I do it every year. Cram loads of teaching into November, then collapse in a heap in December. Really do need to space things out a bit more – but then I also like to have two weeks off over Christmas, so…. stuck between a rock and a hard place, I think. I really need another job. Although it may help if I wasn’t still doing these bleeding essays. Three down, one more to go. I’ve had a course cancelled, which is a blow financially, but at the same time I can’t help feeling that Someone is looking after me. I only get weirdo things like the Septic Finger when I’m run down and overtired.

Anyway, on to the important stuff like Advent calendars. I have been informed that Haribo Advent calendars can be bought for just £1 at the Haribo factory shop in Pontefract. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to go to Ponte in the next two weeks, so that will have to wait for next year.

Stained glass AC: December 4 – The Holy Spirit will come upon you, Luke 1:35. With a picture of a dove. My Bible story knowledge is rusty, but I’m fairly sure that doves do not feature in the Nativity. December 5 – “I am the handmaid of the Lord,” Luke 1:37-38. I like that one.

Mars AC: Chocolate shapes too blobby to name. It’s just possible that one of them was a Christmas pudding.

Found two more Advent calendars whilst I was searching for something else. They were in the study. “Why, darling?” I asked m’husband, who has a demon tidying habit. He shrugged. “They’re yours.” Great reasoning, honey.

First calendar has a nice picture of three geese, standing on a green mound, in front of a deep blue sky scattered with golden stars. So why, then, must the manufacturers spoil it with really crappy window pictures? December 1, a panda. Why on earth would anyone associate a panda with Christmas? Pathetic. December 2, a crescent moon with a smiley face. Christmas associations = 0. December 3, a drum! Good grief. Finally, on December 4, I find a picture of three ships. I like to sing ‘I saw three ships’ at Christmas. I was all set up to get riled about the December 6 window, but it’s a candle. Which isn’t too bad. I suppose.

Second calendar is a snowy shopping street. Looks a bit like Chester. Not as nice a pic as the geese, and the numbers are very difficult to find, but it is redeemed by some of its window pics. In date order, I found: a mouse holding some holly, a tree ornament shaped like a star, a marching soldier in a red jacket and busby, a cracker, a reindeer and a pair of mittens. I’m not keen on the mouse or the soldier, but it’ll do.

And, now that I’ve grumped and complained, I shall rest, eat pizza and watch Strictly Come Dancing.