The It Gal

A busy week gone and another ahead. It’s that month, December, full of things to get, things to make and places to be. This month especially for both myself and for Mark. We are the ‘It’ guys. The “It will ok if I just come up and stay.” The “It will be ok if we send you away for work just before Christmas.” The “It will be ok if we take the piss and ask you to do lots of things that you don’t have time to do whilst expecting you to be free to have fun and to get everything done.”

Every year I say, and no doubt you do to, “This is the last year I do that.”
Last year I said it, and in 2016, 15, 14, 13, 12…
But this year I won’t be saying that, this year I’m going to do it all, it will be tight and it will be a struggle but I’m doing everything that I can to end this year in style.


Don’t you hate it when a writer asks his own questions. We all know that the writing is going to explain himself so why do they do it? It’s called dramatical expression. Well it is now.

I’ve had a shit year. Not just your normal shit that you can wipe off, tell the world you stepped in and move on to dodge the next pile of shit. Oh no, this is the shit that lingers, the smell of which clings like the bog of eternal stench (borrowed without guilt from David Bowie’s Labyrinth movie). This is the shit you step in whilst wearing walking boots, and spend a year digging out the dried crusty remnants from the intricate tread. This shit sticks.

In 2013 I spent my last Christmas with mum, her body is still around but her mind has buggered off somewhere in the 50’s. She just doesn’t recognise me now. 2014 we moved, and married, actually we married each other, then moved in January. 2015 was the year I travelled around the country trying to please everyone, exhausting myself in the process. 2016 I was ill, and last year I spent trying to deal with the hole in my dining room ceiling, not having a drivers licence due to ill health, and losing my old dog. As I said shit. This year is sparkly and brilliant and going great guns, so I’m doing everything I can, for no one can ever say what next year will bring.

We have the youngest son visiting next week. “It will be ok.”
I can work around this. I can make dinners for three, it’s been a long time since I last did “family”, but I remember, what he does and doesn’t like, what he will and won’t eat. Is it chicken that affect him, no that’s the oldest boy.

“He’s what,” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “you’re telling me now, what the hell, why?”

“He’s a vegan,” Mark repeated. “I did tell you.”

“No Mark, you didn’t, you may have thought you did but you didn’t.” I scrambled around on Pinterest for vegan ideas as I fumed and frowned at Mark.

“I’ll check,” he said as he picked up his phone to message the youngest son.

A short while later, once I’d done the online shopping and placed weird and wonderful jars and coconut milk cheeses into the basket, Mark came back with, “It’s ok, he isn’t a vegan, it was just for a month.”

Reopening the supermarket app on my phone I counted to ten. ‘I can do this, I can do this, calm, cool and collected.’ I kept repeating to myself.

“Oh and by the way I’m away next week to Edinburgh,” Mark added.

Ok, think Jen, before you answer. “Mark, when you say next week, would that be when John is here?”

“No, next week.”

“Yes Mark, next week John is coming to stay.”

“Oh right, no the week after.”

My sigh of relief was audible. Then the shock struck once again, ‘I can do this, I can do this, I can stay calm.’

“Mark, you have remembered that we are going away on the 17th, haven’t you.”


Now my heart isn’t known to be strong, I clocked up an impressive heart rate of 172 yesterday during my dance class, but at that point my heart stopped and skipped several beats. This was our honeymoon. Planned for the past 4 years. This was going to be ours. For the first time we were going away to celebrate our marriage. Had he really forgotten. Looking up from my phone, yes I do that once in a while, usually just long enough to find my iPad, I saw the smirk creep across the gits face.
“No dear, I haven’t forgotten. I’ll be back on the 14th.”

Kill him, I could have thrown my knitting needles at him, but first I’d have to sharpen them and dip them in poison. Not the type of poison that kills, the type that causes paralysis and boils. What me, cruel, never.
My month is all set out. Comings, goings, work, and cooking. Mustn’t forget the cooking and the trip back home after Christmas.

I’ve made the Christmas cake, the liquorice vodka is stewing nicely, the cranberry and cinnamon gin goes in today. The puddings are maturing in the cupboard, the lamb ordered, we don’t do turkey, and the battle plan drawn up for the cake making. It’s a busy month December, but I can do it.


Because I want to give my friends and family a part of me, a part of the person I was before the shit hit the fan. I’m going to do the one thing that I do well and share my gift, I’m going to make them all just as fat as me. No that’s a joke. I’m going to cook for the world and put a lot of love into everything I do.
That is if no one else wants me to be there It gal.

And then there’s the Christmas shopping, but that’s another story.

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