Thursday, 9 December 2010


As in, a) it is - very - and b)I have one. Have been feeling extremely sorry for myself, although was temporarily roused from my slough of self-pity by the drama of this morning's school run. Here in Cheshire we have escaped the worst of the snow (although the frost the last two mornings has been very Lion, Witch and Wardrobe-esqe) but rain early this morning had frozen fast, coating the roads and pavements with an inch of glassy ice and making the journey to school a cross between an extreme sport and a comedy sketch. I don't suppose the three cars we passed half-buried in the hedge were laughing much though.

Anyway, The Cold (both kinds) has just added another challenge in the annual game we call 'Getting Ready for Christmas'. Every year as I struggle to fit in work, basic I domestic duties, shopping and queueing in the post office around attending nativity plays, carol concerts and making cheese and pineapple cubes for 50 children for the class party it strikes me that this does have real potential as an actual board game and I resolve to make up a prototype and send it off to industry insiders the moment I have time. It'll be marketed at women, obviously, and will include things like 'Make your own mince pies - go forward 3 spaces' and 'Fail to find anything remotely flattering to wear for husband's office Christmas party - miss a turn'. 'Come down with revolting cold and bore everyone with your moaning' will also warrant a missed turn while 'Get your children to eat sprouts' and 'Post all presents before last possible dates and avoid paying three hundred pounds in special delivery rates' will earn you an extra turn and a champagne cocktail token. I'd really want Lauren Child to illustrate it. Anything else I should include?

I'll leave you to ponder that and retreat gratefully into Fictionland where my hero and heroine are at a wedding in sunny Italy. Let me know your ideas and we'll share the profits, OK?


Morton S Gray said...

Hope you will feel better soon. I'm caught up in the Christmas thing too and Daniel breaks up tomorrow!

Ellie Swoop and I both completed Nanowrimo. We are still glowing with the achievement. Just need to edit it now!

Hope you have a very Happy Christmas. Mx

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

You forgot:

'Take the six bags of wine bottles you've been hiding down to the bottle bank before anyone notices, and go straight to Sainsbury's Beers, wines and spirits.'

'pay the chimney sweep an extortionate sum or Santa won't visit and all your properties will burn down.'

Hope you're feeling better soon, it's such a drag sleeping with a tissue shoved up one nostril, isn't it?

Lots of love,


Joanna St. James said...

Get well soon India
let me help you with some visualization, Corsica might be french but they all speak french with an italian accent(think Brad Pitt in inglorious Basterds) the weather today was 23 degrees, were people still in their puffy jackets? yes.
Is there going to be an angry sea crashing against rocks?
I have escaped all of the hullabaloo of Christmas this year- we are going to the in laws.

Nicolette said...

Lose an entire weekend writing christmas cards - miss a turn.

Lose a week culling old children's toys to make way for new ones - miss two turns.

ros said...

Get Christmas tree that fits in house and makes it smell wonderful: go forward three spaces.

Christmas tree drops its needles everywhere so that by Christmas Day you have baubles hanging from bare branches: miss a turn.

Book supermarket delivery slot on Dec 24th to avoid having to battle the crowds: have an extra turn but lose thirty smugness points.

Realise you forgot to add crucial items to delivery order so have to go in to the supermarket on Dec 24th anyway: miss a turn and have a large bottle of Baileys to commiserate with.

Brigitte said...

'Slip on ice at 6.30 am on your way to work and break a rib.
You are out'.
That's what happened unfortunately to DH this morning; actually it is two ribs for him.
Luckily we are not going anywhere for Christmas this year.
Hope you're feeling better and will be able to enjoy the bubbly without a stuffed head.
Happy Christmas

India said...

Morton, you've inadvertently made me feel better. Children breaking up on 10th December is outrageous - there should be a law against it! (Though am sure you'll have a lovely couple of weeks doing fun stuff with Daniel instead of being a bitter old Scrooge like me.) CONGRATULATIONS to you and Ellie on the Nano! That really is something worth celebrating in a big way - hope the two of you are going to find time for a champagne moment to toast your success.

Rachel, excellent suggestions as expected. Can I modify the chimney sweep one to 'Fail to book chimney sweep and spend entire festive season anxiously imploring OH not to put any logs on fire after about 5pm as visions of nocturnal chimney fires keep you awake: Go back 3 spaces'

Joanna (*sobbing with envy*) do you think your in-laws will have me too?

Oh yes, Nicolette - definitely. I'm about to lose a weekend exactly that way, though I discovered this morning that my youngest daughter has pinched all the tasteful, expensive Christmas cards I bought for my personal use to send to everyone in her school. So before I can lose a weekend I also have to lose another extortionate amount of money buying more (or else send everyone the cutsie, glitter-encrusted kittens I'd bought for her.)

Ros, I knew you'd be good at this. I love those. Feel the game is coming together nicely. Is anyone from Mattel reading this??

Oh BRIGITTE, no!! Poor him (and poor you, having to do all the fetching and carrying this Christmas!) Huge, huge sympathy. Will it cheer him up at all if you tell him that one of my favourite heroes (Olivier from Taken for Revenge)was French and had two broken ribs?? No, thought not. Hopefully some tlc in the warm will though. Look after him, and yourself! xxx

Linda said...

Hi India

Hope you're feeling better soon. I recommend hot toddies - guilt free alcohol!

How about redistribte children's tat to Christmas fair only to pay indescriblable amounts of money to bring it all back home along with half as much again - go back two paces


Completely give up all signs of Christmas spirit and a social life in aid of supporting children's own social life - which year round is better than yours in the capacity of mum's taxi. Throw again.


Marilyn Shoemaker said...

You are too funny! I'm feeling like Scrooge as well. No tree yet, no presents, no cards. All I've felt like doing id reading.

Speaking of reading, your...Her Last Night of Innocemce was amazing. If you have a behind the book story, please email it to me. xx

Morton S Gray said...

Hi India,

Ellie and I had lunch in our favourite cafe to celebrate Nano. If you are ever down here we'll treat you.

Now that Daniel has broken up, I will enjoy not having to scrape the car if it is icy. We have lots of projects to keep us busy.

Michelle Styles kindly had a look at my historical manuscript, but I think the conclusion was - needs much more work!

Have a lovely Christmas. Mx

Catherine J said...

Good game!

Here's one that won't make the final version. Lose two days taking daughter to university interview, go back four spaces plus visiting mother catches husband's man 'flu and fails to make flight home, take a WHO-KNOWS-WHAT-WILL-HAPPEN-NOW? card...

Hope you feel better soon, in time for a dash to the finish. Cx

Sally Clements said...

Well. I've just spent the past couple of hours reading your super fab motor racing book. I decided it would be just the thing to take my mind off ntai, seeing as I'm waiting for a response from a partial from Richmond, and am biting my nails off.
It didn't!
Instead, I marvelled at the masterly weaving in of conflicts, great sexual tension, and fab locations - yorkshire beaches sexy? yup. And despaired. My mum used to tell me not to compare myself to others. But I couldn't help it. I'm all stressy that my lovely ms is now pants. Will have to go find a crappy writer to read instead to bolster the spirits.
(shakes fist)

India said...

Linda - I love it! That thing about the Christmas fair and the kids bringing all their tat home again (having paid ror it, too) is painfully true. Move forward three spaces and help yourself to a champagne cocktail token for your brilliance!

And Catherine, I don't see why the visiting mother not making it home can't go in the final version. I like that one. Sending you big glugs of sanity and a champagne cocktail token too. (I actually LOVE the idea of this game and absolutely MUST work on turning some of the tonnes of amazon packaging that keeps arriving into a prototype. Just as soon as I've made a start on writing some Christmas cards, bought, wrapped and dispatched the posting presents, written a poem for daughter #3 to perform in this year's school talent show, sourced crackers, finished shopping, achieved world peace etc)

Marilyn, it's oddly good to know I'm not the only one who's badly behind. It's also oddly good to know that you enjoyed Cristiano and Kate. The story behind the book is so miserable that I haven't written it down, but I'll add that to the above list!

Ahh Sally - thank you so much for being so nice and BIG congratulations on the partial! I hate to say it but your mum was absolutely right and you should never compare yourself to others because it's a completely unreliable yardstick and you have no perspective at all. I, for example, have such negative feelings about that book that for weeks I couldn't bring myself to open the box of author copies when it arrived. Impressions of your own work are always distorted, and in my experience tend to fluctuate wildly between suspecting you are an undiscovered genius one minute (usually after a glass of wine) and a failure, impostor and hopeless loser the next. Luckily the editors at Richmond are a little more level-headed. Best of luck with the partial and here's hoping 2011 gets of to a great start with good news!