Don’t tell those involved, but I loathe the end of November. In fact, I dread it. Firstly, I dread the cakes. This might seem strange, especially to those who know me (skinny I ain’t), it’s just we end up with a surfeit of cakes that makes the EU butter mountain look merely hilly. One for daddy - always pink, always sparkly, perfect for the only man in a household/menagerie of 14 (the boy dog had his bits off, so doesn’t really count). One for each child on their birthday, one for each child's party, one for each child to take to school, and then, occasionally, if the grandparents can’t make the mid-week birthdays, another on the weekend. Bejeezus. It’s cake for tea, cake for lunch, cake for breakfast, cake for the dogs’ dinner, cake for the chickens, and when even the chickens have had enough bloody cake, it goes out for the pigeons and squirrels, who, incidentally, also eventually get bored of cake.
And then there are the cards. Oh dear, I’m not good with cards. My husband LOVES cards. In his house, growing up, cards stayed on the mantelpiece, as far as I can tell, for the entire year. In my house they get swept into the recycling bin within a few hours – as soon as the first one blows over when the front door opens. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing cards, and reading cards – though I would say, and here I'll wager I’ll make myself terribly unpopular, if you are going to the trouble of buying a card only to write ‘To X, Happy Birthday, from Y’, don’t bother. You might as well send a text. Please, write a message of love, a joke, or even a simple: ‘I saw this card and thought of you’. I know. I know. I’m on my own here. The lone voice of card-fascism. Fine. Keep writing boring cards, keep them on the window sill for three months, dust around them and spend your hours repeatedly re-standing them. Blame my cynicism on the birthday deluge.
She stared at me for a moment or two, considering if she should answer, and then said, “I’m just a bit fed up.”
“It doesn’t matter ,” she said then, turning over and pulling up her covers. “It’s Christmas in a few days; I'll have some presents then.”
And that’s the other problem with three birthdays at the end of November. Just as the pigeons are getting bored of cake, Christmas decends on us. More cake. More cards...
Epilogue: I have just remembered my vow to out-Christmas the most Christmassy of them, as stated, in writing, in my blog post dated Novemer 7th. Bugger. I might have to turn to drink to get through this one...
Appendix: My husband has just told me this post is too grumpy. Apologies. Do feel free to re-read last week's post if you need something jollier! Or hold out for next week, of course. *winks and then goes for a slice of cake*