....come the downs.
Florence the Unwell. Crying at 5 a.m., pressed against the back door, desperate to be let out to dash into the snowy back lane and demonstrate the urgency of the call. Settled back to bed, as did I. But when I woke, the appalling odour throughout the house signalled that something was rather wrong. Poor Flossie had, at least, the sense to be Very Unwell in the tiled (and then pebble-dashed) utility room. Rubber gloves, buckets of hot water and disinfectant started my day off quite memorably.
Florence the Bewildered. Why no breakfast? Why no treats? Why is the lovely human who cleaned up without a word of reproach now starving me to death? Why am I walking on the leash, unable to tidy up all that bread that the birds are ignoring?
Christmas deliveries. Some presents ordered online may not arrive in time. The temptation to go into town and find substitutes is compelling, but not very sensible, given that there are several more days to go before the big day. And once you set foot outside the house, you risk something arriving that must be signed for, and so is taken away again, unable to be collected from the highly-inconvenient no-parking depot for a further 72 hours.
Christmas disorganisation. Where's that list? And the other list? Where are the cards? The wrapping paper? Who have I forgotten? Why am I awake at 5 a.m. every day? Why is this fridge so messy, and full of horrible leftovers that I don't want to eat? Why didn't I make a cake? A pudding? Mince pies? (Answer is identical for all: only I would eat them, and we know where that slippery road leads...) Who left all this fur on the sellotape? And the constant wail: where are my specs?
Christmas tidying. Always tricky - a week beforehand, the house fills up with birthday presents, cards, wrapping paper and ribbons, and where to put everything is a problem. I don't feel ready to put things away - after all, they're my lovely birthday presents! The cats are no help; Scooter has gone back to confetti-making, just like last year:
Millie walks amongst the cards, and is amused to see how easily they topple. And then Scooter pounces, and confetti-ised cards are the result.
Plumbing matters. Richie is due to return tomorrow, although it is unlikely that a replacement toilet will make its appearance. Disappointing. I don't care about the shower or the extractor fan....
Weather and travel. Will the predicted blizzard hit us tonight? Will the Lovely Son make it home on the train booked for Tuesday afternoon? Will he have done his shopping, written his cards?
And it's not just me; I'm sure you share some of these little problems (though hopefully not dog-diarrhoea related).
It will all come right in the end.... won't it?
All together now: "'Tis the season to be jolly. Fal la la la la......"