Friday, 17 December 2010

School’s out!

Well dear reader, I survived- and I have the battle scars to prove it!!
Getting that assignment in was extremely traumatic and I am still exhausted.
I guess it wasn’t the best idea to have our Open House mulled wine and mince pies on Sunday but – you know what – sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!  I had cancelled everything for two weeks and slogged away at that essay re-writing it three times and still not getting nowhere so I thought I may as well pile on the stress, have a great party and then concentrate on that deadline!  I was very disciplined on Saturday, concentrating really hard on writing; not even taking a teeny tiny peek at Strictly Come Dancing on YouTube!  I allowed myself the little treat of putting the Christmas tree in its bucket and putting the lights on.  I’d left everything else to do on Sunday – cleaning, cooking, decorating before the party started at 2pm.  Luckily my Kate came early and helped dress the tree.  It is always such fun unpacking the family decs built up over the years. Pride of place is taken by Kate’s little felt stocking and her brother’s ‘loo roll Santa’ made when they were about five years old.  That was in the 1980’s!  I then began to make mince pies, but with all those veggies coming thought it would be a good idea to make the pastry from vegetarian suet…..BIG mistake….take notes Jamie!!  You know those dog chews made out of dried up hide?  Well …now you know what our mince pies turned out like – great for jaw exercise but not much else!
Next, I thought I’d do gingerbread bikkies.  I followed the recipe precisely.  As I had no gingerbread people cutters, I decided on an Oz theme and made maps of Australia, koalas, kangaroos, Opera Houses, and Sydney Harbour Bridges.  Well they came out of the oven having spread all over the place.  The koalas and kangaroos looked like road kill and the others looked like amorphous blobs.  Meanwhile the serene, organised he who-knows- about- these- things (HWKATT) had cooked two great big casseroles, one veggie and one meat that turned out completely perfect – just typical!! 

Luckily the mulled wine turned out well so everyone had a fantastic time and we got to bed at 1am after finishing all the cleaning up.  I couldn’t do much writing on Monday as I was working on the Maritime campus as an ambassador for a visiting school. I enjoyed catching up with the others from the events and educational liaison teams and the school kids were much better behaved than the last lot thank goodness! I really had to get cracking on the essay that evening but I was too tired to get much done.  Gone are those days when I could stay up all night working!  I finally finished by midnight on Tuesday.  The deadline wasn’t until the next day but I really wanted to get it in before I went to sleep.  I kept trying to submit it until 1.30am with no luck so finally gave up and collapsed into bed.  The next day I learnt that there had been a technical fault in the system – aaahhhh! It was finally fixed at about 10am and it was with great relief I pressed that ‘submit’ button! I went into uni early to hand in my placement manager’s report placement because it is hand written and needs to be signed.  I celebrated by having turkey roast dinner with all the trimmings in the Dome – a bit sad but it was yummy!!

That was our last day in college before Christmas and I came home to a house that looked like a hurricane had been through it -papers and books strewn everywhere.  Instead of doing the sensible thing and spending a day sorting everything out ready for the new term, I chucked it all in one room, shut the door firmly and began to prepare for an annual event in my calendar - the Christmas Sweat Shop!

This is when my friend Chloe comes over with fabric and ideas for Christmas pressies.  I have to then figure out how we’ll make them and we then set up the production line. I do all the machining and  issue instructions about what to pin cut, iron, trim etc.  We made four retro style aprons, a cushion, and cupcake shaped pincushions and the kitchen was covered in pins, sequins, scarps of fabric and stuffing when HWKATT came home.  He promptly picked up the shopping list and recycle bags and headed off for a bit of retail therapy in Sainsbury’s!!

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