Letter to mum, December 2002.
Jingle bells, jungle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun (??) it is to have to find a Christmas tree and deccies not seen for 12 months and packed away before moving….
‘Tis the week before Christmas, and all through my house,
the creatures are stirring, and we finally killed that mouse.
Our stockings are shoved under the corner of the combustion heater with no care
and by the time Santa finds them, they will be coated in pet hair.
We sleep exhausted, unaided, snug in our beds,
while visions of renovation and demolition jangle round in our heads
and me in my daggy clothes, he in his cap
with projects half finished, no time for a nap.
All through the house and the lawn, such clutter and clatter
No point jumping up to see what’s the matter…
someone will have fallen over ‘important house stuff’
or the dog in his ambition to catch the ball of fluff
will have knocked it all askew once again, and just guess
who will have to collect it and pick it up, and… oops… I digress…..
away to where the window should be, (mind your leg, on the sash)
peer through the curtains, (mind the broken shutter, if you are not careful, it will gash)
The moon, shining brightly, on half finished plumbing
reminds me of why, in this house, I am slumming…
when what, to my wondrous eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer!
My neighbours! His lights! Oh no – the Christmas bus tour!
Oh god help me now, I just spread fresh horse manure
on the roses out the front that I planted with care,
and odours are singing the tourists nasal hair..
and the little old driver, so lively and quick,
has turned a ghastly pale shade of green and looks like he may be sick,
and my neighbours are staring at my house with such sheer hate,
I think this weekend we will build a fence with a gate.
The tourists whistled and shouted and called us rude names
My relationship with my neighbours may never be the same.
Now front wall, and garden, and plumbing need fixin’
and the floor boards needs sanding and the roof needs uplifting
and we need to build on the porch, and knock out that wall,
and find a new kitchen and remove that old hall…
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
you can see through sections of the roof, right up to the sky,
when the wind blows you hear such a great creaking sound,
Convinced that the carport may soon be on the ground
and patching the roof seems such a long way ahead,
this is getting way too hard, let me go back to bed.
And then, in a twinkling, I hear on the roof,
good lord no, not rain? Is this place weather proof??
as I drew in my hand, and I turn myself around,
sure enough – what’s that – a puddle on the ground??
When was the last time I wore make up – a skirt?
and our clothes are all tarnished from renovators dirt
a permanent pony tail stuck on my head,
and phone calls from visitors, something I most dread
My eyes how they wrinkle, -and wrinkles, how many
new ones this week, with threat of any
new ‘surprises’ I may find in this old cottage shack
How I wish Santa would supply 3 airline tickets in his sack
and a small lotto winning, so I could finish this shack
without nervous breakdown or mild heart attack.
This poor house is ready for much needed help
and I laugh when I see it, in spite of myself
and a wink of the eye and a toss of the head,
I resign myself to cooking on a frypan instead
of the gourmet kitchen complete with open fire
and a shower instead of the bath I desire
and hanging out laundry on a tilted Hills hoist
and preparing the walls for the new little joists
and smiling at the those neighbours, for soon they will be
jealous of my shack, and all it will be.
And take myself off for a walk to the beach,
and dream of completion, not too hard to reach…
So dash away, dash away, dash away all,
I have to go off, remove dry rot from my hall
I am really quite happy, here in my plight,
I will accept gold coin donations, though – letter box on the right –
and in a flurry of wood shavings, I am out of sight…
“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOODNIGHT”