After I posted yesterday I went to the supermarket to collect the turkey and last minute supplies.
Our kitchen fridge was bursting at the seams, so I asked Mr SM to take the turkey down to the old 'overflow' fridge we keep in the cellar (also known as The Pit of Despair).
I was bustling away in the kitchen, unpacking shopping, and could hear Mr SM's footsteps on the old, wooden cellar steps. Then I heard this: Oh my God!
"What? What?!?" I yelled down.
"Do you promise not to panic?" he replied, using the phrase most guaranteed to cause panic.
In trepidation, I walked slowly down the steps.
Our cellar - filled with old filing, photos, memorabilia, hand-me-down clothes waiting for the children to grow into them, and anything that Mr SM can't bear to throw away (anything at all: he's Scottish) was two inches deep in water.
It transpires that the lead pipe (which must be at least one hundred years old), connecting us to the mains water supply, has cracked somewhere between our house and the road outside, and water is constantly pouring into our cellar.
We turned off the mains water supply. We spent the three hours we'd planned to be at Winter Wonderland, mopping up gallons of water. We piled up all the soggy stuff to be dealt with at a later date.
We called several plumbers who laughed at the idea of a last minute Christmas Eve call out, and pointed out that we'd require a digger and some major works in any case.
It is going to be very expensive at a time when we have spent all the money.
But you know what?
I was totally calm.
This time last year I would have yelled. I would have cried. I would have drowned my sorrows in several bottles of vino then yelled and cried some more. Christmas, I'd have declared, had been ruined.
Instead, we have created a temporary holding solution involving buckets and sandbags, which means that we can turn the water on for several hours at a time, so long as we empty the buckets frequently and do some furious mopping.
Then we yell out "Everyone go to the loo!" We fill the kettle and pots and pans with water and disconnect from the mains again to let everything dry out for a bit. Then we have a big hug.
It's not the way I planned Christmas Eve, but it's okay. It's okay because I am strong. And I am strong because I am sober, and because I know that there are worse things that can happen. This one's fixable.
But, because of all of this, I'm awake on Christmas Day stupidly early (it's 5am) and feeling the need to blog.
I'm in the kitchen which is lit by fairy lights. I can see the remnants of the glass of whisky, mince pie and carrot left in the fireplace for Santa and his reindeer.
I'm waiting to hear the first sounds of #1, #2 and #3 checking to see if he's been, and showing each other what they've found in their stockings. I'm waiting for Mr SM to wake up and reconnect us to the mains so I can have a shower....
It's going to be a great day.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!