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HERE I am again [...].

Byline: dorinda mccann

HERE I am again as disorganised as ever. Every year I swear I will have everything under control but every year I run around like the proverbial blue-bottomed fly trying to cram Christmas shopping into a few fraught hours.

At the start of the year I remember saying to my beloved that I had a plan to buy one present each month - yes right; that was back in January but I did diddly-squat.

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions there are quite a few paving stones there with my name on.

The years just fly by though. In a couple of weeks it is the Legion Christmas dinner and today is the children's party - may I say if there are any members of Conwy Legion reading this who have children or grandchildren up to the age of nine, please feel free to bring them along today . Last year's dinner went far better than any of us had any right to expect because behind the scenes was hilarious. Dave and I struggled to cook on the old cookers in a very small space and neither of us are exactly skinny.

My gravy had a life of its own and initially was so thick it could have been used to mend potholes but we managed to get three courses out and everyone seemed to have a great time. I thought about the analogy of a swan seeming to glide effortlessly along a stream furiously paddling but we weren't that elegant, a duck going bottom up every now and again would be a better image.

To say it's been a bad week would be somewhat of an understatement; just when you think all is well, life is waiting to shoot you down. However, we plod on and get on with it for what else can one do but play the cards we are dealt.

Little apples will grow again and as long as my nearest and dearest stay healthy I will keep on kicking the black dog.

It seems sometimes that when the going is rough fate likes to put a cherry on the cake just in case the burden is not heavy enough. My grandfather clock that has ticked away for the last 250 years has decided to play silly beggars. It keeps stopping - always when the second hand reaches 20 past.

Sometimes it will go for hours and I get my hopes up but then it will stop for no apparent reason.

I've tried everything I can think of but to no avail. Yet another reason to miss my dad and this week had he been here I would have ran to him for more than the clock because he was a great one for putting things into perspective; nothing fazed him.

The clock is a trivial thing but the tick is the heart of my home; without it the house has lost its heart beat.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 3, 2011
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