The last week of November and I finally succumbed to my sons’ insistence that Christmas was indeed very near. Their excitement generally starts from around October with a few short references to the festive season but by Guy Fawkes they move up a gear.

I’m no Grinch but I do ignore their mutterings until 1 December when I open the first door on my Advent Calendar which usually brings just a small sigh of disappointment because despite my sons reminding me weeks in advance, I always fail to get just the right sort of calendar and usually end up with something that is sort of OK. I bought one from the National Trust shop last year but this year they didn’t have any. Wasn’t it the NT who changed the name of their Easter Egg Hunt to something that didn’t include the word ‘Easter’? Maybe they’ve stopped selling Advent calendars for the same reason.

Talking of chocolate, I resolutely refuse to buy a chocolate filled calendar. I bought one a few years ago for my sons and they soon worked out how to remove the back and get all the chocolate without disturbing the doors at the front.

Anyway, other than opening the first Advent door, it was definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the theatre because our tree arrived thanks to Penn Farm and a splendid specimen it is too. There was some discussion with our theatre technician as to where it should stand and after some deliberation (you can’t rush these things) we have reached agreement.

I put a call out to our volunteers to see if anyone had any decorations they could spare and within hours two bags of bits arrived. The plan is to decorate before the museum arrive on Tuesday for their Christmas lunch and definitely before our week of festive fun that starts on the 16th. There was a suggestion to hang chocolate treats on it but knowing what children are like (or is that just mine?), I plan to stick with just lights and tinsel.

And talking of volunteers, we had another meeting this week due to a breakdown in communication but just 15 minutes before the meeting was due to start I received a phone call from my son.

When I get a call during the day from my sons I immediately think something has gone wrong or they’re going to fess up to something before the teacher has a chance to tell me, but this time it was a different cry for help. He had left his homework behind (again) and he urgently needed it. In the good old days if you forgot your homework you were told off, maybe had detention, but things are different now. Thus with great reluctance and a “you owe me” I made a mercy dash home and as I galloped along the road to the car park, I passed several volunteers who were heading in the opposite direction, all with quizzical looks on their faces; “I’ll be back in less than 15 minutes” I shouted back to them.

Now you may wonder, given my son is in Exeter sans homework and  I’m in Lyme Regis, how I might accomplish this mission; times have changed. Taking the stairs two by two up to my son’s room, I was able to locate said pages with an essay on Marx take a photo with my phone and email it to him. He received within minutes. I leapt back into my car and was only 7 minutes late for the meeting.

My week ended with another urgent mission when, having heard nothing from my solicitor regarding the exchange of contracts on a house we are buying,  I rang them at lunch time for an update. After running once more along the Lyme Regis streets to the car park and driving as fast as the speed limits allow, I managed to get to the bank in Bridport by 3.15 and was assured it would be in my solicitor’s account in time for exchange before close of business.

Having failed to phone to tell me to sort out funds and on top of that not phoning to say the funds had been received and contracts exchanged, clearly they never left their homework behind…or perhaps they’re too busy eating their Advent chocolates.

I will not buy chocolate Advent calendars nor will I put chocolate decs on the tree but I can help with homework
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