I’m going to see if I can write a blog post while I’m on hold to Swiss airlines. It’s been 53 minutes already and I can’t sit here any longer doing nothing.
This week hasn’t gone very smoothly. I mean I got all the presents wrapped and under the tree on time and I cooked a wonderful Christmas dinner, as stipulated in my mother contract, but an uninvited and most unwelcome guest is causing havoc at home. Guess who?
It all started with the crooked Christmas tree. A little bit of imperfection is fine, I thought. No need to fix it, everything else will be just right. Little did I know, I was opening to door to all sorts of calamity!
Monday was spent making trips to the local Covid testing centre. My youngest had said she was cold on Sunday afternoon and I told her to put on a cardigan. She put on her winter jacket. It was an everyone-do-their-own-thing sort of day (living with four people, I need and encourage days like these) so I didn’t pay too much attention until I saw her later, still wearing her jacket. Alarm bells rang and I checked her temperature. A fever. Her rapid antigen test was positive, confirmed by a PCR on Monday.
This development brought a surprising amount of admin. Calling, emailing, texting, filling in forms online, researching, cancelling things. The big disappointment was cancelling our post-Christmas visit to Ireland to see family. That’s why I’m on hold to Swiss now, into my second call, now at 15 minutes. I’ve chosen German this time, hoping it will be picked up faster.
Monday was also the day that my husband, after several days of bad back pain suddenly had an episode of such severe pain that meant he couldn’t move from the floor for 15 hours. It proved impossible to get a home visit from a doctor so he just had to ride it out. He’s gradually recovering since then.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been waiting to hear about a grant I applied for to support my next writing project. If I received the grant, I could take a break from freelance work and concentrate on writing for six months. It would have also meant recognition in the Swiss literary establishment. I got the news on Wednesday – no grant.
Christmas Eve is when the Swiss have their festive meal and exchange gifts. Despite everything we managed to go ahead with our family celebration in a safe way. It was different but still felt special. I think it will make us appreciate future Christmases all the more.
‘May all your troubles be little ones’ is what you can except to hear in Ireland when you complain about anything less than tragedy. With only two more days to go in this isolation regime at home, no sign that the rest of the family has caught Covid, and my husband well enough to take short walks, things are looking up.
My 11-year-old daughter has light symptoms and she’s been a trooper all week, staying mostly in her room and keeping herself occupied without complaint. She can expect a lot of hugs on Monday evening.
I am somewhat back to the drawing board for 2022, both professionally and creatively. But I’m not short of ideas. Since I went freelance almost seven years ago, I have based my career on the Mr Micawber principle that ‘something will turn up’ and, thankfully, it always does.
Miraculously, a human being just answered the phone and is sorting out the flight rebooking problem (child changing age category) while putting me on hold again. So I will very soon have one definite thing to look forward to next year – Easter in Ireland.
Things could be worse. I could be working in a call centre on Christmas Day! Thanks for listening and I wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas break. See you in the New Year full of new possibilities!
11 thoughts on “The crooked Christmas tree and other problems”
Clare, I wish you and your family all the best at Christmas and in 2022. And a new opportunity better than the grant! Kathleen
Thank you so much, Kathleen. Very best wishes to you and your girls. I hope you get to spend plenty of time together in 2022 xx
So many awful things. Must have been the tree!
Love you. Greetings to all in Ireland when you finally get there.
Love you too, Lindamarie! You’re always so encouraging. Wishing you a year full of joy and adventure xx
Your Irish family raised a glass for the Swiss contingent of the family yesterday. We missed you! We will make up for it in ‘22. Lots of love, R xx
Oh we will! I’ve put in an order to the universe for good times together next year xx
Now THAT was a week-before-Christmas that anyone is allowed to complain about–but it does sound like things are getting better, thank goodness. I think there are a lot of things we’ll all be trying to make for in 2022. Just hope it won’t be 2023. Happy Saint Stephen’s Day!
Thank you, Kim. Same to you! Things have calmed down, so much so that I’ve started on my xmas jigsaw. I have a feeling 2022 will be interesting one way or the other!
Roll on Easter Clare x
Glad someone finally got on the line and was able to sort it out! We had to reschedule or ask for refunds for our UK holiday plans, too. The only part we lost was the supersaver train tickets to Paris — c’est la vie, I suppose 🙂
Happy New Year!
Thank you, Deniz! C’est la vie is right. I later heard of so many people whose Christmas plans were disrupted. Hope your year is off to a good start.