Grotto Fabulous

As I am sure many of you also do, each year for Christmas I go back and stay with my parents for a few days. This is fantastic in so many different ways. My dog is there, so I get cuddles with him. I get some quality time with my parents. They have a real fire in the lounge which keeps me super warm and there is an endless supply of delicious food. Christmas at home really is fabulous.
What could go wrong?

Well, not a lot actually. This year it was more a case of those fantasies and their contradicting realities which I noticed. My dog was there, but he had the runs. So my dad was outside power washing the patio stones as my dog looked away in shame as his sticky poo was ricocheting off the slabs and gravel until blasted into oblivion.
Back inside the fire was on full power and yes it was lovely and warm.
The heating was also on full power.
My Christmas jumper was subsequently not on full power.
It’s so warm in there, it’s like a solarium. I’m surprised I’m not tanned after four days in that house. My god.
As promised there was an endless supply of delicious food (hands up if your mum also bought those cheesy ‘Appeteasers’ – they were the fad of 2016) which was greatly appreciated by myself, probably a little too much. After my third homemade sausage roll and second pipe of Pringles I was presented with a sight so majestic and overwhelming I thought I was going to cry.
It was a pint of prawn cocktail, in an Aspall cider glass.
Just so you are aware prawn cocktails are a Christmas tradition in our house, but not usually on such a large scale. Usually it is a small glass bowl, but for some reason this year it had escalated into alcoholic measures. I think my dad must have got a good deal on a prawn ring because it was like half of prawn population of ASDA were synchronized swimming in Marie Rose sauce.
Anyway, we enjoyed our Christmas dinner and settled to watch the Queen deliver her speech.
On volume 65.
It was deafening.
Not that I am complaining, I love her majesty but with the excessive heating and nerve shattering television sound that goes hand in hand with parents born in a certain decade it meant I needed a break. I headed out through the lounge to go to the downstairs loo. The next thing I knew I was in some kind of minefield, showered with attacks. Every movement triggered another outbreak.
I raise my leg to step and I hear ‘POOF’.
I look around and hear ‘POOF’.

No, I do not have a weird relative with homophobic Tourette’s syndrome.

Endless and I mean endless air fresheners are attacking me. I struggle through and perform an army style STOP, DROP AND DIVE into the bathroom (not really but I did jump forwards!).
I throw myself at the door and shut it and breathe a sigh of relief (and non-perfumed air for a change). Then suddenly I realise that I have walked into lion’s den. Staring back at me are four towers of freshener and as I slowly turn to leave all four go off. I’m being gassed!!

Cause of death; patchouli and vanilla notes with a subtle spicy undertone.

All this to mask the smell of dog!
Every time I go around I am asked “Can you smell dog in here?” as my mum whizzes past me with a canister of air freshener, setting it off like we have termites or she is being assaulted in the street by a predator and is attempting to blind him.

 “I can barely see straight there’s that many Air Wicks on the go Mum let alone smell the dog!”

I return to the lounge caked in air freshener to find my dad asleep, the dog asleep and my mum holding her phone in the air cocking her head almost upside down shouting “Sarah how do I take a selfie? Blimey, that’s strong perfume you’re wearing.”

Deep breaths.

Mines a pint (of wine not prawn cocktail!).
Merry Christmas.

Sarah

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