Well actually it is only June but you can never prepare too early. I have always under-budgeted in terms of time to prepare for holidays. Not in the packing and sorting the dogs out sense but in planning for the little darling ups and downs which happen when family members are all suddenly together again.
Last December’s holiday in the UK didn’t start out so well, as hubby ended up in a hotel on night two. We had argued about the christmas presents which he had taken no interest in, until it was tooooo bloody late. My mood swing started swinging on the plane with the anxiety of whether the food order would arrive before we did. I didn’t come back from the hysterical setting for the first four days. I was responsible for six other people’s schedules and meals. They, the other humans, not the meals, were all fine and dandy, I was a complete nutter. For the first 36 hours, I couldn’t stop crying about the christmas presents and the food order and the fact that we had another two weeks to go of holiday. In the meantime I was trying to do pretendy jolly for the three children. They all wondered what to do and then sensibly decided to carry on having fun – which I had pre-arranged.
Hubs was clearly also peri-menopausal when he went to the hotel. I could have done with two days in a hotel ON MY OWN as well. I had been determined to try and be on top of it more from my end in Dar es Salaam. I thought I WAS until but the bloody presents slid in.
I have lots of lovely photos of TT. Hundreds actually so I decided to give everyone a photo of her on canvas. So grandma and grandpa and the siblings got several large ones, as did hubs of all his children. Aunties, uncles and cousins got smaller ones of themselves captured in glorious technicolour with TT. All just fab, I very well chuffed with myself as well. I can’t be that thoughtful all the time and sometimes resent the money being spent at Xmas just because it is Xmas. But last November was different. Hubs had shown NO interest, so I got on with it, given his workload etc. I had told him I was doing photos for the extended family. Given that he is an alpha male, he tends to start off negative and miserable with other people’s ideas. He seemed for some reason to doubt my photography capability. NO idea why. So I just ignored him and carried on.
Very good strategy by the way for life in general I would say.
Moving the scene on from Tanzania to my father’s sitting room in UK. Enter stage left. Another bit of background, I tend to be more parsimonious with money than him. He would rather over-spend, me under-spend. That is just the way it is. He then started panicking that first I had spent TOO MUCH. Very unusual turn of events causing flabbergasting and much protest from me.
We then moved onto sharing key information which should have been shared in October but which HE FORGOT to do. Apparently his brothers had both said, “let’s not do presents this year, we are all a bit broke.” I am really happy with that and think it makes a lot of sense. My hubs, though is special and thinks that people don’t really mean it when they say that. Anyway he hadn’t fucking told me so it was still too bloody late…
Can you believe I am re-living every moment now in June. Thank god the present business only happens once a year.
SOOO… I have to also say that at this point he hadn’t actually seen my masterpieces which had arrived and were absolutly gorgeous.
Then it was too much money, then it was not enough money, and then it was that we didn’t have enough for the children. Well that was it really. We were upstairs doing really shouty, stressy yelling and the kids and my dad were downstairs watching the TV. Hubs left in a pickle and I was very relieved. I went downstairs and announced that my heart was NOT full of love for him at this precise moment in time and that I would be getting a taxi to see the menopausal specialist the next day. Oh and would my step-daughter come with me? There is a lot to be said for the TV at important times like these, as everyone just nodded and carried watching.
Hubs rang and texted but I wasn’t having any of it. I didn’t sleep and then he appeared in the morning, just after I had ordered the cab.
Previous holidays I have been able to borrow my father’s car. But my darling dad had just totalled his car and at age 89 wasn’t going to bother replacing it. He told me with some relief, he couldn’t really see that well so he was happy to be carless. In case you were worried, he was fine thanks. He wasn’t far from his house, and fortunately ONLY crashed into a parked car which had snuck up on him. I asked him if he had been upset. He replied, “upset, no the bloody car wasn’t parked properly and I didn’t see it. I was just cross…” Marvellous, ageing with attitude and blaming other road users at all junctures.
I was worried that he had been all alone and anxious, but he said that the neighbours gave him a cup of tea and let him sit in their living room while they waited for the police. Clearly not the people whose car had just been destroyed. I had also been concerned about how dad got home as he can’t really walk very well. (Or drive for that matter). I was reassured on that note as well. The police had arrived and one was the son of an Australian from near where my father, who is also Australian, grew up. How likely is it for that to happen? It was perfect. They chatted away, took dad home in the squad car, DIDN’T prosecute him for dangerous driving, drove his car home, had a cup of tea with him, and made sure he was fine. He was so happy, he didn’t give a sod about the car. I am quoting directly here. Now you know where I get my swearing habit from and which continent.
It was probably all terribly against the rules for police to do that nowadays, but they were just fab and I will always love them, particularly the Aussie one.
Back to the evil Hubs. So there we were in the hall. I was trying to continue sulking and get a taxi but it was going to cost 150 GPS. It is really good having hospitals and clinics sited on major roundabouts with no buses isn’t it? I gave in quite easily and accepted the lift. 17 year old step-daughter came to keep the peace.
TT and grandpa were going to get up to mischief while we were out, which they love and couldn’t wait for us to leave. It usually involves hobs being put on, left on, the news being watched and lots of chat and discussion between them and the state of the world. Then the hob is suddenly remembered, my daughter stands on a chair over the hob and grandpa has the torch and his nose 1mm from the ring, shouting “yes it is on.” My daughter then pours eggs into the pan from a great height. They make a huge mess and eat lots of toast with butter which is SALTED and then head for the local shop and buy ice cream and biscuits. It is good I am not there. It is even more hilarious when they read to each other. In the beginning, she was too young to actually be able to read and would make it up. Grandpa was a bit too visually impaired to read and so he would ALSO make it up. It is love, that is what it is and when it was my turn, I would read to both of them boringly enough from the text.
We walked into the clinic, hubs was half apologising for being a complete wanker the night before. I started sobbing then and didn’t stop for the entire 90 minutes we were in the clinic. EVERYONE heard me. I was doing a splendid wail with runny nose and red face. Gorgeous. Hubs somehow decided apologising in the corridor of the clinic where everyone was passing WAS the best place to do it. He also realised that perhaps half apologising wasn’t going to wash that day. Pardon the pun – ho, ho. He had to be total or else it was fine with me that he spent christmas in the hotel, as we would all have a lovely time without him.
The nurse saw me first, and said, “aw are you having a bad menopause day.” “No,” I replied, “husband shouted at me about presents last night.” “Oh dear,” she answered, “there’s a lot of it about. You are in the right place though dear, we often have tears in the clinic.” There was no one else crying at all. Everyone else looked very composed and calm.
She must have sent word to the Doctor, as she was very tender when she escorted me in. The pharmacist was the same. I think, but I can’t swear to it, that the latter gave my hubs a dirty look, as I told tales on him again in the pharmacy. I think they were keen to avoid a domestic in situ.
My step-daughter couldn’t wait to leave. With the chintz decor, the muzak, the middle aged lady patients, ME, her dad, us making a scene in the corridor, it was all too much. She kept her head in her book and didn’t look up till we went to get her.
Alright, SO this time, I will be in the UK for two weeks before he arrives. I will have sorted food and meals and programmes. I may even have slept a bit. My key, secret weapon is that I am sending him straight to his mum’s to sleep every night for the week he is there. This has been decided in advance. I think I may be onto a winner here…
I will keep you posted.