Friday, 9 December 2011

It's the little things ...

Well the answer to that question was clearly 'No', whoever's in charge doesn't know we've got enough to do as it is. No sooner had I finished congratulating myself on a job well done after fixing both the cooker and kitchen sink, than Alison announced that the washing machine was leaking! Turns out that it wasn't actually leaking, but that water was spilling out from the open door. Water that had been running into the washing machine even when it was switched off ...

Faulty valve, fixed (not by me I add) without too much problem.

Car is back in action as well now, immobiliser problem.

Next thing to go will be our Virgin Media box, keeps freezing and stuttering. You mark my words.

Things feel a little odd at the moment. Usually around this time we would be getting the Christmas decorations out of the loft, and putting the lights up at the front of the house (all very tasteful, of course). However, as we leave for Germany next week we aren't doing any of that; nothing is coming down from the loft this year apart from the kids' santa sacks. I'm not sure when the spirit of Christmas normally comes knocking at our door, but this year it hasn't arrived yet, and I'm not entirely sure it's going to either.

Having said that I'm also looking forward to being away, having a bit of an adventure, doing something different. But that's crazy right? Adam is going to hospital for cancer treatment and I'm calling it a bit of an adventure. Jessica was looking forward to going to Germany (read on for explanation of the 'was'), Jake is a more coy but I think he'll be quite up for it too when the time comes even though he doesn't really show it. As for Adam, well he is just going to have to get used to not being king-of-the-castle as far as the van, and the house, are concerned.

The house that we rent in Greifswald we found on the internet. There aren't that many properties so we felt fortunate to have stumbled upon this one. The family we are renting from we had never met before, they speak no English and we speak no German, and so we communicate via Google Translate. And yet they want to help us any way they can, in their own words "to help Adam on his way". Their daughter left a card for Adam along with one of her DVDs for him to watch whilst we were there. They had broadband installed at the house so that I am able to work a little whilst we are out there. They are providing an air-bed and extra bedding so we can sleep five next time we are there. And before we left last time they came to the house to tell us they would not be renting it out again this year, so we could leave our stuff in the house and take the key back to England with us. Such kindness that I will be forever thankful for, and almost certainly forever unable to repay.

And so to the 'was' in 'Jessica was looking forward to going to Germany'. Sometimes it's the little things that get you. Jessica arrived home from school this week with news that "I felt confident enough this year to try out as a soloist in the school's Christmas performance, and I got a part!" … but went on to explain, whilst fighting back the tears, that she'd been forced to give it up as we'd be in Germany on the evening of the concert. I know there are any number of reasons why she might not have been able to take part but at that moment, as she cried her eyes out and told me she didn't want to go to Germany, I resented Adam's cancer so much. Sometimes it's not what this shitty situation does to me and Alison, sometimes it's not even what it does to Adam. It's what it does to Jake and Jessica, that often goes unnoticed, and largely gets ignored ...

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