Well, the PAM has brought new meaning to ‘that’s you off my Christmas List then!’ The list has been cut by half due to circumstances beyond our control.
Not that I’m complaining – she has to sit still with this poor old foot up when she’s writing Christmas cards – and to some extent when she’s wrapping up presents – though she tends to wriggle and fidget a bit more with the latter.
The last two days have been difficult here in V-toe land.
On Friday the teen had to be taken to his Muay Thai lesson as the teacher had no transport (some weird sort of martial art if you must know). This entailed a trip to the outer reaches but the PAM’s face lit up when she found that these reaches touched on the Trafford Centre. Truculent teen was dropped off and PAM and the other half hit the TC – she with glee – but not he.
It wasn’t too bad to start off with but the other half had to go to collect the teen and left the PAM in a queue a million miles long. Goods bought and paid for eventually, she lugged me off to that newsworthy coffee shop where, after some suitably comic moments, she finally managed to heave us all up onto a bar stool with an excellent people-watching advantage and a venti gingerbread latte.
The other half and the teen were supposed to meet her there, they’d go for lunch and have another little spot of retail therapy.
The world descended on the TC at lunchtime.
The other half and the teen had a falling-out which resulted in both of them phoning the PAM separately to complain about the other. I sat smugly tucked up under the bar stool (I was wearing one of my little black WWs with sparkly black trim and a white ribbon bow – so cute).
It was a race to see who was the most cross and therefore walked the fastest. The teen won but in his haste completely overshot the coffee-house and had to be texted to bring him back.
The PAM and I were captive; all the effort that it took to get us up on the stool was sapped by the animosity being expressed to each other by her menfolk ( the rest of the toes and I NEVER fall out with each other – although there have been occasions where we’ve been more than a little squashed and tetchy).
The other half helped her down and the consensus was to get the flock out of there; the TC is no place to be with an over-sensitive toe, grumpy husband and deeply morose son.
Usually the car is a safe haven but not on that day. It is a large car but not with two miserable men in it. Food was essential to restore the equilibrium and after a long and winding route back into civilisation, sustenance was obtained from the other fast food place with a drive-thru (not the chicken-y one).
After the morning’s traumas, I thought the PAM would be kind and tuck me up on her cushion whilst she tackled the ominous essay. No such luck. Some of the other half’s temper was caused by an achy-breaky back but luckily the physio with the magical fingers had a five o’clock slot and so we were off out into the rain again in the rush hour. Plenty of over the top Christmas decorations to be appalled at on the way though.
The other half had his back cracked and was more cheerful but still no chance of going home. They have run out of food again and a trip to the supermarket is the only solution.
I’m getting used to the cold – changes in temperature will cause the stinging stuff and occasional jab of white-hot pain – but RAIN! The holy boot I wear is no protection against rain and on the way back from the car, hands full of shopping, the PAM went straight through the water feature that gathers on the paving stones outside the kitchen door.
Cold! Wet! Pain! My chic little WW was soaked as was my boot. Thank heaven for radiators (although not for drying wet clothes on – you get that horrible rank false-dry odour that often wafts past you in the office, or supermarket, or TC).
Everyone was talking to each other again and the evening was spent in cushion cuddling bliss for me – essay-agitation for the PAM. Don’t know why – she should be an expert on corporate harm and negligence by now – ooh – controversial!
Up with the lark on Saturday to collect the other one from Uni. Various issues conspired to make us all late – as usual; my outfit for today was the giant Christmas WW which allows me to peek cheekily out of the boot in scarlet splendour and has apparently caused male envy due to it’s size (the one that accommodates me AND the the other four toes).
It was a long drive North but the heat was ON – and I was content. The PAM and the other half were singing along to 80’s hits and all was reasonably well with the world – especially when it stopped raining.
The other one is in a shared house now but there was no frantic cleaning of the communal kitchen or washing up flamingo-style this year – his housemates are tidy ladies and he meets their exacting standards. There was a huge pile of recycling to take, but the other half likes doing this and the PAM and I merely sat in the still-warm car and made silly comments.
What looked like several weeks worth of washing and ironing, together with enough equipment to supply a small independent office, was packed into the car and we stopped en route for home to have a late but extremely civilised lunch. We all avoided alcohol – well nearly – the PAM was seduced by a coffee laced with Tia Maria and was therefore a tad merry when clambering back into the car – hey – it is Christmas nearly!
Homeward bound and the roads weren’t too bad considering. A slight detour to buy more fast food for the teen – who had been left home in bed with strict instructions to clean up his mess – instructions that were ignored of course.
Getting his priorities right – the other one unpacked his computer gear first and ensured that he had Internet access before he touched anything else.
I’d like to say that we all had a peaceful night – I’d like to – but the teen was playing with the other kids in America and the yattering went on all night so that it was almost a relief to get up with the other half who was heading off to work at some ungodly hour. It should be mentioned that his bad back was caused by a combination of crouching ready to pounce at paintball and spending most of Thursday sitting in the jump seat of an Airbus 317 whilst it went to Madrid and back via Valencia.
The PAM was suitably sympathetic and the other half had a nice time despite his back.
Oooooh, time for Christmas wrapping – but not the waitress sort.