Thursday, 1 January 2009

It's Lovely - Did You Keep The Receipt?

Happy New Year.

It's been a long week. Christmas day seems a long time ago now. And the dust has finally settled. In my defence I would like to say that I have a pretty good record of present giving. In the last few months we've had a 15th wedding anniversary (perfume) and a 40th birthday (artwork) and now Christmas. I gave Polly some magic tricks that she wanted for her clown doctoring and the latest book in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series that she loves. I also gave her a Tefal ActiFry Low Fat Electric Fryer. She took one look at it and said, “Oh lovely, a chip pan.” There was a pause while icicles formed before she asked, “did you keep the receipt?” Apparently what I really meant to give her was some rather expensive face cream.

We spent Christmas day at my brother Simon's house where the Deal clan had gathered. My sister-in-law Jaspreet had prepared a fabulous dinner of which the centre piece was a 5 bird roast which as best I can work out consisted of a fresh Turkey breast, stuffed with Chicken, stuffed with Duck, stuffed with Guinea Fowl, stuffed with Wood Pigeon. The boys were in ecstasy having received from overly indulgent relatives various electronic games machines including a Wii Fit, Nintendo DS's and joy of joys, a Playstation 3. Even as I write Matty is busy playing with. . . some Lego. (Some toys are timeless.)

Polly gave me a beautiful print by a local artist of Carshalton pond and a Bill Bailey DVD. Among other wonderful and generous gifts, I received from my sister Helena and brother-in-law Andrew a gadget designed especially with me in mind, a Sony Reader. I now can carry an entire library with me at all times. I find I can read much faster when I don't have to fiddle with turning pages. Wonderful.

Boxing day was delightfully quiet but of course not everything has gone smoothly. Kalapo, one of my regular carers has gone home to Nigeria for Christmas and Godfrey, the other regular, has been very unwell. As I result I've been left with two sweet, but rather scatty women, neither of whom have a full grasp of English (or indeed caring). The week has been full of perilously dangerous transfers and shrieks of “Polly, Polly, come help. Quick!” I've run out of ways to explain how to fit the foot-plates to the wheelchair and I've been too scared to have a shower all week. Carlotta saying “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry,” is no compensation for a broken leg.

Today, New Years day, we forsook the carers and Polly got me up and gave me a much needed shower in half the time that the women take to give me a wash. So I've started 2009 all clean and shiny. My new years resolution is to only buy Polly presents that don't cook food.


  1. A chip pan indeed, Stephen!!! What were you thinking of? Everbody knows that unless you have specifically agreed such a present in advance it is NOT what your wife wants, even if it is what she NEEDS! And even if you have agreed it, she always wants you to buy her something special AS WELL!

    Anyway, thanks for all the fun you give us, reading these blogs. I really DO look forward to reading your posts (I have missed them over Christmas!).

    Thinking of you and continuing to pray for you as we start a new year. May you and all the family be blessed.

  2. Polly did well - I got a set of bathroom scales. Not to weigh the bathroom, but to check if my diet is really working.Very sad, as it was my 60th birthday,too.

  3. For once I got it right mate...I bought my good lady wife a laptop (even though my son was adamant I would be returning it to PC World on Boxing Day.)
    She now sits there quietly all evening playing Solitaire.....the most expensive Gameboy ever me thinks...but she liked it...phew!

  4. A chip pan? As a fully paid-up member of the Husband Protection League, I would normally leap to your defence, no matter what the circumstances, but a chip pan? You're on you own Stephen.

    Good luck and happy new year.

    Bass Bin

  5. Quick Sketch doth protest to much me thinks?


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