Festive Snapshot

By Alison December 27, 2007 33 Comments 3 Min Read

It is eleven o’clock on Christmas Eve.
You are lying almost naked in bed: still enough to hear the jingle of Rudolph’s bells as he munches through yet another carrot when you feel a flutter of something on your thigh. You ignore it and carry on reading something utterly scrumptious, sipping from a warm glass of cinnamon milk and feeling that the world is as it should be, when buzzzzzzzz, flitter, flutter, buzzzzzzzzzz, something crawls across your (slightly rotund) tummy and instinctively you swipe your hand across your stomach to catch it, throwing back layers of patchwork quilts, swearing like a fishwife and staring in astonished slow motion at the giant wasp attached to the little finger of your left hand.
Yes people, in the midst of a British Winter on the most festive night of all, a wasp had the downright bloody cheek to sting me! A wasp! Did he not know he should have died three months before? Had he been sharing my bed for all that time just waiting to inflict a teeny bit of festive misery upon my ample person?
When the scandal of it all was over and I had called almost everyone I know to report said misdemeanor (I suspect many thought I’d been on the juice), I lay awake worrying about the possibility of a hive of mean bee’s in my mattress and thinking about the wonder that is Christmas and how the magic of it all never quite goes away even when you are thirty-five and  nine months old. It may be for children but it also exists to remind oh so dull grown-ups that it is ok to shake off the monotony of maturity and wear a silly hat while you sup a glass of eggnog…
I’m Skippy the Kangaroo at Christmas. Stupidly delighted with teeny pleasures. Thrilled to bits with the mini pretend silver hip flask I got in my cracker and feeling full of festive cheer for people I don’t particularly like. I’m the first one to shove a paper hat on my head and that person in the family determined to fit the sheer heaven that is a late afternoon nap into my Christmas Day. I go through my present pile a hundred times over piling on a quite ludicrous combination of scarves and slippers and necklaces and lipsticks just because someone cared enough to wrap them up for me and drink my last alcoholic drink with  my last mouthful of  turkey and start whining about  a hangover  as the credits start rolling on Coronation Street.
And so now another Christmas is over and the tingly freshness of a New Year full of promise is dancing in my exhausted old veins. The house is full of an exuberantly horrible amount of toy packaging and I simply cannot wait to make my annual excursion to the shops to select a diary resplendent with invisible joy and the kinds of teeny stings we swallow daily and if we are to become better people, set aside and smile long enough to start believing in our own contentment regardless.
I believe in it. I really do. My broadband still hasn’t been re-connected and my piggy bank is empty. My darling son told me my eyes were “cracking” yesterday and his estranged Father wants to come home to a life less ordinary than the one he once chose to set aside for another day. My book remains a twinkle in my eye and the only thing sharing my bed is an overgrown wasp and yet and yet and yet…
The house is cosy and warm. I am wearing the cutest white fuzzy Nordic patterned sheepskin-lined Ugg type boots and the Christmas tree lights are still blinking as I sit curled up watching gorgeous tv like the little bit of heaven that was Noel Streatfields “Ballet Shoes” last night. I don’t fear life as I used to. I’m not frightened of making decisions that are only mine to make, nor of discovering my very own New England, and if I listen very, very carefully I can hear the tip-tap of creativity waiting to fizz its way into a scrumptious New Year like a titchy little bottle of cranberry lemonade…
I truly hope all your Christmas’s have been quite as enriching. Let’s have another jammy dodger in celebration of all that is, all that was and all that one day may hopefully be…


  1. Amy says:

    oh dear, I hope you get reconnected soon. As for that dreadful wasp, I DO hope he went his own separate way and didn't hang around. Let's hope your new year's is much better *hugs*

  2. Mary Ellen says:

    I wish you the happiest of new years! As for myself, I might forgo the usual resolutions and instead ask myself "Where do you want to be in one year?" Hmmm… there's a lot in that query, isn't there? Take care, ME

  3. mrs. olive martini says:

    OH! Who wouldn't be "Thrilled to bits with the mini pretend silver hip flask I got in my cracker"!? I rec'd a rather confusing puzzle game in mine that made so sense after too little sleep (the one day out of the year when I don't hate to get up AND have trouble falling asleep) and too much champagne. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

  4. mrs. olive martini says:

    um- that should be "no sense" not "so sense".

  5. theresa says:

    what an grinchy wasp, to stay alive til christmas just to sting you! when it comes to writing projects I am SO hearing you. I say you have to do something really, REALLY new. Like fencing, ice skating, archery or fly-fishing. That is the cure for ruminating. When you break out of the mold of your life its elements will form new patterns, like a kaleidescope! promise!

  6. mary says:

    I do think the wasp is a symbol of himself and the whole event a warning omen not to let him move back in. The very nerve.
    I was hoping to hear that he has been run over by a tram and you had received a generous life insurance premium.
    You're weakening- I can feel it clear across the ocean.
    The only thing that will take my mind off such a dreadful eventuality is the thought of your book.
    With Christmas love,
    Townsend, MA

  7. Great camera. Is it the "brick"?

  8. Clare says:

    Everyone has an opinion, but only you know what is right for you.
    Be careful what you share until you are sure.

  9. Melanie says:

    How strange, a wasp on Christmas eve! It sounds like your Christmas was perfect, I also like to take an afternoon nap on Christmas day, because for us it is a none stop full day, and for afew hours in the afternoon, we have a little peace and quiet, then my mam comes round at about 7.30pm, and we all eat, drink and be merry, so I like to have a little chill time. I get so excited about Christmas still, I just love it and cant wait for next Christmas!

  10. mabel says:

    Have a happy new year Alison.
    Wasps….creatures of the devil neither use nor ornament……….
    i do hope you showed due clemency and let it live another day.

  11. Ali says:

    Write the book. It'll block out the blandishments of the scumbag ex.
    Happy New Year everyone!
    Ali x

  12. Lesley says:

    Have a lovely New Year, Alison. As for the wasp – I hope you squished it! They're no good to man nor beast, imo! As for the estranged hubby – well, only you can make that decision. I'm still hoping that I'll be in that situation one day, where the other half decides that the grass is perhaps not so green elsewhere.
    In the meantime, have a hug for you and Finley.

  13. Edi says:

    Could Santa have gotten something on your Christmas list wrong? Maybe something you asked for sounded like wasp or bee or a hornet? Oh I got it – did you ask for a jacket that was yellow and Santa's elves got it mixed up and instead gave you a Yellow Jacket?

    It would be easy to be wigging out thinking – is there a nest of these creatures in my mattress? Hard to go to sleep after that.
    I guess the other day finding a mosquito in our house when there hasn't been any outdoors for a couple of months, doesn't hold a candle to your wasp story. What a deal!

  14. Alison says:

    Eeek, what an incredibly naughty wasp!!!
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas and wishing you lots of joy & happiness for the New Year.
    love Alison x

  15. Meredith says:

    OH that wasp! He was just jealous of your contentment, huh?!
    Wishing you the happiest of New Year's and looking for your book soon. As for the ex thing…I say you squash him like the wasp!! (Just hoping you are not stung once again.) God bless and take care!!

  16. Eugena says:

    I wish I had your enthuisiasm Alison! you cheer me you really do!hope you are having a lovely time and that 2008 holds every good thing for you.

  17. gena says:

    That last comment was me! crikey got me full moniker there!

  18. Hattie says:

    Dearest Alison,
    Your little wasp incident reminds me of all the many wasp stings I experienced as a child.Running barefoot through the rye grass at my grandparent's home those little red devils seemed to come out of nowhere.My grandfather (may God rest his soul)would reach into his cheek to pull out a pinch of well chewed tobacco.Much to my disgust and wonderment he would place it over the swollen area so that the nicotine would draw the poison out and reduce the swelling.
    What do you recommend?

  19. Polly says:

    Decisions only you can make! Finally, doesn't it feel wonderful that the ball is in your court?! Maybe take a moment to breathe it all in. The decision can wait another day or two (afterall, you've been waiting haven't you?!). I'll be praying that it'll all be very clear for you. Blessings… Polly

  20. Jackie says:

    "I suspect many thought I'd been on the juice" <— ROFLMAO!!! That is the funniest line.
    Sorry about the bee but love the blog entry. 🙂
    "Merry Christmas"

  21. Buffy says:

    Hmmm, how do you manage to make even a bee sting sound delightful and cosy??
    I have taped Ballet Shoes and hope it lives up to the book, which seems unlikely, but one lives in hope.

  22. Gill says:

    Oh your heart must have been thumping when you felt something crawling on your leg! Who'd have thought?! Still as always you turn it into a funny story, you are a brilliant writer and I hope that book becomes more than a twinkle. Good luck for 2008, only you know if estranged husband is worth a second chance, it worked for me.

  23. Ellen says:

    "his estranged Father wants to come home to a life less ordinary than the one he once chose to set aside for another day."
    Does this sentence mean that your husband wants to get back together with you? Or that he wants to stick to his "new" life?
    Honey, I am so sorry but I'm confused.
    Not that it's any of my business!
    Happy New Year!

  24. annie in kentucky says:

    "and yet and yet and yet…"
    Oh Alison, how your heart always does soothe my own.
    Many blessings in the new year to you — beautiful, dear you.

  25. Victoria says:

    Hoping you had a good holiday and wishing you all the best for 2008. Please visit my blog where I have given you an award.
    Best wishes

  26. Julie says:

    Much love to you and your wonderful boy in the New Year!

  27. Happy New Year, Alison!

  28. Sasha says:

    Welcome back Alison! Happy and Healthy 2008 to you and your precious son. I too got inordinately excited about a cracker gift this year! (I usually do though…) A tiny silver salt and pepper pot – I immediately envisaged little dolly picnics! The cheeky thing was it wasn't even in my cracker…..but hey, what's his is mine, right??!! Don't you just love mini nail brushes (perfect for handbags and going away bags) and mini screwdriver sets!!! (perfect for just about any fiddly battery cover on toys etc). Where else can you get such wonderfully useful stuff?!

  29. Lisa says:

    A toast to the New Year, from across the pond, to my new friend. I hope all is well!
    take much care-
    coastal nest

  30. Sue says:

    Happy New Year Alison! I have so enjoyed your beautiful light hearted approach to blogging and home living . Thank you so much for sharing your planner pages with us all. I have your tool bar at the top of my home page and plan to click on it as often as possible this coming year.
    Hugs and pleased to meet you,

  31. Cheryl Dack says:

    OH Alison! Pretty PLEASE write the book…I will buy the first copy, Sweets! I SO enjoy your writing and feel happier and more optimistic about life in general after visiting here. You are just a TREASURE. Give that boy an extra squeeze and ask for one in return….hugs, cheryl

  32. Rosemary says:

    That would have been a Queen wasp,they hibernate in warm places through the winter so a new wasp colony can be produced in the spring.We live in an old farmhouse and have plenty of these in the winter,also HORNETS which are 3 times as big but luckily very placid !!

  33. Oh wow! I have that very camera. It was the one my family used when I was a child.

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