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A National Epidemic Called DIY

Believe it or not, it has been a good week. The snow has thawed, the weather has been warmer and I have been able to get quite a bit done. The downstairs cloakroom is pretty much complete. Just the flooring to go and a little bit of tiling around the sink. It will look pretty good once it is done.

The gazebo is also complete and Claire has even had the chance to give it a little bit of a paint. In fact, Claire has been working very hard getting all of the Christmas stuff done. This year she has managed to get all of the shopping without once asking me to go out with her. I can't thank her enough for that as I can tell that shopping centres are not the best place to be right now.

In fact DIY stores are manic as well at the moment. I don't know what it is, but people are going mad for home improvements before Christmas. I know that we are just as likely as the next person to do a spot of decorating around the house before Christmas, but I had no idea what a national epidemic that it is.

One of our neighbours has admitted to me that he started out promising to paint the walls of their front room and has ended up digging up their concrete floor to accommodate wooden flooring and has sanded down the artex ceiling to get it skimmed. And this is supposed to happen before the big day... not a hope.

So plans are now under-way for our big Christmas Eve party. The neighbours are all coming, as well as a few old work mates from my days working in the office. Claire has invited some of the Mum's and Dad's from school as well. It has been designated as a child free evening, although our kids will be tucked up in bed and hopefully able to sleep...

Something tells me that too much will be drunk and I will have a rotten Christmas morning. The kids will wake up before dawn and I will be expected to fry up some bacon and eggs all in a hungover state. Still a day of sitting in front of the telly, being fed Quality Streets and playing new X-Box games sounds like bliss to me.

Work-wise things have been going well too. Katy and I have worked really hard and have managed to get very close to finishing. In fact fingers crossed, we might just get a few days off before Christmas Day. I haven't told Katy this yet, but I am willing to give her a bit of extra time off. Nice boss!

Don't know what it is, but the festive spirit must have kicked in for me. I feel relaxed, organised and despite long nights sorting out the house and helping Claire by flicking through Argos catalogues and pointing at what she should go out and buy, I am looking forward to a lovely Christmas.

Things might be completely different this time next week though. The panic may well be rising in our house with canap├ęs and cocktails to be arranged. I am keeping out of it as long as possible...

G L Smith and Sons