18 December 2012

Merry (although not too merry) Christmas

Hearing some of the stories people at my local Al-Anon meeting tell of their life with an alcoholic makes me appreciate what a better place I am in now. Six years ago I was living with a 24-hour, 7-days a week drinker. I thought I was going crazy living on a merry-go-round I couldn't get off, with no prospect of a solution or salvation. Nobody to help me, no professional body to turn to with any practical means of help and only my (then teenage) daughter to talk to about it.

Almost three years ago, the solution came. A drastic one at that. A death, a funeral, a catharsis. It was not meant to be that my alcoholic would stop drinking and we would ride off into the sunset to start retirement hand-in-hand together. I would have preferred it, but it was not meant to be. Instead I have become stronger, calmer, at peace. Alone, but at peace. I really feel for those at Al-Anon and elsewhere who continue to suffer their living nightmares. I want to tell them that peace will come eventually, although maybe at a price.  I have much to be grateful for, not least of which is that I am not living in that hell any more.

I'm building up to that annual crescendo when I collect my mother, welcome back my daughter from uni for a few weeks and pile the house high with enough food to feed the Albert Hall in one sitting. Beds are made, the house is sparkling and the cards all sent to their far-flung destinations. All that remains is to wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas and all the best for the New Year, especially for those still on that nightmare merry-go-round.

Merry Christmas (although hopefully not too merry for some!)

10 December 2012

Hang on, Snoopy.

I was hunkered down in front of the X-factor final on Saturday with a German beer and some nibbles when Snoopy jumped off the sofa and looked at me with that look says "ignore me at your peril". He will often do that during the course of an evening. It is almost as if he hates to see me finally relaxing after I have been buzzing about all day like a blue - a****  fly while he snores his head off on the sofa. Come the evening, I slow down and he comes alive. Well, no wonder, he's been asleep all day!

He'll stand in front of me and fix his gorgeous brown eyes right on mine, look right through me and try to tell me something. It can mean "I want a biscuit for looking cute", "I want a biscuit for not looking cute", "Just give me the biscuit" or "Let me out into the garden, I need to do a wee." By process of elimination, I usually get to find out what he wants.  I can't simply ignore him, because he stands between me and the television  and, as he is quite a big dog, he blocks my field of vision.  Which can be pretty irritating when you have just settled down to watch the X-factor final with a beer and some nibbles.

I had to pause Christopher Maloney singing a duet with Gary Barlow (thank goodness for being able to pause live television these days) and go downstairs to let Snoopy out into the garden. He did a wee AND a poo, came back in again, got a biscuit for looking cute and I then returned upstairs to the lounge to carry on watching TV. He didn't follow me upstairs and after a few minutes, I paused the TV again and went back downstairs to see what he was doing. He has a habit lately of scavenging in the kitchen waste bin, pulling out the discarded cellophane that has wrapped meat or fish and chewing round it for the flavour. He'll then leave the tell-tale bits of cellophane all over the kitchen and when reprimanded look at me in all innocence with a look that says "it wasn't me". I half expected to find him doing that. What I found, however was not nearly as pleasant. Diarrhoea all over my kitchen floor! Eeeeeeuugh! All hopes of returning to the X-factor were rapidly abandoned, as I gathered kitchen towel, plastic bags and gloves for the mop-up operation.

I already know he has something wrong with his liver and pancreas (see here). However, looking cute is no compensation and I suspect a trip to the vet will be on the cards this week, if this continues.

Footnote   We went to the vet yesterday and after three injections (painkiller,antibiotic and steroid) Snoopy seems much improved this morning. Could be a touch of colitis, thinks the vet, but I am to observe what the steroid does over the week and report back. Now I have a pain in my purse!     12.12.12.

03 December 2012

Daylight robbery

I'm still recovering from the shock. I've sat down quietly in a darkened room and am hugging a mug of hot chocolate to calm my nerves. It's  never happened to me before, so it'll definitely take some getting used to. I expect once it's happened a few times, or I can talk it over with one or two supportive friends,  I'll come to terms with it, but nevertheless, the first time is the worst, I suppose.............

This morning I went to the local Post Office. I had about 5 small-ish ebay parcels to send, a parcel to some friends in Germany, a few stamps for the USA and Germany, and an order for sixty 2nd class stamps and ten 1st class stamps. The bill came to £66.65! I usually spend a lot in the post office every Christmas but it has always been under £40. I love sending Christmas cards to my kith and kin in the USA, Germany and around the UK, but am beginning to wonder if emails and e-cards are the way to go in the future. Either that or re-mortgage the house!