I'd actually planned a completely different post, but then I had a 180 degree change of heart, and at the moment I feel kind of bouncy!
I had felt like Pilgrim slowly plodding his way through the Slough of Despond. And then things starting changing. It's really weird. But Starman never ceases to amaze me. I often wonder whether we have some strange kind of telepathy between us. So I have one or two stories to tell. If you get bored, just switch off!
Around a year ago my car keys were lost. Starman had borrowed my car, which is an oldish landrover, but which we need in the rural area in which we live. He'd borrowed it in the morning. In the afternoon I needed to run into town. I went to the hook where the car keys are meant to live, and voila, no car keys. We have a hook each, just for car keys. I searched high and low. No car keys. I accused him of losing the aforesaid car keys. He searched high and low. No car keys.
I used the spare keys and went into town. It was inconvenient as there were other keys on the keyring, and things like my 'trolley smiley face' (which is like a pound coin that you use to put into your supermarket trolley - we don't get free trolleys in England!) I was not amused.
My mother in law came to visit another day. She was roped in to looking for the car keys. She searched Starman's office, and our son's work shop/garage, and all over the barn. No car keys.
Our son said that Dad was always losing things. It was either his reading glasses, or the car keys or his wallet, or well, practically anything! But still no car keys.
As I said. That happened a year ago.
Starman was out getting diesel. Our son arrived in the kitchen with a very guilty grin on his face. He was dangling something from a finger. I peered a little closer and my eyes narrowed.
MY CAR KEYS!!!
He looked very sheepish. "I know what you are going to say" he told me. "I haven't worn this coat since last winter. I just put my hands in the pockets, and look what I found."
"I should kill you" I snarled.
"I know" he replied. "I forgot that I used your car after Dad the day they got lost. I remember now that my mobile went on my way from the cartlodge to the barn, and I stuffed them in my pocket. When I finished the call I had to go out in my truck and got back so late that I completely forgot about them or that I'd borrowed your car in the first place.
Don't tell Dad. I'm getting like him. I'll never live it down."
I put the keys back on the hook next to the spare keys.
It wasn't long before Starman noticed that there were suddenly two pairs of keys. "Oh yes?" he asked, and if he could raise an eyebrow he would've.
Now, don't forget that we are now into Dd. Oh help! "They seem to have turned up" I told him nonchalantly.
"Oh yes?" (the eyebrow was figuratively still raised) "And where did you find them?"
He looked me in the eye. "Now Ami. Tell the truth." (The eyebrow got even higher, or would've if it could've!) "Tell me the truth! Now!" Oh help. Oh help. Oh help.
So I did. But I did explain that I had promised our son not to say a word. And now perhaps he wouldn't trust me ever again.
"But I will Ami" Starman told me. And my eyes filled immediately of course.
And actually Starman simply teased our son about it. And told him, of course, that he was growing to be like his father. (Which, naturally, I already knew!)
Yesterday we entertained. We had around 60 people coming for our annual Christmas lunchtime drinks session. In previous years I have slaved away for weeks in anticipation of this event. But this year, having catered for 125 for our daughter's wedding in June, I felt I would have to cheat a little. So I ordered entertaining food from Waitrose (it's a large supermarket chain in the UK) and Starman decided he would make a huge amount of hot spiced cider, and just offer wine, beer or soft drinks for anyone who didn't want the cider.
We were up early and Starman sorted out the furniture in the open body of the barn so that there would be plenty of room for people to circulate around the table and to stand, or sit, and talk. I worked in the kitchen preparing the food, setting it to keep hot, getting flowers, candles, plates and napkins into position etc.
The phone started ringing. People who couldn't come due to illness. People who were going to be late. People who wanted to bring extra people as they were staying with them for the holidays. The list kept rising and falling like a storm at sea. I got more and more stressed.
There was only a half an hour left before people were due to arrive and I wasn't even dressed. Blind panic was setting in.
Starman was feeling the heat too. Literally. His forehead was beaded with sweat. Our kitchen is built for the Arctic, not a mild wet winter! (We have a large cast iron stove that is oil fed and stays hot all the time.) He was getting very agitated, especially with the list. I burnt the tops of some sausage rolls, and he turned round and snapped at me. I was stunned.
I had worked so hard to concentrate on what I had to get done, even when he was under my feet in the kitchen. I had kept to task. I was very nearly ready. Just a few more things. I hadn't said (which is very very unusual for me) one mean or snarky word to Starman that morning.
I started to cry quietly. I was trying to throw away the burnt sausage rolls and do some new ones, but my hands were shaking and I couldn't see what I was doing. I could feel the tears sliding down my cheeks and dripping off my chin. "I can't do this Dd thing one minute longer" I thought to myself. "Enough is enough!"
Then suddenly Starman was next to me and wrapping me in his arms and kissing my tears. "I'm so sorry Ami" he said. "I didn't mean to yell at you. To tell you the truth I am gobsmacked (overwhelmed!) at how you've behaved this Christmas. I can't believe it's you!"
I cried harder. He hugged harder.
"Now then. Don't cry. Go and sort yourself out and get changed while I do the sausage rolls. Have got enough? You seem to be feeding the five thousand here!" He chuckled. "I really like the new you Ami."
Yes, you've guessed it. I went upstairs and cried even harder. But tears of joy and surprise this time.
Our party was a great success - around 45 people came in the end. The first arrived at 12.30 spot on, and the last left at 7.00 pm. We were exhausted. Especially me in my killer heels - to which I finally admitted defeat at around 5.30! My back still aches today! But my heart is so warm I think I don't think I'll need any external means of heating for a long time!
Starman didn't give me anything for Christmas. As I normally have to give him hints for weeks, if not months in advance, I wasn't really too surprised. I have even been known to give him a list.
Some years I have had to find him the wrapping paper to wrap the gift I already knew I was getting. Some years I have had to buy it myself. Some years it's simply been left until the January sales. Some years I have ended up having a monumental row with him for being so thoughtless. Especially the year I bought him a gift for every one of the twelve days of Christmas, and tried my best to theme them to each of the days - and he told me that due to being away working he'd run out of time.
So I was just so happy that the holiday had gone without any major confrontations, and that our party had been successful, and that our HOH/TIH role had taken a a significant stride forwards, that I didn't even think about the lack of a gift.
This morning my wonderful husband handed me a small package. No it wasn't wrapped. That would've been asking too much. But he had not only thought about it well before Christmas, he had chosen it himself, and he told me my safety meant a great deal to him.
He had bought me a smart phone. I'll not mention the name, but it does everything. Calls, well, yes of course, and texts, but also photos, and videos, and emails and gives a weather forecast, and has Apps! My old mobile was an antiquity. It made calls and texts, but that was all. I'd had it years. It was almost a brick I'd had it so long. I just never in my wildest dreams expected him to get me a gift like this. He's already spoiled me for my birthday in November with a digital camera. (My old camera was perfectly good, but not digital.) I was happy with that pressie and that would have covered Christmas as well.
"I thought you'd like it love" he was being squeezed very tight at the time and sounded a bit breathless. "I don't want to think of you breaking down and not being able to contact me. I like to contact you too, you know. Your old phone was very temperamental and unreliable. I feel happier now."
So, not just one, but three amazingly (to me anyway!) wonderful events, and just when I was feeling low about the whole HOH thing. And I have learned so much from each event. I'm just bursting at the seams with joy! Never before has being honest, being respectful, and being kept safe, had such an impact on my life. As I said in my previous post, I thought I knew everything, but I know nothing.
Once again, a Very Happy New Year 2013 to all my friends! I am doing my best to link my site you all of yours so it's easier with comments. Cat has kindly said she will help me sort my site out. So, onwards and upwards....