Christmas 2017 will be known forever as the Christmas that sucked. Nothing huge happened but a million tiny "fuck offs" that appear to be giving still.
The plan at work was for me to take most of December off. Business is light and Felix is off school so we can ease in the Chrimbo period. Added to that, the company closes (free holiday) between Christmas and New Year. Then, in November some new business was sold (yay) that meant some work for me. I was working on a must-have feature at the time but was told "this needs to be delivered before Christmas", to which I said "really?" and the reply was "we've sent the invoice". A piece of work that I had not estimated, that was not completely specified and certainly not analysed.
I rushed it out, creating bugs in the process that I had to fix at the start of my holiday. It left me completely on edge for a week.
The day after fixing the last bug, Kate found worms in Naomi's nappy. Usually transmitted by kids, the eggs get everywhere so we needed to deep clean the house; wash all the surfaces, hoover every inch and so on. It took me (largely me as Kate's musculature was giving out) 3 days, the end of which I was exhausted.
The Non-Christmas Present
I've been saving for new FPV Goggles since summer. There have been some setbacks (crashes) but my savings have been steadily going up. My family, rather than giving presents, offered to give me money toward them. With Brexit, they've gone up 20% in a year and the UK store I wanted them from (the cheapest, most reputable) were out of stock - perhaps never to get them back at the low price of £400 (rather than £500 everywhere else). Trying to explain this to the family, who expect their gift to be turned into something physical wasn't trivial.
I got a cough before Christmas. No biggie on its own. Everyone can get a cough. However, my Dad has COPD and doesn't breathe well, so it put Christmas into doubt. Any infection on his lungs could kill him. It's a constant concern. I felt rough Christmas Eve but the 'rents said to come anyway.
Broken Voltage Regulator
Christmas morning, en route to London, all the warning lights in the car came on. It still drove and we got home but it was obvious something electrical had gone wrong. The alternator has a voltage regulator that charges the battery and it had gone kaput; sending out everything from 5 to 17 volts, rather than 12. The family were hugely disappointed and when we tried a Facebook chat later, all hell was breaking loose in our house, so it was cut short.
Felix had one massive present this Christmas: the LEGO Minecraft Cave, which was fortunately in the back of the car.
My cough worsened and coughing would wake up Naomi (who sleeps with us) and then when awake, would make her cry. Every night I made a makeshift bed downstairs on cushions, that didn't do my back any good. Sleeping when coughing is hard enough as it is. I couldn't go to sleep before Kate, so for most of the holiday I was up beyond 2, dead on my feet, waiting for Naomi to settle.
Having babies destroys your body. Poor Kate's shoulders are in a terrible state from carrying Naomi around and physio is going to be a long process. This means that I have to do much of the lifting/putting around the house, adding more pressure.
Six Hundred Pounds
A spot of luck was that the AA agreed to come to our house to help. We don't have "Home Start" but it counted on the insurance because the problem happened away from home. That I got it home didn't invalidate it, which is nice. We got it to the garage and although they thought at first it was a new battery (£100) it was actually a new alternator too. Shit. 600 quid down. The chance of me bumping some cash into the goggles disappeared in a flash.
And that bad thing, do it again
Back to work came round and it appears that just before Christmas, they sold some more work and agreed a deadline without checking what was in the pipeline or how long it would take. I'm working from home right now and so exhausted that I'm living hour by hour.
Now Kate has the coughing-flu, has slept less than 5 hours since Friday and Naomi is used to sleeping with or on her. I was supposed to relax this festive season, take stock, arrange friends visits and all that. It's not happening. Not happening for Kate either. It's just bollocks.