Christmas Time...


..Gatherings, friends, family and Food. That’s what its about for us these days isn’t it?..
Long gone are the days of toys and the good old 80’s Eastenders Omnibus over Christmas dinner.
These days, for me, I look back at Christmas as if mourning the loss of an old friend.
My mum setting Up Castle Grayskull On the floor of the trailer, my Dad laying out piles of Quality Street outside for us to collect, claiming they were magic Reindeer turd. Ah the effort they made to make us believe.

Childhood. It really is a magical thing isn’t it?

It’s so weird to me that because of my books, many truly believe that I never had a childhood… When visitors or interviewers come to my home, they always ask why I surround myself with toys and gadgets from my youth and hold them as such treasures.
'Do you feel you missed out on a childhood?' They ask.
‘Not one bit’. Is always my answer.
I don’t feel like I missed out on it at all… The reason I hang onto my memories so strongly, are because there are so many, just so wonderful.
I don’t act the way I do through lack of childhood…
Its because I just miss it so damn much.
It was the Christmas lights in London that first made me fall in love with this city and Make that decision as a 7 year old, that one day, I would move here. To drive around this great metropolis at night in our pyjamas in the back of the car as the lights rolled across our faces and over our heads. 
To smell the smoggy air through my fathers open car window as he flicked his cigarette ash. 
To hear the horns of cars, the cheers from crowds and the chimes of Big Ben himself. 
It was one of the single most magical Christmases I had ever had in my life.
Such memories fill me with equal amounts of joy and melancholy, and with each approaching Christmas, I plan and scheme to do all that I can, just to feel this way all over again.

As a grown up living away from home, to know what do you do though for Christmas?

For me, they haven’t always been the most ideal, or with much variation to be honest. And there were many years in my late teens, when I would spend my Christmases alone. I remember one year buying myself the Titanic video box set in 1997, even wrapping it up and placing it under my  tree. that was a bloody good present that was!

Sadly family isn’t always an option. And it’s hard sometimes to see just how Christmas can magnify loneliness in people who do not have that commercial Christmas situation to fall into.
No Family is perfect. and there have been many a Christmas for me personally that I remember for all the wrong reasons...
These days I do what I can to build the best one I can.
There were years when I used to spent Christmases with my Husband in his Home town of Sydney, Australia…now they were weird ones… Turkey, sprouts & Eartha Kitt LP’s in a 500 degree heat wave do not mix very well, I tell you!
As I drag out my old decorations, it’s so weird to think that I was once even married.

I must admit, that do worry a little how I may handle it when it comes around every year. There’s still that little voice that tells me that I’d failed at making my own family; That niggling voice in my head that has made me so hard on myself all these years. But even that’s had its pro’s and cons…if it wasn’t for the way I bully myself, I’d have never have gotten to here.

This year, I’m going to play Christmas by ear… I have my Dog Brian To spoil, and a spot in the corner with the biggest, ugliest Christmas tree I could fit into it. 
And as I cuddle up to him here, and sit by and watch the lights twinkle… I am right back there again.

The boy who got all he ever wanted… 




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