OK, I have exhausted every other option and can't avoid writing a blog entry any longer. Of all my fellow MND sufferer friends who write blogs, I am the last one to do their post Christmas entry, so despite it already being a distant memory, here goes!
Firstly to refer back to my entry recounting my frustrating defeat against MND when trying to get out, I can report that I won not only the return leg, but the rest of the group matches since. However both the winner and runner up progress to the next stage and there is a mathematical certainty that we will meet in the final, and although many have earned a draw, MND has never been beaten on penalties!
So, festive activities started with our annual visit to Santa's grotto at Painshill Park. I was worried that the half mile walk during the icy evening was going to be too much for me, but I managed it. However the traditional mulled wine and mince pies were not possible this year. Tracy video-taped the bit actually inside the grotto which can't accommodate my offroad wheelchair. The boys were their usual charming selves, responding to Santa's "so what would you like for Christmas " with "ipod, electric scooter, electric guitar, £200, guns" and several other equally high ticket items. As he handed them their presents he must have been dying to say, "well you'll have to make do with these crappy painting sets, you spoiled little sh**s"!
By the time we got home the word "kit" was no longer applicable with brushes and several paint pots lost forever in the inaccessible crevices of the car. I suspect it will be the last grotto visit I will be able to manage and the boys may also be too old.
On Christmas Eve we went to Wimbledon Theatre to see Peter Pan panto with David Hasslehoff and Louie Spence. It was a good laugh; you wouldn't believe how many Baywatch, Knightrider and Gay references you can cram into 2 hours.
As usual, we split Christmas and Boxing Day between our families, this year was the turn of the Alters on Christmas Day and the Evans' on boxing day. Tracy did a fantastic job as usual of arranging everything and everyone else helped out with the food over the two days. The only hiccup was over watering the Christmas tree which had been brought in from the garden for the second year. A 48 hour stint with the fan heater got the carpet dry eventually. It had grown over a foot since last year, but just fitted in so we weren't faced with 'Castrating Christmas' a la Peep Show!
The boys were up at 7am having given Tracy a 60 minute countdown from 6. Everyone descended to my bedroom, where Santa had been instructed to leave the presents. Six minutes later, presents all unwrapped, they headed off again. Daniel actually went back to bed until lunch!
Tracy's mum and brother arrived in the afternoon for the next round of presents and Christmas dinner. All fairly stress free and pleasant. Not being able to eat and drink was the hardest thing but it wasn't too 'in my face'.
On Boxing Day I managed to get out for a walk by the river after my family had arrived, we were quite a crowd with the 10 of us and 4 dogs. Last summer I was getting myself down to the river and Hampton Court in the offroad wheelchair several times a week but my progression and cold weather since October has prevented these excursions.
Predictably the boys' enthusiasm for these Christmas walks is minimal when they know there are bags of unopened presents waiting at home. But this year they had asked for money towards Ipod Touches, so going home to look at an online bank account wasn't a very exciting prospect. They didn't know that I had bought them a few weeks earlier and had been busy loading them since. Needless to say that they were over the moon when they opened them later that afternoon. It was nice to have been able to get them and set them all up, almost entirely by myself using eyegaze control. The decision to give them email accounts and filtered internet access gave me and tracy a few hours extra work but they love them. Since Christmas they have occasionally been the source of stress, particularly with one owner who shall remain nameless. The timer we put on to restrict use isn't welcome and the temptation to keep downloading the thousands of 59p games is iresistable to them.
New Year came and went without much event; we watched the fireworks on TV. Tracy's other brother, David and his wife Becky were over on the 2nd, less than 24 hours after returning from Australia, for the final round of presents and food.
OK, my eyes are knackered so I am posting this for now and will hopefully continue next week!