Christmas champagne

Random Acts of Christmas Stupidity

Happy Christmas, everyone! Here, have a close-up picture of my hand:

Oh, that? That’s just the giant burn I gave myself by trying to fill my hot water bottle in the dark and underestimating the capacity of the thing. Turns out the SCALDING HOT WATER was much closer to the top than I realized, and when I just kept merrily pouring the kettle anyway, it came gushing out in a torrent which splashed onto my hand, leaving me with this. And that, my friends, is why I’m not normally allowed to to use the kettle unsupervised. And also why I HATE MYSELF. I mean, OMFG, Amber, SERIOUSLY?

(OK, I’m exaggerating slightly with the whole “torrent” thing. It was pretty damn painful, though, and, by the next morning, it had turned into a giant blister. This hand has still not totally recovered from the “curling irons” incident of March – you can still see the burn mark at the base of my thumb, actually – so, yeah, I’m an idiot. )

That was the same night Terry came down with The Virus That Isn’t Covid, But Which Feels A Lot Like Covid.

He was snoring so loudly as a result of this that I ended up having to sleep on the sofa in the living room, and while I was lying there I had a really vivid dream in which I was…lying on the sofa in the living room, when, all of a sudden, this unseen presence put its “arms” around me and started SQUEEZING. It wasn’t tight enough to stop me breathing (THANK YOU, YOUR UNSEEN-NESS) but it was tight enough to clearly communicate that, hey, Amber, there’s an unseen presence in your living room that may or may not want to kill you.

Which, honestly, was pretty much the opposite of relaxing, really.

Anyway, I woke up with a start (Like, LITERALLY “with a start”. I always read that in books, but that’s what happened…) and even though I know perfectly well that there is no such thing as an unseen presence, the dream had been so real – and had come complete with that fun “trying-to-scream-but-nothing-comes-out” thing – that I was too scared to move until Max started singing the theme tune to “Castle in the Sky” from his room, and I figured it was safe to get up.

That was the day Max amended his Christmas list from simply “glitter pens” to “glitter pens AND A HEDGEHOG.”


That was also the day we realized we hadn’t actually ordered the freaking glitter pens – i.e. LITERALLY THE ONLY THING HE’D ASKED FOR – let alone the hedgehog. (I honestly don’t know what happened here, because we were both sure the glitter pen situation had been taken care of. I think maybe Terry assumed I’d bought them, and I assumed he had? Anyway, NO GLITTER PENS is the outcome of this cautionary tale, and AMAZON PRIME is the answer to it. You’re welcome.)

That night, Terry was still feeling rougher than… well, a hedgehog, basically… so I once again retreated to the living room couch. It was at the exact moment that I entered the darkened living room that I remembered The Unseen Presence from the night before. And it was for the next two hours that I lay awake desperately reminding myself that I do not believe in such things, but also, what’s that shadow at the window? Is someone standing at my living room window?


The next morning was when I started to exhibit the first signs of Terry’s Virus That Isn’t Covid But Which Feels A Lot Like Covid. Panic-stricken, I went instantly into Do All The Things At Once mode, convinced that I had mere hours left before I succumbed to my sick bed, and that if I didn’t wrap all of the Christmas presents immediately, I would be too ill to do it thereafter.

That was when I realized I couldn’t find the Kindle Fire we’d bought Max as his main present.

(Judge all you want, by the way… All I ask is that, if you want to judge me for giving my kid a tablet, that you first of all spend the next five years living with a child who will not play independently, and if you get through that without resorting to screen time, then feel free to judge away.)

“I gave it to you,” said Terry.

“You most certainly did not,” said I.

“Yes I did,” said Terry. “I put it on the office floor, with all of the other boxes that arrived that day.”

That was when we realized I’d put the Kindle Fire into the bin, with “all the other boxes”.

The actual BIN. Where the rubbish goes.

And not the inside bin, either: no, I took all that “rubbish” right out to the one outside. That gets picked up and taken to the tip.


Fortunately for me, the KIndle had gone into the “paper and card” bin, so it wasn’t thrown in with actual rubbish. Even more fortunately, it was the turn of the “actual rubbish” bin to be emptied this week, so the Kindle was retrieved unharmed, and the day was saved.

As for me, meanwhile, well, I’d like to say this is the first time I’ve done something so monumentally stupid, but actually, it’s just the most expensive time. (Or potentially expensive, anyway. And given that we ordered the tablet in the Black Friday sales, and it only just arrived this week, it would’ve been a REALLY difficult problem to solve in a hurry.)

In better news, meanwhile, this was also the day both the glitter pens and the hedgehog arrived, and, OK, it’s not the real, live hedgehog Max asked for, but we’ve had a chat about how Santa doesn’t bring animals, and how a hedgehog is not just for Christmas (or any other time, really), so I think we’re good. And, if nothing else, at least this gift is slightly more child-appropriate than those damn glass grapes he asked for LAST year, and has never looked at since.


Having thought I was going to escape with only mild symptoms of Terry’s cold/flu/whatever the hell it is, a few hours after I thought I was finished writing this post it caught up to me with a vengeance, and now I feel like death, basically. I’m really hoping I’m going to be well enough for Max’s school nativity play on Friday (He’s playing Joseph, and has three lines. No way do I want to miss that…), but, suffice it to say that the two week “break” which follows it will probably finish me off – because when you have an almost five-year-old, the only real break you get is when they’re in school, amiright?

Still, at least I got most of the gift wrapping done. At least that one less thing to have anxiety-fuelled fever dreams about tonight.

Have a very happy Christmas, everyone: see you on the other side!

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books by Amber Eve
  • Lila


    OMFG You poor poor thing Amber, what a week you have had😢( and are still having😭)

    The kettle being so vicious, the settee giving out violent dreams, (thank you sofa) Max’s main present wanting to go in the bin, and now a virus torturing you😬 I mean for goodness sake🤪😬😢🤒

    Hoping you feel better these next few days, looking forward to watching Max soon and wishing you and all the family a merry Christmas and a happy(ier) 2023!😅😀🎅👨‍👩‍👦🎉

    December 22, 2022
  • Tanya @Tanya Dreams


    Good lord, you poor woman. That illness that feels like covid that actually isn’t covid is a REAL thing! Well it is as far as I am concerned, loads of people have it down here in London. Pain in the bum to be honest. Recovery from Covid was way quicker.

    Bless little Mx cotton socks. Glad the pens and hedgehog not hedgehog arrived… Whoop whoop.

    Not ti’s the time to relax and not do anything else in the dark.

    (loooove reading all about you and your families latest)

    Try to have… A happy Christmas and New Year.

    December 22, 2022
  • Myra


    Glad you’ve gotten over the bug that got both of you.
    It was always the iron I burnt myself with , all over my hands and once on my stomach when ironing outside while wearing a bikini . It was one of our few summer days.

    One Christmas I had been telling our Max a story about a farmer who loved Red Leicester cheese and a little mouse kept eating it. The only thing Max asked for was this cheese, but the most difficult present request was from Marsha when she was about twelve – cheerleader pom-poms and if we lived in USA that wouldn’t have been a problem. You get into the mindset when it’s the only thing she’s asked for that it must be found , and luckily we found them a couple of days beforehand, phew.

    December 22, 2022
  • Myra


    Forgot to say how many times I forgot to give/find presents I had hidden, like the year I suggested they take photos , when I forgot to give them the cameras I bought. Even this year I bought something for Marsha and have searched the house and can’t find it, which is a pity as it’s her fav. She will probably get it for her birthday (if I find it that is 😂😂😂)

    December 22, 2022
  • Georgia


    That is so interesting about the ‘presence in the room’ feeling in the night. It sounds like sleep paralysis, which can include hallucinations and physical sensations like being squeezed or in my case, shaken by somebody. I had it happen to me in a time of extreme stress, it can be brought on by stress or insomnia.. our brains are such funny old things sometimes 🙂

    December 22, 2022
      • Georgia



        December 26, 2022
      • Anneke


        I also immediately thought of sleep paralysis! Had it happen a few times but once I knew what it was it became easier to get out of it, still something I’d like to avoid in the future!

        As for hedgehogs, I volunteer in wildlife rescue and take care of quite a few of them! While they are super cute they’re also… quite gross. They need an enclosure with lots of material in it to hide away (in the wild they use leaves, we give them shredded newspaper), but they also poop everywhere and like to walk through their food, track the poop all over and knock over the water bowl for good measure. Every day we have to put them in a separate enclosure, take out all the ruined newspaper, hose down the rubber mat on the floor of their cage and put everything back. By the time that’s done they have pooped all over their temporary enclosure.

        Seeing them scurry off at dusk when we get to release them is awesome though.

        January 1, 2023
  • Amy


    You’ve been in the wars! I hope you have some peace and quiet next week. Hang in there!

    December 23, 2022
  • Lusa


    Oh, what a terrible week it must have been! Hope you had a quick recovery and were able to see Max first performance. Also, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a happy new year!

    January 4, 2023
  • Kathleen


    Ahh HEDGEHOG. I love it!

    Kathleen /

    January 12, 2023
  • Kathleen


    (also, sorry to hear about the rest of your week, hopefully the opposite of what’s to come in 2023!)

    January 12, 2023
  • dublinerInDeutschland


    I once got my hand and arm badly burnt from taking some porridge out of a the microwave, so I know how easily burns can happen! Glad the Kindle was found before it was too late. My daughter who’s nearly 5 rarely plays independently so we also resort to screen time because it’s impossible otherwise to get anything done. Hope you are having a good 2023 x

    January 16, 2023