Yet another yawning gap between entries means that there is way way too much to write about, and the urge to put it off becomes all the stronger. Nonetheless, I am not ready to give up the ghost on this blogging thing right now, because tis the season of miserable January and renewed interest in lives of others outside selfish little inner-sanctum returns... Also. If I'm blogging, I'm not helping myself to large portions of stilton, crackers, and chocolate truffles. This is a Good Thing.
Whenever I look back on 2007, and think about where I was a year ago (answer: In Michigan with one month old baby Sam, healing c-section stitches, and filling up homemade Christmas stockings because my Mummy was in town) I'm blown away by all the changes we have made in our lives. This is mostly good, and this morning when I came into work after a chunk of time off I was really pleased to see my workmates. Frank and I are gearing up for some serious house-hunting, and are aiming to find a place with a nice woodshed where he can get cracking on Bed Frame 2.0., stoke up a wood-burning stove, and drink lots of whiskey/tea. This gives us a sense of excitement, and the British housing market has been polite enough to stop escalating wildly since our arrival (not that this doesn't mean we're like looking at about half a million dollars for a miniature semi somewhere).
Jack has settled into British primary school so so well that he received the plum role of Father Christmas in the school Christmas play, 'A Sack Full of Presents'; a remarkable production that featured not only Santa, but Rudolf, the Sugar Plum Fairy, Toy Soldiers, Mary, Joseph, Three Kings, Shepherds, and a Baby Jesus in a Manger. Yep. After 5+ years of dodging the whole religious issue, one term at a British state school where there is no separation of Church and State, and Jack has got Jesus bad. He has been coming home regaling us with tales of the True meaning of Christmas, and when we let slip that we were well aware of this King of Men dude, he looks at us with disappointed eyes -- you guys where holding OUT on me....
His devout Grandma would have been absolutely delighted. Finally!
I don't feel I can write this entry without noting something else monumental that has happened this last month, even though it feels slightly disrespectful or flippant to do so. A couple of weeks ago Frank and I flew to the states to attend the funeral of his mother. It still doesn't feel real that she has gone, especially as she was always one of those Lazarus types, a tough old bird who became deathly ill and then rallied back to full health. She passed away on December 11th, and we're still reeling from it really--the fact we didn't get to say goodbye, the guilt of being so far away, and having to tell Jack that Grandma has died. Right now we are grateful for the concept of Heaven that has crept into his little imagination.
So Christmas has been interesting. Frantic activity, travelling, eating, more travelling, crying, laughing, the lot. When we came home to our house on December 27th after 2 weeks of being away, it was a relief that it did, at least a little bit, feel like home. But home still feels a million miles away, and when I spoke to one of our dearest friends and neighbors the other day, I couldn't help the floods of tears that came afterwards from the sense of isolation. We miss them all so much.
2007. What. A. Flipping. Year.