So, Christmas is just - just - around the corner. We entered the festive fray this weekend chez Potty with a family trip to the ice rink at the Natural History Museum yesterday afternoon. It all looked very pretty and twinkly, with white lights glittering on the trees and brightly coloured skaters zipping around the ice... Though of course, this being England, there was not actually that much 'zipping' going on - more flailing, teetering, tottering, and crashing headfirst into other skaters and the wooden barriers.
But you don't need to know about me...
Husband, being Dutch, is a little more used to this ridiculous practice of strapping a couple of razer blades to your feet and pushing off, so he bravely took Boy #1 in hand and set off. Amazingly, despite a couple of encounters with the ice where he discovered just how unyielding and hard it is, Boy #1 really enjoyed himself. This was partly because Husband, knowing what he was about, had the presence of mind to request the double-bladed skates for him, so balancing was less of a problem than it might otherwise have been. Hell, even I could have skated with a pair of those on... maybe.
But you probably don't want to know about them, either.
No, what you want to know about is that we saw Elle Macpherson en-famille on the ice too, that she is very good looking in real-life, that she is tall with a great figure, and that she can skate, dammit. Well, better than me, at any rate. Somehow I suspect that her earliest skating experiences were a little more glamorous than mine at Bristol ice rink sometime in the late 1970's... You know, I bet I would be a great skater too if I had learnt at Aspen or Gstaad, or Lech, or Courcheval... and if I was 6 foot with honey blonde hair and... well, anyway. We had gone with my brother and his girlfriend L, who cheered me up considerably when, having had said Supermodel pointed out to her looked at her narrowly and said: "I'm going to get her."
She didn't, of course. Probably because, like me, she was incapable of leaving the side of the rink.
So, that's one reason I know Christmas is around the corner. Here's another; I've been fielding calls all weekend from ridiculously organised family members asking for Christmas present ideas for my sons. Oh, for the days when Christmas shopping could be left to the last minute and be covered off with a quick pop into John Lewis on the way home from work on Christmas Eve... Apparantly though that becomes a criminal offence when you have children, so now, when asked, I normally I just list a couple things from the top of my head; "Oh, books would be good. Or trains,. Whatever you think..." and leave them to it.
This year though, I thought, let's do this differently. (This may have something to do with the fact I'm still standing on small pieces of lego given to Boy #1 for his birthday). So, pen in hand I've spent this evening poring over catalogues to come up with lists for both my boys. And I must say, I think I've done OK. It includes presents from £4.00, and nothing on either of their lists costs more than £20.00. It's got books, games, toys, crafty stuff, stuff for their rooms. I hope it's not too worthy, but I am their mum, so it probably is.
But here's the clincher: I have e-mailed the list to all interested parties, complete with links to websites where they can buy these things if they want to, and asked if, once they have chosen a present, they can hit the 'reply to all' button and let everyone else on the distribution list know what they've bagsied.
No doubt I will be accused of being controlling where normally I am seen as being disorganised. But I don't care.
Because there's no lego on this list. At all.
PS. I have just had a thought. I am going to give you - yes, you - an early Christmas present.
Check that link to go to a new blog page I've set up, to see the lists for yourselves. Then, if you want to cut and paste them into your own family e-mail, you can. And if those presents don't suit, but you like the idea, how about e-mailing your lists for your children to me (at firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I can add them to the page for other parents to use?
Think of the time we might save in the future... Are you in?
Note: apologies to all outside the UK for whom this won't work. But you could always start your own lists...