Belated Christmas review

Our car wouldn’t start on Christmas Eve. If you have ever seen our car this may not come as a surprise to you. Last time we went to the IVF clinic the exhaust pipe fell off, the indicator box is currently held in place with duct tape, it only has 1 hub cap left, the AC is broken/never worked in the first place and the heater only works on one setting (The Sun). For reasons unknown it didn’t used to go into third gear but this has mysteriously resolved itself. It also doesn’t have a boot shelf anymore because we accidentally left it in a car park once (long story).

You know those people who say “don’t put off ’til tomorrow things that you can do today”? We laugh in the face of those people, so when we needed to leave on the morning of Christmas Eve we still had to finish the mince pies we had been tasked with baking as well as wrap presents and pack. So of course, in the way these things tend to go, the car wouldn’t start.

Then you guys, two Christmas miracles happened.

1. A neighbour filled with the Christmas spirit came forth from their house and jump started our car… and it worked! Christmas Miracle Number One! The bad news was that this meant Mr B had to drive around aimlessly to charge the battery.

2. This further meant I had to finish the mince pies on my own… and they looked like mince pies. Another Christmas miracle! (Side note, the Christmas cake was cut and people ate it. Actually, now I come to think of it, the only people I had visual confirmation of were my Mum and Mr B. Maybe I won’t audition for Bake Off just yet).

One of the best presents I received for Christmas was a telescopic back scratcher*. Behold:

And fully extended:


*incidentally, I get an itchy back every time I look at the back scratcher. Does it have that power through the internet? OOH, I KNOW, I will do a poll. This is my first ever poll. I’m glad it is for something so important.

My feet looking like sexy beasts in my new slippers:

My Christmas review has a sad ending this year as our car never made it back home again. Bye bye rust bucket, sorry I left mouldy bread in the door for the last 3 months.

I know well that Christmas is not a fun holiday for an infertile. It certainly never has been for me. I reached breaking point last Christmas and refused to do anything or see anyone I didn’t want to (everything, everyone) and spent the entire duration drunk and sad. Looking back to my blog post last year I described myself as in hell with my arse glued to the floor. (Reading it back there is also a medium to high chance I was drunk at the time.) So to all my infertility sisters who ended this year still stuck in the trenches with no end in sight, I am sending you some love and wine, and flipping the bird to 2014 for you. May 2015 show us all some love.

BB xx

62 thoughts on “Belated Christmas review

  1. thebarrenlibrarian

    1. Please tell me what a mince pie is. I’ve read about them in Harry Potter, but being American the term is a mystery to me. I feel like I would like it. send me one?

    2. I did not feel itchy looking at the scratcher, but I did feel itchy when you asked me if I felt itchy looking at the scratcher, so that needs to be a question on the survey.

    3. I’m sorry about your car. Hope you can get a new one really soon!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      1. OH MY GOD. I am weeping. This deserves a blog post of its very own. Americans don’t know mince pies?! WTAF.

      2. Agreed. I just had to itch my head after reading your response.

      3. Thanks. Cars are so expensive… waaaaaa!!!!

      4. I unfollowed and refollowed your blog today. Just incase it looked weird, it wasn’t. It was because I was eating a sandwich and a crumb fell on my iPad, and I scooped it up and inadvertently hit the button!

      1. thebarrenlibrarian

        Haha that’s so funny-I figured you guys knew we didn’t know. Here are other things we don’t understand:

        1. treacle
        2. fruit cakes
        3. Crackers (we have crackers, but I think your crackers are different maybe?)
        4. i’m about do my annual HP re-read, so if I come across more I’ll let you know.

        And no biggy about #4-I do that shit all the time 🙂

      2. barrenbetty Post author

        Oh wow. You have so much to learn. Mainly about stodgy fatty foods and cakes by the sounds of it 😉

        I’m glad I noticed otherwise I’d just have wondered where you had gone!

      3. thebarrenlibrarian

        Sometimes wordpress unfollows people for me and I don’t know why. It’s like it says “Hmm. I don’t think you like this person anymore.” Or something. And the problem is that I follow a bunch of folks, so it might take me a while to realize they’re missing and then I might not quite remember their blog handle because I’m terrible.

      4. thebarrenlibrarian

        OH, and all that dang pudding you eat. Is it like Jello? I don’t get it. So many puddings. And blood pudding is actually sausage, right? Is all British pudding ACTUALLY sausage?

    2. barrenbetty Post author

      Oops. Just realised I did not explain mince pies. They are little sweet shortcrust pastry pies filled with mincemeat (which doesn’t have meat in, it’s a dried fruit and spices, sometimes boozy, mixture).

      1. kiftsgate

        sorry but if I may add:
        1. this discussion is hilarious
        2. mince pies used to actually have mince meat in the middle ages, that’s where the name comes from. I tried the original recipe at the Medieval society at Uni (I know, but of a geek) and it’s not very good.. modern mince pies are better!

      2. thebarrenlibrarian

        Oh that’s probably not an answer I can give you. We used to really have this thing going with the French, we gave them credit for all our most delicious foods. French toast, french fries. But then George Bush (didnt vote for him, dont like him-don’t hate me) decided we couldn’t like france any more so we had to pretend like the French didn’t deserve any credit for the delicious food.

        But then we got Obama and were allowed to like French stuff again. And we lived not at all happily ever after because our Congress is still shit. The end.

      3. thebarrenlibrarian

        I totally feel you. It’s hard to be a liberal American these days. You just have to assume that the whole world hates you because of some jackasses that elected some other jackasses, and all you want to do is scream “But wait! I’m a democrat! I love Clinton and Obama and the Kennedy’s!”

      4. thebarrenlibrarian


        Wait-you guys probably don’t get the “Thanks Obama” joke. It’s a thing that liberals in America do to make fun of republicans who hostile-y blame Obama for everything, including ridiculous non-sensical things. So in this instance I’m acting like it’s Obama’s fault that our conversation is so wacky, because that’s the kind of thing the republicans do.

        OR you guys totally got it and I just patronized you, for which I am sorry.

      5. kiftsgate

        hihi I wish we were! then I could make toad in the whole myself. And maybe even scones and a banoffee pie!
        British food is great! I don’t know why people think I’m crazy when I say this..

      6. barrenbetty Post author

        Oh vom.

        Also, did you do that dressing up thing people do at medieval society type groups? Where they dress up re-enact old battles? They do it in the park near me and I always laugh at them and now I am worried.

      7. kiftsgate

        Yes I did do the dressing up (shameful face). It was to re-enact a Christmas mean (hence the mince pies) not a battle.
        It was because I had a bit of a crush on a guy who went there and invited me to go with him but I stopped liking him after I went to the dinner. It was waaaaaay to weird!

      1. barrenbetty Post author

        I’m not telling. My offer is open: toad in the hole with treacle pudding for afters. It’s good, Mr B makes an exceptional toad in the hole.

      2. thebarrenlibrarian

        I have to have dinner with my dad tonight, but your invitation sounds better. I’ll be there in, what, 10 hours or so? I’m in the southern part of America, so not like, California or anything. I’ve been to Europe but just Amsterdam and Italy so I’m not sure about flight lengths to England.

        Do you think we can hang out with Kate? She seems so friendly!

      3. barrenbetty Post author

        Sure, we are all friends with the royals. It’s just one big family over here. See you soon 🙂

        And good luck with the rest of your day. I ate a whole lotta sweets today so I’m probably not the person to come to for healthy eating encouragement right now!!

      4. thebarrenlibrarian

        Oh…did I not mention the kit kat and dove chocolate I had earlier?

        Hence the applesauce. Say hi to William and Harry for me. Tell them I’m ravishing and surely they’ll want me to stay with them at Buckingham Palace forever. The queen will be just smitten with me. Alert the corgies.

      5. barrenbetty Post author

        It really made me laugh yesterday. Ooh, your mince pies looked AMAZING!!! I just ate some more Christmas cake. Love a bit of Christmas stodge. I totally love malt loaf too! I have to admit that right now I have a little individually wrapped soreen malt loaf in my handbag just in case I need a snack.

  2. kiftsgate

    have you decided what to do about the car? new one on the way? I would like to take speak in defense of your car: it is better to abandon you now than say in the month of June. Like:
    BB: ” honey it’s time”
    M. B: “we can’t go as the car is dead. hang in there while I drive around for a few minutes to recharge the battery”.
    Love the back scratcher. I don’t really know what to answer because I got an itchy arm after you asked if I had an itchy back.. does that count? Anyways, congrats on your first poll!!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Urgh. Every time I read the word itch, I get another itch. I guess you can use the scratcher for all itches, not just the back so I’d say yes, it counts!

      We are getting a new one. At the moment we are borrowing my mums while we dilly dally about trying to decide what to get… everything is so expensive!!

  3. A Calm Persistence

    1. Your neighbor is nice.
    2. I have that same back scratcher! It’s awesome but it gets really cold. It really needs to come with a special warmer.
    3. Thank you for giving 2014 the finger for us! 🙂 Hoping 2015 is your best year yet!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Ooh, a back scratcher warmer… There’s a gap in the market if ever I saw one!

      I was really aggressive when I gave it the finger. I *really* meant it. I’m hoping so much this year is much kinder to you x

  4. pregnant in my forties - hopefully

    Hahahahahahahahaha loving how your blog post developed into the greatest online conversation ever! And soo weird that we are neighbours to the world’s biggest amphibian-scoffing country who then get all the praise for their cuisine, while we end up being dissed internationally for ours which includes a dish about toads (but then contains none of the slippery lil suckers!)

    I’ve missed your posts Betty. Thanks for the sister-up. The build-up to Christmas was far worse than the actual event, but in terms of actually seeing anyone, mine rather mirrored your 2014 offering. I’m actually itching all over now, although it might just be the trench foot is spreading..

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      It really made me laugh! I can’t believe Americans don’t have mince pies. How do they know it’s Christmas?!

      I have been a drunken mess the last couple of Christmases inparticular. The build up can torturous, I agree. Thank fook it’s over now!! I’m very much hoping for good news for you this year my friend x

  5. Elizabeth

    I wish you could attach photos to comments. Since we’re talking British I want to add that the weirdest gift I got this Christmas was a vintage “Holloway Prison” sign. It now resides in my guest bathroom and has already generated far too many comments. it’s a curious item, much like your back scratch-er. (Yes, my last name is Holloway so it’s not entirely random) As far as mince pies, I love them. But why no discussion of wassail or Christmas crackers?

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Oh wow. I wish you could attach pictures too now. That is a err, very curious Christmas present! I’d quite like a challenge next year to buy the weirdest yet not entirely random Christmas present.

      Do Americans not know Christmas crackers either? What kind of country is it?!! Also, I had to just google wassail. Sounds good. How have I never heard of wassail before?

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      If I hadn’t have just eaten a giant burger I would totally murder toad in the hole right now as well… I love it! I love Yorkshire puddings too. Yummy yum yum.

      Everything is going fine thank you! It’s all going very fast. I found out today I’m having a girl which has made it all feel more real. It’s been very surreal after all this time to actually be properly pregnant! I will be thinking of you tomorrow for your EC x

  6. Isabelle

    “Behold”! I never thought that I’d see this word in your post. My husband, who is crazy, reads one version of the bible where the word “behold” appears ten thousand times. He would come to me and shout “Behold” out of nowhere. He was so happy when I showed him your post. ha. Sorry about your car. But glad you got a back scratcher instead. It had no power on me whatsoever. I was also waiting for some news about your baby? Your bump? Will we ever get some??

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Haha, that made me laugh! I am guessing his bible is probably a tad more educational than the pictures of my Christmas back scratcher. I can’t believe it had no power over you… I’m a bit itchy again reading your comment.

      Everything is going well with the bump thanks! It’s been padded out with far too much Christmas indulgence, tee hee. I had another scan today and found out we are having a girl so I had a little sales shop this afternoon which was fun. I really hope 2015 brings you your baby. I’m going to be following along and hoping so hard for you x

      1. Isabelle

        Yay for a little girl! Bob said, “With a girl, Barren Betty will not have much to behold there”. Hee hee.

        I hope I finally will have a baby in 2015 too. Thanks!

  7. ecutri

    Oddly enough, I instantly became itchy when looking at the picture before the word “back scratcher” was read…but then again everything makes me itchy. Sorry ’bout the car, but happy about the pies and the back scratcher! I need one now…I can’t ever reach the only spot that gets itchy on my back and doing the scratch dance on my doorway in my office is just awkward for passers by. lol.
    I’m liking the update I read above ^^
    Congrats and much love and bums for 2015 <33

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Dude, you need a back scratcher! It’s the bees knees. I’m getting itchy again now thinking about you doing the scratch dance on your office doorway!

      And thanks 🙂 it is slowly starting to feel a bit more real but still very strange after so long. I keep thinking someone is going to pull the rug from underneath me. Much love and bums to you too <333 xxx

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      We went on a recon mission to rescue to car this week and fit a new battery,… Aaaand the battery we bought didn’t fit, sigh. We are facing up to the inevitable that we need to sort ourselves out and invest in a new car. *cries into an empty wallet*

  8. mumofone

    I have been so slack in commenting lately 😦
    Up to my ears in kids (school holidays for #1 so he’s home all the time and #2 clings to me like I’m leaving permanently every time I walk into a different room) and study (sitting an exam in March) and stress (going back to work in 5 weeks after a year’s Mat Leave).
    Life is not fun here. Eating lots of chocolate does not compensate for stress….in fact it adds to it as I see the scales slowly increasing!
    But I’ve been reading your blog diligently – even if I’ve had no time to comment until 12.37am today. Yep that’s after midnight 😦
    And it was so worth it because this was the funniest post ever. I got about 75% of the British references (counts to be a Colonial for something!!!) and loved all the banter at the beginning – made my day 🙂
    Worst thing about being an Aussie – white settlement was only just over 200 years ago – we hardly get to claim any foods as our own 😦
    Vegemite maybe??
    I’ve eaten some traditional Aboriginal foods – kangaroo meat and Witchetty grubs? Not sure either has caught on overseas??
    Anyway – sorry to hear about the car.
    Excited to hear baby well and that she’s a girl!
    Ooooh – I only had 2 boys – must go and look for a lovely girly dress thingy to mail you for your little one 🙂
    Take care and keep healthy!!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Eek, I’ve been very slack too! I’m sorry you’ve been so manic recently… I owe you a email as well, sorry!! I am getting non stop back to back headaches and migraines which are ruining my ability to think properly. I just kind of presumed Australians would understand all English-isms. Interesting. I quite like Vegemite but you can keep your witchetty grubs thanks, yak!!!

      I’m going to email you back a big boring email for you to read when you next get a 5 minute break 🙂 xxx


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