Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas 2017 - Weird But Lovely!

We're currently in that period where we're all a little confused, full with cheese and no one really knows what the date or time is, if we feel hungry we simply reach for the nearest box of Maltesers or we top ourselves up with another glass of Bailey's and a cheeseboard, welcome to Twixtmas everyone!

I said in the title that this Christmas was weird but lovely and really, that is the perfect description for you see, we just did everything in a completely different way to previous years although the basic structure of the days still remained.  On Christmas Eve for the first time ever I had no girls, Abigail was with dad and Looby was riding so Holly and I went up to Harriets, we went to the pub for lunch and then Harriet and I went as usual to the crib service at our local parish church, St Gabriels in Heaton, in fact I think perhaps, that was the only normal thing I've really done.

When I got home Looby was back excitedly rummaging through her Christmas Eve box to find pyjamas, bubble bath, a book which she proceeded to read and finish before she went to bed and some teeny tiny nano blocks from which she built a snowman.  She trotted off to bed at ten-ish and Iain came downstairs to remove the rest of his gifts from under the tree at around 11.15pm, he'd already had most of them on account of the fact that he doesn't do Christmas, at, all!  After 21 years of being the mum of an Aspie I've learned not to worry about it.

Christmas morning was a calm affair, just Looby and I wading through the presents under the tree, Harriet came to help open hers and then we got dressed and decamped to her house to await her parents arrival from Yorkshire, Lunch out was a noisy affair but the food was good, Holly Bobbins behaved impeccably in her favourite local pub the Northumberland Hussar and the atmosphere was one of a bustling Christmas, all served up with a liberal handful of delicious Christmas fayre, it's the first time I've ever eaten out at Christmas and yes, it was weird to not cook on Christmas Eve or the big day itself but I kind of enjoyed it and I did get to cook an autistic Christmas lunch for Iain when I got home, if you are curious about that he had a Waitrose chicken roast, mashed potato, carrots, gravy and Yorkshire pudding, he had the same again on Boxing Day when I cooked a Veggie Christmas dinner for Abigail whilst Harriet and I had aged sirloin, Looby of course by that time was at dads, my girls never actually saw each other until the evening of Boxing Day and I think perhaps this was why, when I asked Looby if she'd had the best Christmas she said "It was lovely but the presents weren't all the way to the middle of the room and we weren't together as a family'. It's true that Christmas has been a quieter, smaller affair than ever before and I do wish that I could give her exactly the Christmases of the past which she loved, I said I would try and work on it for next year but I can't promise.  It's really been the theme of this year that all she's wanted is to be a family again and I totally get it, I wish it too in my heart and I think the perfect Christmas now for me would be the one she wants, with her dad, and Abigail and then I'd love to add in Harriet and her parents because they're also my family and I think all together we could have the most amazing time, well if the Gods allowed it and the planets aligned.  It may of course never happen again though, so much has happened, so much time has passed and many waters have flowed under the bridges of our lives, I do think it's poignant and telling though that here I am, sitting here, still single with the love in my heart still only for one man.

I don't want this post to come across and maudlin or depressing, on the contrary, Christmas has been lovely and my best gift, a portrait of Holly from all of the Randalls, made my day, well it made me sob but that's because it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and no matter what happens, it means that Holly Bobbins will be with me always.

I hope you all had the best Christmas ever, it's true not every year can be just that, if it was, then we wouldn't really appreciate the special ones, the ones which only happen once or twice like magical pieces of time we hold in our hearts so we can remember and smile.  Maybe next Christmas, it's something to work towards because each year, we get a chance to start all over again, everything passed is forgotten now, there's only the future ahead and we owe it to ourselves to make it as perfect as possible because soon, this too will pass.

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