Tuesday, December 23

Stupid teeth

So it turns out that it is not a recurrent infection causing intermittent pain in my left ear but a dodgy wisdom tooth. I was very disappointed when the doctor examined my ear and declared it perfect; I was predicting that she'd see raggedy, fleshy mess and fall to the floor in a deep faint. But no, I simply have to go to my dentist and get it X-rayed in the new year. How boring. However, I quite like the idea that my body has decided that I am now wise enough to sprout a new tooth. Must be all the essay writing I did last year.

As usual, I will spend the first week of my fortnight holiday being ill. I have had an upset stomach since yesterday. Luckily I've just been sitting at home drinking Alka Seltzer and watching Christmas specials of various sitcoms, so I don't need to be particularly fit.

Oh yes, and James and I spent £100 in Sainsburys today, but half of it doesn't count because it was alcohol. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22

How to lose a day in one day

8am. Wake up. Have wee. Go back to bed.
12pm. Wake up. Run bath. Wash up. Go to bakers and buy lunch.
2.30pm. Watch trashy tv. Feel tired. Go to bed.
7pm. Wake up. Feel awful. Boil eggs. Eat eggs. Clean out rabbit.
11pm. Go to bed.

I think I might have quite a bad ear infection. I felt a bit ropey all weekend and today has been a complete washout. The doctor will make it all better tomorrow, hopefully.

Friday, December 19

Do Gumtree do property listings for Cornwall? I'm thinking somewhere rocky, with a sea view.

Oh God, I find this whole Christmas malarky so awkward. I go to parties and try to pretend that I am not about to pass out from the effort of masking my panic. I fear the simple hug or handshake, in case well-meaning friends discover that I am actually a quivering, sweating mass. I field perfectly innocent questions from friends about my alcohol-free drinks, turn them inwards and feel like a leper. Then I run away, hide in my lounge and drink a cup of tea, breathing a deep sigh of relief that it is all over. How can you let friends know that it is not them that freaks you out, but the experience of having to converse and appear confident in front of more than 20 people without looking like a mentalist?

The whole experience of receiving gifts embarrasses me beyond belief. Example: I won a tin of Roses at the school Christmas dinner on Wednesday. I was delighted and grateful. What a shame I was so petrified that I shuffled up to receive my gift like a sulky teenager. I was afraid of being looked at. I was sharing centre stage with two elves and a Santa so, with hindsight, I can see the focus would have been elsewhere. I just wanted to disappear. Schoolchildren are not a problem; they look at me all day long and I don't care. Fellow adults, however and increasingly, terrify me.

I have noticed that, with age, I am actually becoming LESS outgoing. I am certain it's supposed to be the other way round. Perhaps it's because I've gained weight in the last 3 years, I don't bother getting dressed up anymore because I don't feel like I could look good in anything except jeans and a t-shirt. Don't get me wrong, I have always worn jeans and t-shirts, but I would occasionally mix it up and wear a skirt and some fishnets. I used to spend 10 minutes a day applying liquid eyeliner, and now I'm lucky if I remember to run a brush through my hair. Part of the reason is tiredness; I'm doing quite well in my NQT year but I'm wearing myself out worrying about messing it all up. I am so exhausted at 3.10pm that I am only fit for napping on the train home and sitting in my lounge staring at Living tv, absentmindedly stroking my cat. The spunk has gone. I don't feel interesting anymore. By the time I get to thirty I will probably be living in a cave somewhere off Lands End, and will have named all the seagulls within a 3 miles radius.

Some of these issues are perennial, but mainly they tend to come to the fore at Christmas. More people commit suicide at this time of year than any other, and while I have no plans whatsoever to shuffle off this mortal coil anytime soon, I can understand why. The pressure is intense. Especially if you already have a slight predisposition towards depression. That baby Jesus has a lot to answer for. Little fucker.

And the worst part of this Christmas nightmare? I know that it is all my own doing. If I weren't so bloody inept at being sociable I wouldn't make mountains out of molehills. Molehills seem like a cosy refuge right now. Mmm, molehills.

Friday, December 12

Card dilemma?

How do you judge when you've become acquainted enough with a person to send them a Christmas card? I have about 70 Christmas cards. I have made two lists; one where I just send cards to my close friends, family and my department at work, and another, extended, list that includes most people that I have come into contact with in the last 12 months.

If I send the first list out I'll feel mean, but if I send out the second list I might look a bit desperate and mental.

What should I do?

My cat is obsessed with the Christmas tree. We haven't decorated it yet, because we're trying to acclimatise him to it gently, but he keeps chewing the fake needles and trying to clamber up the wire branches. I am definitely going to come home from work and find it sideways on the floor, aren't I?

Do Google searches and that...