First of all, apologies for not hopping online and wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas this year. Working on the days leading up to Christmas Day, meant that I didn't find the time, but I do hope that you have all enjoyed the festive season.
It's been extra busy for me, as I was working on Christmas Eve until 5pm. The store was pretty busy, more so in the last couple of hours of the shop being open and then it was a mad dash to do as much as we could to put everything back and straighten up the shop.
I had a couple of food items to pick up before heading home and then I took the greatest pleasure in just relaxing at home, watching TV with OH and starting on the Christmas food treats. LB was out celebrating after work and came home later a bit worse for wear, but I was pleased she had been out enjoying herself.
Christmas Day here was a relaxing day. After the customery gift opening, OH and I made Xmas lunch, after which we mainly spent the afternoon napping between watching movies on Netflix. There's really no better way to spend Xmas Day.
I was happy with my main Xmas present, which was a new phone, and OH spent some time in the afternoon setting it up for me, which I was grateful for. There were a few apps that I needed to re-sign into, which caused a bit of a problem, as I couldn't remember my passwords for them. I'm happy with it though. It seems very easy to use, despite being quite a bit bigger.
I got an unexpected telephone call from my sister in Australia in the evening, which was lovely. We had a good long chat and catch up.
On Boxing Day, I had to go to work again. I wasn't really feeling it to be honest. It was super busy in the store, the queue just didn't go down all afternoon. I was so glad when we finally closed the doors, although it still took a good hour or so until all of the customers had been served and I could go home.
Working over Christmas in a non-charity retail store has definitely been an experience, let's leave it at that. I could have worked extra hours, but I just didn't feel inclined, as I wanted to relax for what was left of the Xmas holidays. I'm just trying to be honest and maintain my boundaries.
Holiday Tuesday, I had a completely free day to do as I pleased. I had a lovely long walk with the dog, with no time pressure at all. It was just lovely to get out into the fresh air. Much as I love the build up to Christmas, I'm always glad when it's over and things can get back to normal.
I needed to start getting the house in order for our forthcoming visitors on Tuesday, so later in the afternoon, I started on cleaning the kitchen. I began with the oven. I don't know when it was last cleaned, but it was dirty. It looks a lot better now. I just use bicarb of soda, water and a brillo pad. It took a while, but it was worth it.
I then cleaned down one side of the kitchen, including the undersink cupboards, dishwasher, which we put on a cycle with citric acid inside, washing machine and cupboards. Felt good to make some progress and it will be good to start the New Year knowing that the house is clean and tidy.
On Wednesday, I got up and dressed ready to tackle more cleaning in the kitchen. I slowly worked my way down the other side of the kitchen and the worktop. I realised whilst I was doing it that I was due at work two hours earlier than I thought, which meant that I couldn't get as much done as I would like.
Work wasn't quite as busy as Boxing Day, there were gaps between customers, but it was still a bit hectic with lots of things to do. At the end of the shift, I ended up staying a bit later to tidy the section I'd been allocated, so it was later than usual by the time I got home.
On Thursday, I had to miss going to my voluntary work. I had too much going on at home. More cleaning and tidying up, although OH had done some the day before when I was at work, which was a great help. Our house will never be perfect. It's lived in, as houses are meant to be. As long as the kitchen, bathroom and bedding are clean, they are the priorities.
Anyway, I carried on with cleaning the kitchen and then did some cleaning and changed the bedding upstairs. OH tided up the garden, which was a mess as we haven't managed to get out there at all since the summer. He did a great job. Here's a picture of it all tidied up for the winter:
Later, we did a big shop at Lidl, to make sure we had plenty of food in the house.
When we got back, I changed a bit more bedding and I was done for the day.
On Friday I was at work for 9am and bar an hour at the beginning of the shift, it was super busy. A constant stream of customers. I left at 2pm and wanted to pick up a few bits from in store, but the queue was snaking all over the place, so I decided to just go home and help OH finish off the last few things that needed doing before our guests arrived.
The evening was spent chilling with one of our guests, whilst the others all went to a football match. It was good to catch up on everyone's news and just spend time with family that we don't see very often.
Saturday, I stayed in bed and let everyone get up and use the bathroom, as they were all heading out early. LB was heading off to Norfolk for the New Year and OH and our guests were all heading into London to do some sightseeing. I couldn't join them as I was working at 3pm, so I stayed home and had a leisurely breakfast before walking the dog and getting ready for work. It was nice to have a bit of time to myself and catch my breath to be honest, in what has been a very busy week.
I'm looking forward to finishing work tonight and welcoming in a New Year, hopefully one that doesn't have any unpleasant surprises in store for me, but who ever knows.
Wishing Everyone a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2023, see you all next year.