seeing each other for six months! He is at my place most of the time and is on track for coming to live with me full time in the new year. His family (parents, brothers, extended family) have been informed about our relationship and are understandably very curious about me. I spoke to his older brother (27) on the phone a couple of days ago and we have invited Mum (53) out to dinner. Eek! His brother told me that after being initially reticent, Harry now talks about me a lot. I need to lose ten (30) pounds and get my teeth bleached.

Health. Fucking teeth. We’re looking at doing another bone graft in 2018 on the other side of my face.

Art. Yes! I managed to see art in the Netherlands and India, photos forthcoming.

Christmas. I cannot wait, seriously. I am going to take as many days off work as possible and clean and decorate the house so we can have a romantic Xmas holiday with the new boyfriend. I have some awesome new decorations for the tree which I will show you nearer the time. Robots, dinosaurs and various other things.

Gaming. Year of the Console Game has been on hold for the last six weeks, after my work diary blew up and obliterated everything. I am very excited to get back on it asap. We are on Month 10 and were supposed to start Dead Island on 1 October. I am much happier when I have gaming in my life and I don’t find most mobile games quite as rewarding. Harry plays chess.

As you can see, everything is basically okay. Photos and travel news shortly. We have some catching up to do.