Thursday, 26 December 2013

In the bleak midwinter

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

I have had a relatively quiet Christmas at home. My Dad kindly came to us to save both travelling and re-housing Dovakhitty for the holidays, and despite being low on spoons in the cold I managed to cook Christmas dinner predominantly by myself - and made Yorkshire puddings for the first time only to get them nigh on perfect.

Yes, I know. 24 and from Yorkshire, and that's the first time I've made them. You'd think they'd have thrown me over the border into Lancashire by now really.

Mostly I combatted being tired by doing everything in small stages and setting up as much as possible in advance so all I had to do at each time interval was put something already prepped into the oven. Never has a pseudo production line been so chaotic, but somehow it all worked and we can call my first Christmas dinner under my own steam pretty successful. I still wanted to fall asleep when I sat down to eat, but I'm one of those people who doesn't like sharing the kitchen space when I'm cooking - approach me whilst I'm armed with kitchen utensils at your very real peril!

We were essentially very British for the rest of the day - we drank lots of tea, watched Doctor Who (the less said about that the better) and sat up until very late by my standards setting the world to rights, all the while fending off our resident four legged mischief maker who had smelled the turkey and was determined to relieve us of it at all costs. I have definitely had too much tea and I am receiving just payment with my first IC flare up in a fair few months, but every now and again a little indulgence is good for the soul.

Boxing Day saw the traditional and much spoken of "bracing walk". My Dad hasn't actually seen much of York so we took him round the university campus which is an RSPB designated reserve. Having spent much of my childhood teaching me to identify all sorts of birds whilst we walked our German Shepherd in the nearby woodland every day, this was right up his street. We attempted to take a route along the river, only to find it had burst its banks in the recent storms. Welcome to York, Dad. 

(My very warm winter hat, which I certainly did not buy with the resemblance to Fievel's hat from An American Tail in mind. Don't be silly.) 

Working our way home via Museum Gardens and the famous Minster I started to suffer the sort of aching, stiffness and all over nauseating weakness my fellow Fibromyalgia sufferers will be familiar with. The thing I still haven't gotten quite used to yet is that because I walk at a decent pace and wrap up I don't feel cold - but that doesn't stop it being below freezing and Petunia taking note.

You see, when I moved up to York I failed to consider something fairly consequential in terms of my weather sensitive immune system, and that was the nature of the area in terms of weather tendencies. Native of Sheffield which benefits from the protective barrier of the Pennine hills, it's something of a logical fallacy that I moved further north to the very bottom of the Vale of York - as it turns out, a notorious cold spot. If there was a prize for accidental poor judgement, I'd be sweeping the board. 

So tonight I have done very little except watch the new Nightwish DVD (serious girlfriend points accrued by me in the present buying department!) and have a long soak complete with my body temperature's version of what my driving instructor used to call "kangaroo petrol". I'm back at work tomorrow so I think I will need something of a quiet weekend to recover, but it's been nice to have my small cookery triumph and to get outside in our beautiful city, even if it was very cold and as far as I can tell has wreaked some havoc on my joints and left me to quietly sit out the weakness in my legs.  

All things considered though I'm not upset with the inevitable bodily reaction. I've had a lovely couple of days and it was really lovely to have my Dad with us. In spite of everything there has been much laughter and good cheer, and that's what Christmas is really all about. We've just managed to get in touch over Skype with Alex's family in Australia before bed too, which was an added treat.

Also, I'm sure some readers will agree that there is something to be laughed at when your Fibromyalgia-riddled hands and wrists make it even more tricky than normal to unwrap presents. If anyone had witnessed my Mum's wrapping skills, they would understand the "more than normal" reference. Having witnessed it on several occasions, I remain pretty convinced she wraps presents with the sole mission in mind of it taking you until the following Christmas to work you way in!

Regular readers will have no doubt noticed a tendency towards references of the geeky persuasion throughout the blog. Alex gave me a canvas Westeros map for Christmas.

I tell you all this as fair warning that I will lay much of the blame with him for leading me astray and encouraging me to stay there.

(Yorkshire, God's own county. And some other bits nobody cares about.)

Whether your celebrations at this time of year are indeed to mark Christmas or any other festival or holiday, I wish everyone the gift of as good health as possible with which to enjoy the festivities, and I shall be back on New Year's Eve with my thoughts on looking forward into the next year of my chronic illness story.

Wishing you all many spoons xxx

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