Every December we have a anti consumerism festival at house group where we 'Wrap the crap'. That's any tat you have lying around the house that you want to get shot of. Well, we gave away the necklace and ear rings I had won in various raffles, and the gardening books I had got last year and a guide to Purbeck. In return, we got a fabulous paperweight (never had one, so pleased with that, although maybe never needed one?) and a classy pen and pencil with Meridian written on them, and a playstation 1. Now, this is where my story begins! We need a PS1 like a hole in the head, so I put it on freecycle, not expecting anyone to want it, but so I could legitimately landfill it. But no! the people of Southampton want old crap!! So, here's a rundown on why I chose the recipient I did - and why I didn't choose the ones I didn't.
Person 1 - I want it for my 3 year old. No you can't have it. Stupid.
Person 2 - I want it for my 11 year old who lives in a secure unit and has Turretts. I am not joking. No, lady, he doesn't need a Playstation, really, it would not help him one teeny bit. He needs a hug.
Person 3 - spelling dismal and absent punctuation so no.
Person 4 - I gave you 2 something already.
Person 5 - Don't know where you live and you may be driving from Millbrook to pick it up, thus negating the environmental benefits of freecycle.
Person 6 - hurrah, you live locally, can spell and don't tell me what you are going to do with it. It might be for your toddler or your still in womb child but you don't tell me so I don't know.
Phew. Lets hope number 6 turns up and I don't have to draw straws between the others...
End of term. We have had two Saturday morning ski lessons for the girls and at 9am they don't play to my strengths. H is doing well, managing a turn today, but A sinks to her knees a lot and lies on her back. She did go down pretty well when she actally could be bothered to do it. This upcoming ski week is beginning to look like a headache rather than a joyful family time, with me dragging A by her hair up and down slopes. French children make it look so easy. Everyone else at the ski school goes to France every year, so us going as beginners to Switzerland is not looking so clever. Might need to hire a nanny for the week or whatever the ski set do.
I read in the paper about a banker who had been forced to sell his plane because of the credit crunch. Maybe he would be free to nanny for us? I don't understand these things but you need a barrow of pound coins to buy a euro at the moment, so going on holiday in Europe, or in fact anywhere, is a BAD IDEA. Zimbabwe is a particularly bad place for Brits to holiday, just take the travel tips from me, I know it all.
Yesterday, we went to a party at a lovely person's flat in Townhill Park. She used to live in Thornhill and I have kept in touch, and with good cause as she bought most of Iceland (the shop, not the banking disaster) for our tea. There were about 4 other mums with assorted young children, and after cracker pulling we walked down to Broadwater road which is infamous for its lights at Christmas, and a chap who erects a Santa's grotto and gives out sweets and balloons from 6.30 til 8.00 every night til Christmas. It is completely free, sweets donated by other residents and local businesses, and such a great atmosphere. You don't even have to give to charity. Its very kitsch and beautiful in a way that only the residents of Townhill Park could achieve. Get down there.
Hoovered the car out in honour of the longest day of the year tomorrow. I like to use the solstice as a time to travel in cleanliness, so twice a year we don't have crumbs or mud in the car. We put our tree up yesterday, it looks all tinselled out, ie you can't see the tree for the tinsel. But I like it like that. I don't get people who do it themselves and don't let their kids get involved or who have a colour scheme. Just slap on everything you've got! Its great to remember where you were when you bought this or that, and we are now building up a memory bank of things the girls have made. We inherited a load of wooly Santas last year, and some ancient angels, and still have one of the little crackers we bought in Debenhams in Sheffield with my discount on our first Christmas being married (1994). So, if you have made an effort to do yours all in pink and white or something, sorry, I hope you like it. I don't. But hey, I don't have to look at it all the time, so that's cool!