At five in the morning I woke up and didn't feel ill anymore. Ah, bliss. Yesterday I had plans for all sorts of domestic stuff but feeling poorly just makes the importance recede totally. Today I will make more effort to sort out the kitchen - the cupboards and drawers are piled up in the conservatory, stuff is everywhere, tidy upstairs, advertise a few things on Freeycle, give the cooker a good clean (its not embarrassingly grubby but not as shiny as it could be)before the gas man gets here.

I am starting to think about Christmas food. Jamal says Christmas is all about the food in our house but its not really true, it's all about the family, which sort of includes good food. I think a part of my career mum guilt is about feeding everyone as though I had been a stay at home mum. Everything has to be home made and yum, shortcuts are allowed, think Nigella Express, but frozen junk really isn't. I have ordered a Christmas veg box, which I suspect is little different from my normal veg box that comes every Friday. I have also ordered a meat hamper which has large fresh turkey, plus pork loin, gammon and chipolatas. We are eleven for food on the three special days of Christmas. I will make some mince pies next week, some for the oven and some for the freezer. The kids don't like mince pies from the shop but they are very happy with home made ones. I haven't made mincemeat but Waitrose, well it is Christmas after all, probably have something good up there. Christmas pudding can come from ASDA. Oddly the Value version is the best. The others are too rich and sickly. My Christmas pudding attempts were nowhere near as good and by the time you find out that it isn't good then its too late to change. Just have to think what to do on Christmas Eve. We eat quite late so it has to be light but special. I am hoping I have a kitchen again by then.

On a completely unrelated note, Fahed gave up smoking when he had his heart attack in 2001, except for a brief slip when his brother died in 2009, but this week he gave up his replacement vice, nicotine chewing gum. And what is more he hasn't been horrid, just a little self absorbed. When I ask how he is he just grrrrrsss at me, which seems like an attempt to be funny and so is a good sign. The doctor reduced his 'happy tablets' last month as they are apparently problematic with heart medication but so far he seems okay. He really, really appreciates not being depressed and keeps apologizing for when he was, like it was his own fault, so I am hoping it is enough to still work for him.

Tonight is Fahed's Christmas 'do' for his main job. They are going bowling. Ahdel's girlfriend works for the same organisation so they are going along as well. Bonnie is taking Ahdel so that another teacher, known as creepy Dave, will stop hitting on her. I am happy with Ahdel this week. He works almost full time as a delivery man for ASDA but also studies almost full time on a three year Computer Aided Design course. This week he got 90% for his paper. I hope he can keep his results up there. I think the job actually does him good as he knows that if he doesn't give 1005 to his studies then he will be driving the van for some time more.

Next birthday I will be fifty so have decided to pull a list of things together to do before the end of my fiftieth year, so eighteen months. So far I have 25 things on it. Eighteen months isn't long so it can't be anything too expensive, times are hard etc. The one for my sixtieth will have far more exciting things on it. I intend to grow old disgracefully, not go quietly!

Have I rambled enough? Yep, guess so.