The Festive Holiday

A week long weekend, that’s how this time of year feels. And to imagine, another five days of it, I’m yawning as I write. I’ve just snuck off to the bedroom and left them all downstairs, now running amuck! They were settled with ‘Team Umizoomi’ on Netflix, but with attention spans of newts, they are now terrorising daddy, who is trying to play candy crush on his iPad. We started watching ‘Team Umizoomi’ on Nick Jr whilst the girls were babies and we lived in an apartment in Jogeshwari, Mumbai. Of course as babies, Amritsar and Tara would just look up at the screen and smile. They would be tightly swaddled and were the best behaved babies ever. We watch the program now, on occasion as a family and they join in with all the bits that there was once only silence. When the characters (Millie, Geo and Bott) ask questions or are looking for answers, they ask the audience. It’s so much better that a year or two back when all five would just look up and remain silent. They shout back to the TV as if they are all personally involved. It’s good to have them all figuring things out and interacting together. As you can imagine with five, it was hard work when they all needed maximum nurture and they just looked up at you and smiled or ran around, completely mindlessly. Now, although still loud and screamy, they are at least their own persons. Many outbreaks from Thor and Aaliyah over the last days. Even Mrs Snodgrass was called on the telephone last night as Aaliyah was so badly behaved. Her school for ‘Naughty Girls’ was threatened and Aaliyah has promised she really wants to be a good girl. She now has a few days to prove that she can be a good girl. Naughty schools new term starts on Monday and Aaliyah was told that she would have to pack a bag as the school is a boarding school. Aaliyah is trying hard to be good now. Naughty school is just a fiction and used every now and then to steer Aaliyah on the right path. Thor on the other hand is still a bit too ballistic to comprehend ‘Naughty School’ and it’s implications. We just have to rely on the threat of the ‘Thinking Chair’ or bed as the the ultimate threat. The dogs are now sat in front of me, looking up silently. The occasional whine from Remus. I never really get any time to myself, except the time I spend in London every fortnight. I should be grateful, I’m never alone. Better rejoin the masses now and head downstairs. I might blog again later and tell you a bit more about how our Christmas has been.

The Aftermath

Far too busy to blog yesterday, so a little catch up on the latest, in today’s diary addition. Yes, Thor’s Birthday way yesterday and the day flew by, much as a station does on a fast train, not stopping there. So remembering yesterday’s events is a bit of a blur, partially down to the mulled wine, but primarily due to constant din of not just five children, but rather twenty five. Sindy and her sister Sally were great! From midday til two o’clock, they made sandwiches and stuffed yellow cardboard lunch boxes with ham and jam sandwiches, pombears, mini sausages, miniature tomatoes and a Cadbury’s chocolate roll. whilst I made the mulled wine to offer to the parents attending the party. The village Hall was a decked with minion balloons and table cloths. The theme, Thor’s favourite ever, was crowned off with a minion Birthday cake. He was wearing his new minion jacket and is at present, looking on as Daddy, Amritsar and Tara piece together his minion 3D puzzle globe. Back to the party, there was a great magician who entertained the mass of both child and adult alike. Within a flash it was over, the hall empty and Sindy and Sally were waving us goodbye in the car park outside, car filled with five very tired children, two exhausted dads, two large bags of gifts that have been scattered to the winds in the living room throughout the day today and four bin liners of non recyclable leftovers. A very large full moon was blooming in the semi lit skies to the left hand side of the car as we drove home. The day a success and only one or two little ‘outbursts’ from our not so famous five. I have just been invited in to see the completed minion globe, they are all jubilant.

Winter Solstice and a Full Moon in One

On this day, after a small break from my blog (three days), I return on this rather special astrological day. The day that is Winter Solstice and the moon is almost at the peak of its cycle. I think tomorrow is its official full blossom, but it looks big and bright in the relative clear skies above us, here in the Shires. The children went to bed late as we only arrived home at 8.30pm. There were a few very grumpy outbreaks In the car on the return journey, but we are home and things have finally settled down. Another glass of chilled Rose wine in this time of peace and quiet and yes, a memory or two from our month in Provence, throughout August. Whilst there, I actually completed my novel recounting the time we set out to become a family and all of the highs, lows, injustices and sheer bureaucracy of it all. It has been sat in the draw this whole time! Tick, tick, tick, there’s got to be an agent out there who might be interested in bringing it to a publisher, but for now, I await one specific agent who has not replied to my submission. Yes, even here in the U.K. like in India and the world throughout, there is a way that things are actually done. Agents are worth their weight in gold if they deliver well in whatever business they bargain and trade within. I found that in India, most businesses have the allusive ‘Agent’! Come on guys, even Hollywood is constructed on a ‘Middle Man’ or woman taking their cut of a deal. Well I have decided that if my preferred choice of agent is not on board, I will submit the manuscript to the myriad of publishing agents out there on mass and if in eight weeks time, there is no agent on board, self publishing is a very real possibility. Okay, back to the full moon on this, our planets shortest day. In fairness, that does give our almost full moon that little bit longer to shine!

Why were we out all day? Well, John had a ‘bring the children into work day’¬†as his final working day before the Christmas break. And all of those employees with children came in with their ‘little ones’. Fun was had by all and as you can imagine, not a lot of work was actually done. But everyone enjoyed the party and we were all disbanded by 1pm. We then continued on to Wimbledon for a meal with a friend of the family, Liz. She was in fact the first person I told that we were pregnant with our twins, Amritsar and Tara. That seems such a while back now. We are the proud parents to five small children. Just the thought and hopes for that first pregnancy six years ago seems eons ago. So it was lovely to see her and thank you for going to all the trouble Liz.

Thor’s fourth birthday tomorrow, so lots to include in the next instalment of the ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’.

All Christmassed Out (Already)

Aren’t we all? A non stop whirlwind from dawn until dusk. How do we all cope? And then there’s more ‘chores’ for tomorrow, isn’t there? Well my day started with the children’s breakfast and once on the school run with Sindy, I completed the bauble explosion with the tree. All those memories of the little red glitter balls and spiney, glitter stars brought for John and my first Christmas together, all those years ago. But what did we accumulate along the way. China ones with the children’s hand prints. Baked glitter stars from the girls first year at big school. Papier mache bells and hand painted animal globes, a mass of felt baubles and little rabbits from Nepal. Little Thai Elephants on a string, sea shell wreaths from Hawaii. Each one a memory of a time in our lives. Christmas is such a manic time.

Wreath making this morning with Sindy. This year I don’t have time to collect foliage from the woods to make garlands. At least not at the moment. But we used the lower branches from the tree that actually touches the ceiling to make the two conifer wreaths this morning. Sindy took hers home for her front door and mine is now adorning ours. I might ‘camp it up’ at the weekend, but for now, austerely reigns. That is until you enter the living room. I guess I should attach pics, though it’s a bit late to photograph the home made wreath on the front door.

The sausage (duxelle) stuffing for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day was cooked and is now frozen, to be defrosted as needed. Beef fore ribs were slow cooked in stock and frozen for an ‘easy meal option’, plus I cooked Moroccan chicken and cous cous for the grown ups dinner tonight. The children had a pasta salad with steak sandwiches. Cooked burgers from Saturday, just sliced thinly and refried, served with salad, Dadda’s home made tomato chutney and mayonnaise. I packed up four trios of Dadda’s Jam for the girls teachers presents earlier and the Head mistress has a hand made chocolate box containing twelve chocolate dipped orangettes, as she requested a few freebies when she purchased the Xrated Xmas Jams at the Christmas Fayre. Sitting down now with a glass of rose wine thinking about bed. Memories of Provence coming back, as all we drank was rose, as they do in the south of France. A few stories I might reminisce on at a later date, but for now, just bed as I am shattered.