Tuesday, 4 January 2011


We've all had some sort of bug in our house. Or, rather, several bugs as they seems to be dealing with each of us differently: Bob has been snotty, coughy and achey since Saturday; Stevie had a 'bit' of a cough, a 'bit' of a runny nose and this morning a 'terrible' stomach ache - he managed to choke down a Chinese this evening so I guess he's feeling better. I started off with the same symptoms as Bob, though on Friday, felt appalling on Saturday, feel ok now, but can't eat. I haven't eaten since Friday and every time I try a morsel my stomach twists and churns and off to the bathroom I must rush. I think it might be my body's way of disposing of the excesses of Christmas.

Whatever it is it didn't stop me disposing of the house's Christmas excesses yesterday. I love Christmas and all that goes with it, but the minute January comes I want rid of the clutter. All the holly, ivy, cards and baubles have been removed, the chalk tree has been erased (you should have seen the dust it created!), and suddenly the house looks positively monastic. Lovely.

Continuing with that feeling of brusque efficiency today I have been getting on with work: I submitted a poem to Versal (my very first submission, it had to happen), the only lit mag that never fails to make me feel the way Vogue used to when I was young enough to think I could wear everything in it (and would, had I the money).

I also filled out the forms for the council's learning development department I've had on my desk for weeks. Ugh. The workshops I am to 'facilitate' for them begin on Thursday. I can't remember if I told you they can't afford to pay me, but they can pay expenses, so I'm kind of thinking of it as 'experience' and fun. It's only two hours once a fortnight, so it was hardly going to keep me in firewood anyway. I am now hoping that I will be able to eat something before I have to introduce myself, and the course, to a bunch of total strangers, if only because my breath is terrible.


The Unbearable Banishment said...

When you said "bug in the house" I thought you meant insects. It make my flesh crawl! You use "facilitate" the same way an assassin would. Are you an assassin?

Titus said...

Oh yikes! Sympathies to you all with a little empathy thrown in - my stomach still isn't quite right and today I had one small boy who couldn't even keep a cup of water down today. Rest of the house thriving, however, and small boy 2 did his best to entertain the sick one by leaping off the top bunk holding a blanket. Possibly not the best cure I've heard of, and not terribly effective either but at least they're both asleep now...
Congrats on the submission, I must get round to making 2011 'submission year' - new decade and all that. I shall leaf from your book.
We are still enjoying a festive house, but the boxes better come out tomorrow I suppose.
And form-filling?! This early in January? Impressed.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I feel just the same about Christmas decorations - lovely over the season but then I can't wait to get back to normal. Hope you are all soon better - and yes put the forthcoming two hour stints down to experience and looking good on your CV!

Scarlet Blue said...

Okay, okay....I will stop procrastinating and go and take my Christmas decs down...

nick said...

I hope your poem gets published. And I hope the workshops are enjoyable. I'm sure you'll tell us whether the bunch of strangers were dismal or inspiring.

Golden West said...

I, too, am looking forward to getting everything back in boxes and stacked away until next year!

Hope you're all feeling better soon and the teaching sounds wonderful - looking forward to hearing about it.

Pat said...

There's a lot of it about. Try some ginger tea. At least your energy is unimpaired. I hope you are better soon just give your body a chance to get better and don't overtax it.
I'm halfway through the denuding and doing it slowly makes me take more care of the baubles. I really enjoyed the decorations this year.

savannah said...

feel better soon, sugar! i
m keeping my fountain pens filled for good luck on your submission! (i know! sound strange, but it's become a sort of personal talisman that's served me well recently)


Anonymous said...

Oh Eryl I'm so intrigued about the hour of the great contempt turning you into a veritable archetype of an optimist, even when you're feeling ill.

Lead us there please, for expenses only.

I might have put it like this:

Christmas decorations are a right wretched nuisance, cluttering up the space and getting in the way all the time. And yet taking them down makes me too keenly aware of the fundamental emptiness that pervades everyday existence.

Happy New Year! xx

Elizabeth said...

positively monastic
is something I aspire to

do hope you and yours are feeling a lot better?
all best wishes for a creative 2011

angryparsnip said...

Just started to take the decorations down. I didn't put many up in fact just got the tree up a week before Christmas...
Sorry everyone is ill, hope all is better soon !
Good thoughts on the submission from Tucson !

Cheers, parsnip

The Pollinatrix said...

I hope you all are feeling better. I had the worst cold in years over the holidays, myself.

I'm the same about Xmas decorations, but I make myself wait until Epiphany (which is tomorrow) to take them down. Then I do it all at once and with "brusque efficiency" (I love your verbage). I thoroughly clean and organize the house then do a house blessing, which is a traditional Epiphany thing to do.

Good luck with your poem submission and your workshops!

Eryl said...

UB ~ I hope to assassinate all these damn bugs that's for sure.

Titus ~ as you are being published all over the place, these days, it's me who is taking leaves from your books. Hope small boy is feeling better today.

Weaver ~ I fear my cv will soon look much better than me!

Scarlet ~ that's the spirit: clean house, clean mind...

Nick ~ I will tell you everything.

Golden ~ I think I might be rather tempted to keep that vintage Angel Band on permanent display, were it mine.

Pat ~ I love ginger tea, must get some ginger. Glad you enjoyed your decorations, and hope you had a lovely day today.

Savannah ~ 'keep your fountain pens filled' sounds like an old proverb. I feel flattered, XXX

Jenny ~ I'm not sure I'd call myself an optimist, Stevie certainly wouldn't, but I've learnt to take full responsibility for most everything about my life which lends a certain positivity somehow. Thus, I put the decorations up and once they'd served their purpose I took them down. I quite like a bit of emptiness.

Happy new year to you, too! XXX

Elizabeth ~ thank you, we seem to be on the mend now, I had a small slice of cheesecake earlier. Coffee and brioche here I come!

Eryl said...

Parsnip ~ it's lovely to have them up for a little while, isn't it? Thanks for the good thoughts, X

Polli ~ thank you. I usually wait till Epiphany too, but I needed something to do and, also, the greenery was starting to look a little limp and sad.

I'll let you know about the poem, though I am absolutely positive it won't be accepted, rejections seem to be part of the writing deal.

Hope you're feeling better now, and that you have your van back.

Kass said...

Yes, that bit of loveliness called the flu has hit our end of the world too.

As much as I like the twinkle of lights and extra greenery, I'm always thrilled when I can return to normal, perhaps get rid of a bit more than Christmas.

All Happiness this next odd-numbered year!

Mary Witzl said...

Our Christmas tree is still proudly standing, covered in dozens of tiny little decorations that will take ages to pull off. And it's the prickly-needled sort of tree. But our cards are down, and I've been toying with the idea of removing one of the wreaths.

Your husband has a cold and actually qualifies his symptoms with 'a bit of'? I hope you know how lucky you are.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Hope you're feeling better and the day went well.

Eryl said...

Kass ~ I hear of people who keep twinkly lights up all the time, and I sometimes feel myself seduced by the notion, but know I would be driven nuts by them eventually. I, also, got rid of a little extra and probably threw things away that I could regret later!

Happy odd year to you too! X

Mary ~ the prickly ones are a nightmare to de-bauble. Good luck with it!

Lulu ~ much better thank you, and the day was great.

rochambeau said...

Dear Eryl,
Hope the worst is over. Being sick is such a bummer, but you can even make me laugh the way you described everyone's aliments.
It is inspiring that you have submitted a poem to Versal. That is so cool!! And also, that you will teach the class will be another feather to place into your cap!!
What a wonderful way to start 2011,
Except to the sickies. Hope you can eat again today!!


Stocker said...

We have had the most antisocial christmas ever, although I fear it is the fault of the bugs lurking within our house. Passing from one being to the other in order to survive.

We posted no cards and took the decorations down on boxing day, two days after we put them up. On the bright side, we're all feeling much better now.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Ohh, sorry you all had The Bugs!

I'm like this, with regards to christmas - love it, but once it's over, I'mrelieved when everything is put away -including all the goodies!