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The Christmas Wrap up...

Where did that last week go?

Into the vortex that is Christmas. It has been a whirlwind of business, but a lot of fun.

We have been cat sitting a friend's cat, while she and her family are on holidays. This has been a great preparation for us getting the dog - even though cats and dogs are very different. So, what have we learned? We've learned that...


  • The Grumpy Old Man has not watched enough you tube videos about cats pulling down Christmas trees. His mother's cat NEVER attacked the Christmas tree, so he couldn't understand the level of anxiety the horsemen and I had about this happening. Thankfully, this cat has been well behaved and has only made half-hearted attempts to play with the decorations and always left them alone when we shooed her away.

  • Animals shedding in spring and early summer is definitely a thing, and black rugs are out! After vacuuming our lounge room rug three days in a row, I finally gave up, rolled it up, and passed it on to Mr14 for his room. He didn't mind at all. The rug was going to be history anyway as Harlem is snowy white, but the cat confirmed the impossibility of managing pet fur and a black rug. This, of course, just gives a great reason to go out and get a more appropriately coloured rug. I was thinking this rug (pictured below, because it messes with my dot points and I can't tolerate having my dot points messed with), would look nice. Our current lounge suite is red velour and I'd love a leather lounge suit, that wouldn't collect dog fur, but the Grumpy Old Man says I'm dreaming...

  • Ari takes a while to settle down after we bring a new animal into the house... Quite a while... Like, well, today was day five with the cat and he's still obsessed with its every move. Every. Single. Move...
All that taken into account, it has been lovely having an animal in the house again.

My parents and brother came and spent Christmas Eve with us - it was lovely, and dinner was perfect, if I say so myself - and I do! We had a three course meal, all traditionally Icelandic (okay, a lot of Danish influence, but certainly traditional on my Icelandic side of the family). Again, we missed our dishwasher. It's funny how after 14 years without a dishwasher, and only 15 months with one, you can become quite spoilt! Nine for a three course dinner on Christmas Eve, and seven on Box Day, well, it's hard not to miss the convenience of a dishwasher.

You may have noticed we had no guests on Christmas Day. 

Our usual Christmas Day lunch with mother-in-law had to be adjourned to Box Day because she was a little under the weather. Luckily, she was well enough to join us on Boxing Day, and once again, instruct me on the making of the cherry sauce, and, once again, play out the puzzlement she has every year over me not having kept the recipe she is sure she wrote out for me the previous year - which she never writes out for me, and this year was no exception.

Today, I packed up Christmas.

As much as I enjoy decorating the house for Christmas and celebrating Christmas (and I really do enjoy celebrating Christmas!), I always feel a sense of fulfilment and relief to pack it all up again on the 27th. 

So, now you may be wondering why I'm blogging at 2.30am? Okay, you probably have no idea what time I wrote this, but let me tell you it's 2.30am...

I can't sleep.

The next stage of these school holidays is upon us.

I'm not sure what this stage is called. It's a bit of a no-man's-land, really. There is New Year's Eve on Thursday night, for which we have no plans, and I'm perfectly happy with those state of affairs. Until then, I think there will be some clearing out and rearranging of the laundry. There might also be a washing machine shopping trip as ours seems to be in its death throws. On Friday 2016 will be upon us.

There is a trip planned to Warrnambool. It is supposed to be our first ever family holiday, but it might just be the Grumpy Old Man after all. You see, we're supposed to go on the 5th, but I have a radiology appointment on the 7th, and to be home in time for that, we'd only be able to stay away one night. There would be a lot of driving involved for the Grumpy Old Man, and ideally we'd have liked to stay two nights so he'd have a day with no driving. So, it may be that he goes on his own, and we stay here so I can go to that radiology appointment. Such a shame though, we've never had a holiday away from home together.

As I've said many time now, the 11th is the beginning of guide dog school. I have been beside myself with excitement, but now that it's only three weeks away, the nerves are starting to set in.

I've been worrying about not having what it takes to be a good handler. Not only is there the daily care of the dog; feeding, grooming, monitoring his weight and health, but there is also ongoing training to be done. Every time we go somewhere new, I have to train him. As well as that, I have to keep is training for staying when asked or returning when call up to scratch. I have to remember to do this. My memory isn't the greatest. 

Soon after I bring Harlem home, I will be going to Summer School in Geelong. I've never travelled to Geelong on my own. I'll be going by train. I've already mapped out the walk from the train station to the hotel and from the hotel to the Deakin Waterfront, but of course, looking at a map and navigating on the ground are different things. A map doesn't tell you if there will be construction or if traffic lights are working, and we'll be a new team.

Anxiety isn't rational, and I'm sure it'll all be fine. Still doesn't help me sleep, though, but I'll try. Good night - or is it good morning?


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