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Nov 29
So it was my birthday two days ago. Now I’m 42. Doesn’t feel a lot different I have to say.
We’ve been really busy here at Chez Rea. I’ve been teaching two fiction-writing classes, so there is planning and reading and such to do for those. I’m also coaching a soccer team which is four afternoons a week, and more planning and scheduling and so on and so forth. And of course there is the seemingly never-ending work on the house.
What I thought would take a few weeks has turned into five months. Unbelievable. I was only planning on painting the rooms in the house. I didn’t expect there to be tearing down walls, replacing plaster / sheet-rock, sanding… Thankfully the end is truly in sight now. There is only one room to be done downstairs, the landing (Do Americans call it that as well? The hallway space at the top of the stairs?), and the walls and ceiling around the staircase.
The final bit though is going to be the most difficult which is why I’ve left it to last. I think I’m going to fudge it and forget about replacing walls here. Slap a bit of paint on it and then grumble when the cracks reappear in four days.
Anyway, I was planning a nice relaxing birthday lying on the couch reading, drinking tea and eating chocolate for meals but it didn’t turn out like that, though I did watch some football in the morning and had a chocolate football boot for my lunch.
Instead I spent the afternoon in the attic, sorting through boxes with treasured personal belongings and holiday decorations (translation: crap) that I’ve ignored for months. My wife is riding in a Mardi Gras parade next year so I was getting her beads together, rooting around for our Christmas tree, and wading through my daughter’s presents currently stashed in Santa’s special hiding place. Then I came down and cleaned the ceiling fan in the dining room before our guests arrived for poker that night. Charlie Sheen must be so jealous reading about my wild and crazy birthday celebration.
But at least I got to spend (some of) it with my family. My mum and step-dad are visiting from sunny Belfast so that’s great. She is helping us with my daughter and providing wonderful free babysitting, while he is helping with the repairs and renovations and providing wonderful free manual labour. It’s the dream scenario. Oh, and she cooked us a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. Not bad for an Ulsterwoman.
So in case I don’t get on here again in a frantic rush to clean up our bombsite home before Christmas, I would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year. Maybe next year I’ll even get around to finishing that novel I’ve been writing. Stranger things have happened.