Christmas Wipeout No3


Just thought I'd start a log of my run of crap Christmases in order to try to break the curse for next year. This also goes out to all those people who didn't have a happy Christmas this year.

2010 The Norovirus Christmas

Pete started spewing on Christmas Eve around 11am. We thought it was food poisoning (or too many mince pies) until on Christmas morn around 2am I started with the projectile vomiting too. While all around us were tucking into amazing dinners and posting photos of their best presents, our Christmas Day consisted of both of us lying on the sofa looking at gifts we were too ill to unwrap, sipping water to rehydrate, eating a few bits of grated carrot and me with my head in a big orange bucket from B&Q. We had a fridge full of food – a free-range chicken, Yorkshire puds, veg, bubbly, wine, beer, etc – but nothing we could eat or drink, y'know like Lucozade. The tinsel, lights and redness of Christmas was making me feel feverish. And just when I thought it was all over, at 1am, I chucked again. Still unable to eat properly 48 hours later. That's the winter vomiting bug for you – a gift from Pete in revenge for Christmas 2009…

2009 The Fluey Christmas of Grief

After three months of rehearsals and a fortnight of performances in a chilly former factory in the back end of Birmingham for Birmingham Opera Company's Othello, we came to a sudden halt just before Christmas; the perfect moment for winter bugs to enjoy a festive dine on our immune systems. This time it was me who got the virus first before passing on the joys of muzzy head, fever, blocked up sinuses, runny nose and exhaustion to Pete. We overlapped at Christmas of course, sneezing and slumbering the days away on our separate sofas, too ill or exhausted to see another soul. We'd invited people round for an open Christmas, which we had to cancel – and promised to do it next year instead (not!). On top of everything my lovely Uncle John (the last of that Cullinan generation) died on Christmas Eve, leaving behind his wife and eight children, and many grandchildren. What's to celebrate when this happens? Christmas will never be the same again.

2008 The Tearful Christmas

It was all going well on our traditional Christmas Eve meetup when in parting, I inadvertently stumbled onto one of those subjects that you know you should avoid. Cue big row with my (now former) BFF until at about 4am. Unresolved. Major upset. No sleep. Ruined Christmas day for both of us and with a knock-on effect for our families. Awful. No more Christmas Eve traditions. No more friends. Probably worse than this year's vomiting Christmas, which was physical but short-lived. Sad Christmases are the worst and I send my apologies out into the universe for causing one and also offer my sympathies for anyone else who faces a miserable Christmas for whatever reason. It was this worst and most alone of Christmases that made me want to have an inclusive, open Christmas in 2009. Maybe in 2011, it will finally happen.

Hope you had a good one.

Thinking of all those who didn't.

7 thoughts on “Christmas Wipeout No3”

  1. Now you know why I always volunteered to work Christmas. And why I continue to avoid major Christmas gatherings, especially but not exclusively family ones, like the plague. I find it best to batten down the hatches and deter human contact for at least 14 days either side of the Christmas.

    But even then I found myself stripping down the central heating boiler at 0550 on Christmas Day because the blasted thing decided to stop working. I did get it working again but stank of kerosene for the rest of the day, and it did lend a certain extra flavour to the Christmas dinner.

    Anyway, you have my sympathy. For what it's worth!

  2. Sorry to hear you and pete had such a sucky Christmas! I think you were far from the only ones, mine's not gone brilliantly and neither has it for many friends I've spoken to. But then that's life, there's always a fair few having a rough time. Only difference is this is during the festive period when it seems like *everyone* should be having a good time and you feel like the big odd one out in the world if you're not. I can't think of any other time of year that has that expectation of enjoyment hanging over it (Easter is based on suffering so suffering during it doesn't seem so misplaced). I think I hit my lowest in the supermarket on Xmas eve, amongst a throng of happy shoppers. It felt like being the only sober person at the biggest piss-up of all time – pretty fucking horrible. So here's to 2011, when hopefully things will look up and even if they don't, at least there's no tosser with tinsel making me feel like I ought to be cheerful.

  3. @Dennis – I bet your Christmas dinner was particularly fantastic though.

    @chris – why are buckets always orange?

    @nicky – I agree, also supermarkets slay me, usually on a Friday night at 9pm when I'm shopping with two other solitary people and everyone else is out having a good time.

  4. Poor Fee, I know how hard these gastro things hit you having witnessed a couple (Goa and the Coogee flat). So I feel very sorry picturing you in that state over Christmas. Don't know why it had to happen then. Funnily enough I also woke Christmas morning with agonising stomach pains..could hardly walk..lasted a few hours. Thought it was food poisoning but it was far less glamorous…trapped wind!!! How undignified. Then I got the blame for smoke filling the kitchen during turkey cooking. Christmas, humph. Always enjoy the lead up more than the actual day. And this year I neglected to send many cards so sorry about that..your card was a bright spot for me. The good/bad thing is Christmas comes around so quickly so it won't be long before we can all strive once more to get it exactly right.

  5. Thanks Hazel for those happy reminders. Can I also add a five-star hotel in Madeira to the list followed by being wheelchaired off the plane at Heathrow?

    I do prefer to get sick in exotic locations, you know.

    If I could have afforded it I'd have had my vomiting bug in Saariselka in northern Finland this Christmas.

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