Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve Crisis!

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!

SM x





21 comments:

  1. Happy christmas morning SM to you and all your wonderful family. May the twinkling lights herald the ringing of the end of treatment. The cellar breach is a great shame... I found a post on dr clarissa pinkola Estes page about winter solstice and resolutions this morning... It seems a very fitting christmas gift

    "The bell that rings to signal this special time of interiority, is Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year... It is the beautiful bell that says this is the time during which we feast and rest and make== and plan... for next sowing season." Dr e

    Sending much love and joy and a water free cellar soon. In the meantime enjoy your lovely family and lovely christmas...in your oasis of peace and calm xxx

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    1. Merry Xmas to you, too! And thanks for the fab Clarissa quote - she rocks. And so do you xxx

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  2. OMG!!! I have basements (two in two homes) and have waded through a ton of water due to flooding, pipe breaks, leaks, and drain back-ups (just had to toss out 3 wool area rugs that got soaked/ruined in the last heavy rain when our pump failed). Sending you dry vibes!!

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    1. Thanks, Betty, and Merry Christmas to you!

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  3. You're so cool in your crisis! Happy happy Christmas morning. Annie x

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    1. big Xmas hugs to you, Annie! Hope you're okay xxx

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  4. Happy Christmas, and well done! Things going wrong with the house always make me feel very anxious. Enjoy your turkey.

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    1. Merry Xmas mlc! Hope you had a good one! x

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  5. Merry Christmas, and well done on making the best of things. You are strong and being sober, you can clearly see that this too shall pass. Best wishes for the holidays.

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    1. I have found 'this to shall pass' incredibly helpful over the last year! Merry Xmas Nancy! xxx

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  6. Merry Christmas! 🎄 🎁

    Bummer on the flooded basement, but how amazing to have the gift of perspective!

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    1. Merry Xmas to you too Wendy! Hope it went well! xx

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  8. Happy XMAS SM, and thanks for your inspirational blog. Your story made me think of this Brian Tracey quote - and how it's easier to do when sober. "You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."

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    1. I love that quote eeyore - thank you! An Merry Xmas to you!

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    1. Merry Xmas to you WB! Thanks so much for being my friend over this last year xxx

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  10. Happy sober Christmas SM! Sorry to hear about the basement - but you have managed to put your humorous twist on it as usual - you are such a glass( of af beer!) half full gal - which is how I always try to live my life. Well I did it! First sober Christmas - in many years - and it was just awesome. The same usual in law/ sister issues - but of course the head was lovely and clear and calm to deal with them. And my lovely warm fuzzy Christmas love for Mr SFM and kiddies - was even better in wonderful sober technicolor. I have to admit there was the odd occasion when I thought - ooh wouldn't it be nice to have a wee glass of champers - but I followed it up with - I would not be happy till I'd had more than 1 bottle - and all the added anxiety of how to manage to secretly have that amount and being totally distracted until I'd had it..... And bonus - clear beautiful sober head on Boxing Day morning. So glad your treatment is over and you have stayed so strong for your beautiful family. Thank you so much for helping me get to this point. I cannot wait to go shopping for my cashmere and other treats! Bring on new year! We can rock this! Lots of Christmas love to you SM and all you other sober lovelies out there. Love SFM

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    1. WELL DONE SFM! So glad you made it! Now go buy that cashmere! You rock, lovely lady xxx

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  11. I've been reading
    Your blog since November, and just upto this bit!!

    This reminded me of my daughters 10th birthday in sept, it was a Saturday, I wasn't hungover but had drunk the night before and felt blah. Then we discovered a leak in the kitchen, and all hell let loose, I was shouting, crying "how can I cope, I've got 7 kids staying over, a party to sort, need to have a shower! Blah blah blah!!!!" I stressed my daughter out then drove to my sisters for a shower leaving my hubbie tomsort everything!

    Your post made me cry, because all I thought about was me and not my daughter. Today ( day 62) I know I would be so much calmer, helpful and make sure it wouldn't effect my daughters day. I just know I'm a better person and mum already xxxx

    Ps SM I am sooooooo impressed that Mr SM knows Dominic West!!!! I love love love Noah Solloway!!!! Xxxxxx

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