Plans for Christmas

I have rattled my way north for a week at my mum’s house, where I mostly sit in front of the fire sneezing from all the cats and warming my toes as I make plans for the coming term, and do a bit of perfunctory work. We have more active plans to dig out the sewing machine and my KitchenAid, which has not yet been used in the 11 months since it was bought,  finish off the skirt I made in America and make something exciting with the mixer. On Monday I’m going into my old sixth form to talk about applying to Oxbridge (they want an interactive powerpoint presentation. Sigh. Of course they do.) and on Tuesday I have an interview at Manchester for midwifery, despite the fact that I’m not sure I could take a place there since I don’t have a car and their placements are not easy to get to.

But today I just planned and organised. I have put in my termly Sainsbury’s order of all the freezable or non-perishable food for next term, and planned what I will cook to pop in the freezer. This system has worked like a charm this term, and meant that I didn’t have to worry about cooking when I got in from choir, tutoring or dance class. Next term will be a little less busy – no tutoring, which frees up two evenings entirely – but I think batch cooking is still the way forward.

Another part of my Sainsbury’s shop was Christmas food. I’m trying to be sensible and not overbuy, but equally I couldn’t convince myself to have Christmas without both a pudding AND a cake. Jens arrives on the 22nd and on the 26th we set off for almost a week of visiting people, so only really four meals to cook – although we will be taking our own food with us on Boxing day to relieve a bit of pressure on a hassled mother who has never had to cook for two vegetarians before!

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. Over the next few weeks I’ll see a number of friends who I haven’t seen for months (and in some cases, years) and all my parents. I haven’t managed to figure out how to get to see my brother, but at some point I’m sure I’ll go up to see him in his new Grown Up Person flat. My two slight concerns are that I might have overplanned (a Christmas spent on public transport may not be the most peaceful of all) and that I might have missed organising a small but crucial detail, like a single leg of a complicated journey. Touch wood, all is sorted except refunding a hastily-booked and then regretted coach ticket. I’m slightly annoyed that I had to pay an extra £2 to get a refundable ticket, but still have to pay £5 per person to actually refund the ticket! Even with the extra £12 charge, it’s still cheaper to change our plans – but it irks.

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