Ho Ho Ho

Once again Christmas has come around far too quickly. This year seems to have been a record breakingly quick one, after a week in quarantine where all of us eventually succumbed to norovirus,  where all Christmas preparations, except for back to back repetitive watchings of The Grinch, Arthur Christmas and the Octonauts Christmas specials, were put on hold whilst no natural light or fresh air broke the fug.

Thankfully we all recovered eventually and my daughter managed to make her last two days at school. This meant she managed to hand out all the Christmas cards that she had eventually managed to battle her way through.

Had my final pre-Christmas shift, finishing at two o’ clock Saturday morning, after a festive eight hours of stitching people up after they’d punched each other at their Christmas work dos. My Mum and ten year old nephew arrived early Saturday morning and it was time for Christmas to begin.

We had a lovely look around the local Christmas markets, where the kids got super bored and complained until we left, before buying anything (maybe for the best!). Then Saturday evening we had a magical time going to a carol concert at the Cathedral, which properly awoke the Christmas spirit.

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Until my daughter realised it was way past her bedtime, and I had to carry her, half asleep, all the way back to the car.

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I can’t remember the last time she fell asleep on me though, so it was actually quite wonderful to get some extended cuddles.

On Sunday we went to the woods to meet Old Man Winter, and watch the fairies tell stories of a magical winter kingdom. It was beautiful, and there was face painting!

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Its a sign of a good day when they’re so tired they fall asleep still in their clothes, faces still painted.

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Tonight we were meant to be reliving the tale of the Mousehole Cat, visiting some legendary Christmas lights, but that has been put on hold, as has my Christmas spirit, as I have agreed to cover for a colleague who is off sick, doing a last minute shift till two in the morning again this evening. I felt morally obliged after I called in sick last week and somebody went way beyond the call of duty to cover for me.

I read an article in the paper this weekend stating that greedy locum doctors were destroying the NHS by charging crazy amounts to work locum shifts. What they failed to mention was that actually loads of the locum shifts are being done by people who are already working full time jobs in the NHS on a rota that is stretched impossibly thin, who get emails and phone calls practically every day, begging them to work just one extra shift, and just one more, and just… I would rather have the time with my family than the money, particularly  today when I am actually on annual leave, supposed to be celebrating Christmas with my young children, who I will miss for the entirety of the Christmas weekend while I am working night shifts. Not meaning to sound like a martyr but it just gets a little dispiriting when you work a really hard job, with long, antisocial hours, cover gaps at the last minute and work extra weekends because you know how having an unfilled gap on the rota makes a huge difference to the workload, and then you read that you are the reason the NHS is struggling!!!

Ah well, hope to rediscover my ho ho ho in the morning, after three hours sleep, as the very next day will be our Christmas Eve. There is so much that I had planned that we haven’t managed to do, but I am going with the flow, lowering expectations every moment, and hoping that whatever happens we manage a few moments of peace and goodwill.

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