It is that strange time in between Christmas and New Year when you are not entirely sure what to do with yourself. I have been awake for hours and have finally given up on trying to get back to sleep. I have vaguely tried to tidy up but failed to make the floor look any clearer. I found a wispa which I ate for my breakfast. The boys are still fast asleep. So I took a large mug of coffee outside and wandered to the edge of the woods to watch the hazy sun coming up from behind the hill. It is dry this morning and still unusually mild. It almost feels as though it could be a morning in March. The birds are singing and the air is filled with insects. I have finally found a moment of peace and calm to quietly reflect during this busy festive time.
December has flown by in the blink of a tired eye. Oak is finally sleeping more through the night, only waking once to feed. It is like some sort of Christmas miracle! Unfortunately my body clock is yet to adjust to this change and I still find myself awake for many hours through the night. I am sure before long I will also learn to sleep through the night. He is still wanting to walk around most of the day with my support and we fill many hours by walking round and round the table stopping to pick up an orange, open and close the oven and attempt to reach the axe. Over and over again. As long as Oak is either walking or eating he is generally content.
About ten days before Christmas Tom's land rover broke down, emptying the entire contents of it's fuel tank all over the ground outside our gate. We were with out it for just over a week whilst Tom waited for parts and tried to fix it himself. It is amazing how much we rely on this vehicle to transport things in and out of the woods, especially when it is as wet and muddy as it is now. The day after it broke down our water tank ran out and we were unable to refill it with out the land rover to pull the trailer. The same week we had an unusual amount of power cuts due to lack of sun and not being efficient enough with our electric (ie. too many films on the projector!). Half way through dinner one night our gas bottle ran out. Then the radiator in the bedroom broke. Tom had used all the sawdust out of the compost loo to clean up the fuel spill and it took us a week to get round to getting anymore. So the run up to Christmas was not as relaxing and stress free as I had hoped. No hot running water to wash with and a baby constantly covered in snot and Weetabix, all three of us sleeping on the sofa bed in the big yurt as we had a freezing cold bedroom, sitting in the dark, eating our breakfast by candlelight whilst trying to boil the kettle on the rayburn which takes FOREVER! Not to mention the mud and the toilet and the rain and the fact that we were hosting Christmas this year. Eek!
Most of the time I do not feel that yurt life is any harder than life with solid walls. We are warm and dry and we have hot water and internet and an oven. My Dad likes to refer to it as 'The Tent' but it really is closer to a house than a tent. Really. Someone asked me recently what we would eat around on Christmas day and I had to disappoint by answering; just a table. Yes, we have a table! And chairs!Amazing! But when things start to unravel I am very quick to begin to doubt this crazy existence and start craving a tarmac drive, fridge freezer and a microwave. Why did I ever think it was a good idea to host Christmas?!
Luckily, we managed to pull it all together in the nick of time and with the land rover back on the road we soon had a full water tank, sawdust for the toilet, gas for the oven, a warm bedroom and enough food and alcohol to last until the New Year should we all get flooded in. My Dad and sister arrived Christmas Eve and Tom's parents joined us all for dinner. Tom and my Dad spent the afternoon digging a small hole outside which they then lined with bricks and lit a fire in the bottom which burnt though the night. At 6am on Christmas morning they wrapped the lamb in foil, put it in an oven proof box and suspended it in the hole. Six hours later we had the most delicious, tender meat imaginable. I managed to pull together the rest despite only having one shelf in my very small gas oven, one ring working on the hob, a luke warm rayburn and a very grizzly, poorly child to contend with. We had seven types of veg, yorkshire puddings, pigs in blankets, stuffing and gravy to go with our lamb. Phew!
It wasn't quite the white Christmas we all dream of, my stained glass ginger bread biscuits definitely didn't look like the ones in the picture and Oak's stocking that I made is most certainly not going to become a family heirloom! It will probably be the only year that all the adults were awake before Oak and that walking and eating was far more important than present opening. We didn't even make it as far as the interval at the annual pantomime before we had to evacuate and the family meal afterwards ended in Oak projectile vomiting all over himself, me, the floor and the inside of my boots. Christmas, just like this first year of parenthood, has been utterly exhausting, overwhelming and crazy. But it has been our Christmas, our crazy family and our unusual life and we love it and wouldn't change it for the world.
It has been a whole year now since I began this blog and what a year it has been. As we look forward to the New Year and all that it will bring it seems impossible to think that Oak will soon be walking and talking, getting even bigger and growing more hair. I will soon be starting up my business again and working part time, there will be more festivals to go to, friends and family getting married, adventures to be had, stories to be told and dreams to followed.
Thank you for sharing this year with me. It's been a journey. Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2016 xxx