Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas is coming.....

.....and the goose is getting fat.  Which is more than I am, having succumbed to one of those nasty 24 hour winter bugs at the start of this week.  Still, at least that means I have some catching up to do on the eating front!

Today is the first day that I've felt truly Christmassy.  We travelled to the Forest of Dean this morning for my husband to take part in a 5 mile canicross race.  For those who don't know, that basically means attaching yourself, by way of a waist belt and elasticated lead, to an extremely feisty dog (insert the name of your particular breed) and then running full pelt over the required distance hoping that you don't get pulled over.  Except that today, our usually mad Alaskan Malamute decided that whilst she would pull down the hills, my husband would have to pull her up the hills.  I like her thinking.

It was a steady drive to the Forest as the roads were so icy and it was -5 when we left Bristol.  But it was a beautiful journey.  White fields, trees that looked like they had been sprinkled with icing sugar and sheep huddled in the snow.

Our little boy Corey and I watched as all the canicross competitors set off and then we enjoyed a walk in the snow as the "normal" runners assembled for their start.  Steve finished in a respectable time and looked remarkably fresh as he crossed the line.  After a short break for a shower and a cup of tea we then set off for the second part of our day.  A brief drive found us at the Dean Forest Railway and even I was excited.

We stood on the platform to await the train, which unfortunately was running late due to the cold weather.  We listened to the festive tunes emanating from the various loud speakers around the station and Corey amused himself by jumping in muddy puddles.  In the end we had to put a stop to his fun as he got himself so wet I was worried he might end up with icicles hanging from his jeans.

Eventually the train arrived and Corey's face lit up.  We all got on and found our allocated seats.  Corey sat patiently looking out of the window waiting for the train to start.  A magician began doing the rounds with a few little tricks to keep people amused and then we started to move.  Us grown ups were served with a mince pie and a miniature bottle of port, whiskey, Baileys or Tia Maria.  We shared the mince pies with Corey but had to distract him with an orange juice when he made a grab for the alcohol.  Twenty five minutes later we arrived at the end of the line and alighted the train to watch as the steam engine de-coupled from our carriage and then moved to the front ready to begin the journey back.

We had promised Corey that he would see Father Christmas on the train, but on the outward journey he hadn't made it to our carriage.  So on the way back we got ready with the camera and waited as the jolly white-bearded man in the red suit accompanied by some very young elves started at the back of our carriage.  Corey jumped up on the seat excitedly pointing and say Farver Chrishmush or words to that effect!  When Father Christmas came to speak to Corey, our normally talkative little boy became completely dumbstruck.  However, he still received his present which he took a little tentatively, and then spent the next ten minutes opening.  Once back at the station we said goodbye to the steam engine and trooped back to the car to head home.

Corey kept talking about his encounter with Father Christmas and getting a present and I'm now feeling very excited about the prospect of seeing his face on Christmas morning when he sees that the very same man he saw on the train (allegedly) paid a visit in the night to leave yet more presents for him.

Before that happens however, we have a lovely trip to visit my niece who turns four tomorrow.  We have Corey's nursery Christmas party on Wednesday afternoon and in the evening I'm hoping that my husband and I can get a night off to have some Christmas drinks together.

Christmas is coming.......and I wish everyone a very merry time.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Finding The Balance

It's been a while since I've blogged, mainly because I don't seem to have had the time.  Finding the balance between work, home, fun, study and the numerous other elements that fill the days is not an easy task.

I am lucky enough to have a career that I enjoy but it's not without its stresses.  Being a freelance television production manager means that I'm usually looking for the next job before I've even started the current one.  Contracts are short and if they are extended you are lucky to have that confirmed the day before you are due to walk out of the door.  Television work is also very unpredictable and you feel obliged to take whatever work is available in case nothing else comes along.

Home is obviously extremely important to me.  I miss my little boy every day that I work and I treasure the time that I am able to spend with him.  My husband works long hours, has usually left the house before we're up and quite often comes home when bath time has already happened.  But he usually manages to be waiting downstairs with a warm drink of bed time milk and a big hug for our son.  We then get a couple of hours to enjoy dinner and the odd glass of wine and have a chat about our respective days.

Weekends are spent making the most of the two days away from work.  We go on long walks with our energetic dog, attend Rugby Tots, visit places that we know will delight our little boy (and for him that includes running round the aisles of supermarkets) and generally have a nice time.  We also each do the odd sporting event and whilst one of us is competing the other is with our son (and sometimes also the dog) being the support crew.

On top of that I have embarked on a writing course, which I am already way behind on.  It's something that I enjoy doing and will hopefully be another skill that I can use to earn some additional pennies.  But finding that all important time to sit down and concentrate on learning something new can be difficult.

Life really is all about juggling priorities and in this economical climate it has not been easy.  However, by making sure we throw in some fun and laughter along the way and enjoying the time we have together, that balance can be found - most of the time.