Archive for December, 2013

Sleepless in Sale

A strict 7am curfew was in place for Christmas morning. That interdiction applied only to waking L and me, and to opening their stockings. The kids had their own plans.

Eliza says she woke at 1am, shortly after Santa’s visit, and barring a 3o minute doze, didn’t sleep again until morning. Robin woke just after 3am and went into Gabe’s room to wake him up. Gabe shooed him away. I was awake around 5am and heard voices in Eliza’s room. But despite their wakefulness, they kept to the terms of the curfew.

Eliza had floated the idea that presents shouldn’t be opened in a rush on Christmas morning, but gradually during the day. Gabe was non-committal; Robin speechless. Eliza had dropped the notion by the time Christmas Day came.

Favoured presents for the boys included football boots, tickets for a City match and a new, bigger goal for the garden. Eliza had a hair-styling device, winter boots and Cluedo.

This year, more than in the past, the kids were intent on giving presents to L & I – and our reactions. With their time and money, I received a calendar and model for my office as well as snacks I’ll treat myself with this holiday.

Bridgewater Hall


One evening last week, Robin, in his first term in the school choir, went to the Bridgewater Hall to take part in a charity concert. Sitting on the front row, he sang four songs. He confirmed it was the most nerve-wracking experience of his life – there was an audience of “13 hundred, that’s one thousand three hundred” he explained. His favourite moment? Waving to his best friend A who was in the audience.


At home, Eliza is in semi-permanent practice mode for Christmas concerts. Recorder, treble recorder and violin are played. For variety, Eliza plays her recorder group and orchestra pieces on the piano. Along with the carols, she particularly enjoys ‘Chim chim chiree’.


Gabe relies on his considerable natural talent to carry him through music lessons, barely practising from one week to the next. Threatened with the loss of this privilege unless he shows more commitment, he has made some effort. An agreement with his teacher that he will learn jazz pieces seems to have helped.