Month: December 2014

I was shocked and stunned to hear him reply that in an ideal world (i.e. one where I didn’t just take over and decorate the tree myself every year) he’d have a tree with single colour baubles on it. He wouldn’t have any variation in colour. He wouldn’t even have two colours. He’d just have a single colour scheme. He even said the phrase ‘twelve silver baubles’. I’m sure he’d place the baubles neatly equidistant part. He might even use this website as a guidance.

So I asked him: don’t you feel any emotional connection with the family baubles and a need to see them every year on the tree? He replied that no, the tree was to him, merely a decoration. A decoration? A decoration!?

My husband's idea of Christmas heaven

My husband’s idea of Christmas heaven

He said that he’d also go for an artificial tree over the real tree were it up to him.

We couldn’t be more different in our Christmas tree styles. I like a real tree (I love the smell). I like a mix of baubles. I like them to look what I see as stylish but I like the juxtaposition of old and new, funny and serious, trashy and classy. I like to look at them and remember Christmasses past. I like the memories each of them holds for me. We have baubles from Habitat, pre-children (classy) and ones from B&Q post-children (trashy). We have home-made ones, also post-children. We have borrowed ones, pre-children. We have old ones, very pre-children.

Our Christmas tree is decorated with many baubles from our family history.

Disco ball from c.2001 next to salt dough decoration from 2011 (the year we made these for the teachers)

Disco ball from c.2001 next to salt dough decoration from 2011 (the year we made these for the teachers)

The baubles are a mix of all sorts of things.

Every year we add a new decoration - this is last year's - a pudding

Last year’s  new decoration – a pudding

We have a Collins family tradition and that is to add a new decoration every year.

This year's new addition

This year’s new addition

So today I find out, after 14 years of marriage, that my husband and I have irreconcilable differences on Christmas style.

Oh dear. He added though he doesn’t mind that he doesn’t get to choose the Christmas tree (which he’d get from B&Q) or the baubles (all silver). Would I feel the same way if it were the other way around? I doubt it.

Now that is what I call a tree to beat all trees

Now that is what I call a tree to beat all trees

I have a theory about dreams

A bunch of scientists believe that there are infinite (or finite) possible universes. They disagree on some of the finer details but they unite in their belief that there is more than what we see. This is the idea of the multiverse or meta-universe (seems a bit of a contradiction to me given that uni- means one).  These multiverses contain everything that exists: time, space, energy and stuff. Some science fiction writers like to imagine that there are parallel universes and we can dip in and out of them if we so choose. I do too believe that. I am sure they exist.

How do I get to the nearest parallel universe from here?

How do I get to the nearest parallel universe from here?

Last night I had a weird dream. In this dream I was in the United States and I was due to fly back home via Paris. In this dream, travellers kept their passport and money in a McDonald’s disposable cup full of sand which they buried beneath a designated static caravan. This cup was kept buried until shortly before departure. In my dream I was about to return home. When I came to locate my cup containing my passport and money I found the passport and money to be missing. This meant that getting home would be rather difficult. In the dream, this scenario seemed completely normal and acceptable. I believed that someone must have found my cup and stolen my passport and money. Upon waking, the dream scenario appeared absurd and surreal.

This is where I buried my passport and money

This is where I buried my passport and money

So my weird thought, which came shortly later, runs thus: are dreams actually visits by our subconscious to a parallel universe? Is there a universe where a traveller really does  need to bury his or her passport and money in sand in a McDonald’s disposable cub below a designated static caravan? Why not? Perhaps that is completely normal somewhere. Or are dreams just a succession of images, ideas, emotions and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep? If so, what on earth made me dream that dream?

Who stole my passport and money out of my cup?

Who stole my passport and money out of my cup?

Believing in the teeny, tiny possibility theory I’d like to think that dreams are the former.

One thing is for certain, next time I go to that universe I’m going to make sure I bury my cup deeper.

Lamb pasta – why does that sound so strange?

We were eating lamb meatballs and rice the other day and mid-meal I started thinking about meatballs generally. One of my favourite meals is meatballs with spaghetti. If I buy beef meatballs, we will eat it with spaghetti. My husband (having Italian blood in him) makes a really mean beef meatball. He doesn’t often get the chance to make meatballs though. I usually buy them ready made from Sainsbury’s. I sometimes buy beef ones and sometimes lamb ones. If I buy lamb ones, we always eat it with rice. If I buy beef, we always eat it with pasta. Why is that? The Italians have sheep. They eat lamb. They eat pasta. Why do they not eat lamb and pasta? Or do they? Perhaps, I pondered, it is the British who do not eat lamb with pasta.

To research this never-before-contemplated-by-me topic I turned to my old friend Google. Googling ‘Can you eat lamb with pasta?’ brings up a few hits, not many of them of much use. The third hit reads: ‘What should I feed my dog?’ I think that goes some way to answering my question: ‘Do the Italians eat lamb with pasta?’ Perhaps the answer really is no.

 

Good enough for the dog?

Good enough for the dog?

But why? I love lamb and I love pasta. Why do the two not go together? Wikipedia claims that Italians love lamb. Do they serve it with pasta, it seems not so often. I need to find a real Italian to ask why and to verify whether this is true or not. My children’s great grandmother is Italian. Next time we visit her, I’m going to ask her.

 

Shaun the Sheep pasta blobs

Shaun the Sheep pasta blobs

There are some recipes for lamb with pasta on the internet, but not enough. Next time I buy lamb meatballs I’m going to serve it up with spaghetti and see what response I get from the Collins family. That is, after I give them toasted egg butties for breakfast.

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