Bollocks. Sorry. I haven’t written in ages. In my defence, I’ve had work on (like, actual, paying work, HIGH FIVE!) and then, you know, it’s coming up for Christmas and we’ve all been ill and my husband has been working late and then, well, my dog ate my homework and I’ve got my period so my mum says I can’t do swimming today. I’ve got a note somewhere. What do you mean that looks like my writing? It’s totally my mum’s…
Anyway. If it’s any consolation, I’ve been feeling bad and generally a bit panicky about the whole lack of blogging thing. I’ve bored my husband to tears with my guilt. Wah-wah-wah, I haven’t done the blog in AGES and he’s all ‘Abby, it’ll be fine, chill out, it’s no big deal, let’s talk about it later’ and then I’m all ‘that’s typical of you, we never talk anymore, are you having an affair, is that what this is all about?’ and then he’s like ‘it’s 4am, please stop talking’. He’s quite selfish like that my husband….
But yeah. Working. Whoop whoop. That’s nice. Nice to earn a bit of money and use my brain and have conversations with people that don’t end in ‘and then she crapped in the bath. I’d only cleaned it five minutes earlier, what a waste of Cillit Bang’. All good.
What’s not so good is the fact I work for myself, from home. Sure, it’s flexible and I’m my own boss and sometimes, when I’m tapping away on the laptop, I like to smoke a pen, diffuse my hair and pretend I’m Carrie Bradshaw but you know, it has its downsides too, especially at Christmas. In fact, I’d say this is probably the worse time of year to work on your todd, namely because you totally miss out on all the good shizzle that goes with working in an office over the festive season.
For one, there’s no office party. Or, more specifically, no festive buffet action. Let’s get this straight – I ROCK a buffet. I’m from the north-west, buffets are in my blood. It’s what we do*. Cold pork pies, soft Wotsits, curly sandwiches - these are the very essence of my soul, not to mention the foundations on which all good office Christmas dos are built. Yet what do I get? Nothing. Not a sniff of a vol-au-vent, no hint of a prawn ring. My booby prize is a quick mine-sweep of fish finger scraps and burnt oven chips from my kids’ plates after tea-time and frankly, that’s shit.
There are of course some people who will say ‘ooh, well, no Christmas party, no hangover’. And to that I reply – ‘have we ever met?’ Who needs a party – I’ll drink to anything. Getting free delivery from Asda online; discovering they sell coconut milk at the 99p shop**; having a coil fitted – these have all been known to give me a reason to pour a big, fat glass of booze come 6 o’ clock. Hell, my kids have a hide and seek toy that says ‘let’s celebrate’ when you find it. ‘You don’t need to ask me twice’, I’ll often respond as I pull the gin out the cupboard. Give me some mulled wine and Olly Murs’ Ye Olde Christmas Carols on VIVA and I’ll gladly get as pissed as the best of them. And as hungover. Which brings me to the next sucky thing about the whole stay-at-home-mum at Christmas business.
Hangovers. When you work in an office, yes, it’s a bit rubbish having to go in with a cracking hangover but at least there’s always someone in some nearby canteen that’s going to fry up the necessary lard-arsed carb-fest you’re going to need to get you through the day. At home? That person is you and a dirty great bacon bap isn’t the same when you’ve had to cook it yourself inbetween waves of nausea and to a backdrop of Peppa Pig’s Madame Gazelle singing that fucking bingly-bongly-boo song. Plus, PLUS, with a hangover, there’s not even a minute of respite from the usual day-to-day child-rearing, home-making bollocks, is there? You’ve just got to get on with it. Not like when I worked in an office and one of my greatest tricks when suffering from the consequences of a session the night before, was to tell people I was off to a meeting, set the alarm on my phone for an hour later and go and have a sleep on the floor of the disabled toilet. You know, kind of like how a tramp would.
But then, you know, t’is the season to be thankful and all, so while yes, I do totally miss these things, I’ll quit it with the grumpy old woman act for a second, hold my hands up and say there are some nice things about living in Stepford come Christmas time. The lovely man who grows a beard each year especially to play Santa for the local kids; my amazing butcher who never seems to tire of my stuffing and chipolata-based innuendo and the annual tree-lighting service in our village. Sure, it involves a bit of religious stuff and some proper carols rather than the Slade-fest I’d usually opt for but the local committee also provide free booze for everyone who comes along. Free. Booze. Amazing. Although if maybe I hadn’t got quite so delirious with excitement over the prospect of complimentary alcohol, I wouldn’t have sank those three mugs of badass mulled wine quite so fast and could have probably avoided going on to heckle the Salvation Army band as they played to the crowd. As it happens, no, they don’t know the Cheeky Girls’ Have A Cheeky Christmas and yes, in hindsight, it probably would have been better if I’d saved my own, personal rendition for when I got home.
Man alive, I really need to get a proper job in 2012.
* years ago, I had a summer job at my local M&S and always remember the manager telling me that, of all the Marks and Spencers across the land, the Stockport branch sold the most meat paste – proof right there, doubters
**have you seen what Tesco charges for coconut milk these days? That and butter. I get very Daily Mail about it. Tesco are playing us like fools. FOOLS