One more sleep till Christmas

Yes, we will be singing along to Muppet Christmas Carol a little later on – our time honoured family Christmas Eve tradition (though every other year when the children are with their dad, we move Christmas Eve (and day) to a time which suits!).

Foot update: huge improvement in the past week. As of today I can shuffle around the house on flat surfaces unaided by airboot or crutches – though I am using the airboot when I have to actually do anything useful at any speed! Yesterday One and I went into town on the bus, and with one crutch plus the boot I completed the rest of the Christmas present shopping. We celebrated this major achievement with a Black Forest hot chocolate each in a certain chain coffee shop in the centre of town, before getting the bus home again! In the afternoon I walked, with boot and crutch, to the supermarket, put the crutch in a trolley, negotiated food buying, and then had a lift home from a lovely friend.

I am still doing everything at snail’s pace, but at least I can do pretty much everything again now, and being forced to go slowly is actually very good for me. It’s not my natural way to do things and I know I miss so much by rushing around all the time.

No idea yet when I’ll be able to drive again but I can now see that possibility on the horizon and I’m still hoping to be back at work at the beginning of next term.

Something amazing happened over the weekend. We have been without central heating since last February (when a local, horrified, plumber came and told us we needed an entire new system as it is all out of the ark), and the immersion heater died at the beginning of October, leaving us with no hot water either. We have attempted to get on the new boiler scheme, but were deemed unsuitable by the company we applied to as our system is too old and unreliable and they couldn’t risk putting a new boiler onto a system which might die. That was a very low moment. My mum came to the rescue with the offer of funding and I contacted a different local plumber who had been recommended. He is massively busy at the moment and can’t replace the boiler till January, but after a few weeks of trying to find a second hand pump for a temporary patch up, he turned up out of the blue brandishing said pump on Saturday afternoon and managed to get the radiators on. We were amazed and delighted, which turned to despair when after an hour and a half the boiler died again. On Sunday the plumber returned, drained all the air out of the system and since then, so far, everything has worked as it should.

It is truly amazing having radiators that come on and warm up, and hot water coming directly out of a tap instead of a kettle. My first bath in nearly three months was indescribably wonderful.

We still need a new boiler, at least, and the plumber is hoping we might not need new pipes or radiators, but he says it’s very difficult to tell until he starts the work. A wonderful lady at CAMHS who works with one of my children is currently looking into the possibility of finding grants for funding which might help save my mum from having to pay out quite so much. There is some hope of a warmer, more efficient house for 2014! And at least we’re getting a warm Christmas!

After such a busy day out and about yesterday, I have no intention of getting dressed at all today. So far, we have had my mum round for a cuppa and a chat, and watched the 2000 version of The Railway Children (I cried and cried at ‘Oh Daddy, my Daddy’, and all of my children laughed at me… heartless wretches). In half an hour or so it will be time to close the blinds and get Michael Caine and the Muppets into the DVD player.

All three children are here and we are snug and warm. Everything is ready and Christmas can begin. I feel relaxed and hugely grateful for a gradually mending foot and warm radiators.

I wish all of my readers and friends a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and hopeful New Year. If I had any sort of resolution it would be to continue to try to live my life one day at a time, and looking for joy in the small things. Some days that is very far from reality, but all I can do is continue to try!

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