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A Bittersweet Christmas for the Palmers

When you blog at Christmas you should feel like a kid in a candy shop. All that wonder and amazement with beautiful presents and beautiful Christmas backdrops. It’s our banker period where we’re going to get amazing pictures as well as having the best time with family and no work. Unfortunately on this occasion we’ve had the worst Christmas time in the Palmer house. Now don’t get me wrong, it was awesome to spend some time together I just didn’t think most of it would be with one of us being sick. But it wasn’t all about the sickness.

The Fire

Let me take you back about a month and a half ago, it was a Friday evening and after a long week we treated ourselves to some Pizza in super giant boxes. After finishing these off nicely we pop into the kitchen and put Dorothy’s plastic plates, knives and forks with the boxes on the side ready to be sorted the next day. After leaving our home early on the Saturday to pop over and see some friends in Halifax we end up getting home around 9pm to one of the worst sights of my life. We’d had a fire. Thanks to our cats, they’d sat on the ceramic hob having a nibble at our pizza boxes and left over crust, turned the hob on and at some point pulled the cardboard boxes and plastic plates all over the hob catching the boxes on fire and completely melting the plates and plastic cutlery. We can only assume this is what happened as no one used the hob in the morning and the pizza boxes weren’t near the hob! Bloody cats. (For those cat lovers they were of course fine.) So our kitchen all had to be ripped out and because of the smoke damage our house was ruined, I say ruined because we had the sterling effort from our friends and support from our family to help put it right. Clean the soot from what we can, throw what we couldn’t and to start to paint and replace what we needed to move back in.

The Phone

Finally moving from my beloved iPhone I made the change to a Samsung Note 8 with the DEX so not only could I use it as a phone, but as a mobile laptop ready to connect up to the next hotel TV I get to. The problem was, when I agreed to spend too much over the next two years I was cocky. A bit of a pleb! I signed up for insurance but said I don’t need the loss or stolen cover. Guess what happened next! On a train back from a work’s party it either got dropped or taken from my pocket. Using the tracking app I could see that it continued to stay at the station for a number of hours before being whisked away into the night, turned off, never to be seen again. Oh did I mention it had my driving license and bank card in too? A bank card that couldn’t be replaced before the new year. L

Preparing for Christmas

So that was pre-Christmas and we had to resign ourselves that on Christmas day we’d have no kitchen to cook a Turkey. We’d have none of Mrs P’s amazing roasties or get to have homemade stuffing! Life was pretty crap for a few weeks. Work was tough and I’d spent a number of nights away and then when I was home, it was spent helping out as much as I could to at least get the house livable. All I was praying for was a nice Christmas. There was talks of going abroad after being gifted our friends holiday home in Britanny plus train crossing. Amazing, but after lots of conversations we decided that Christmas was about who you’re with rather than what you’re doing. You see, Christmas has always been a mixed bag for quite a few years. We were either unwell, pregnant (not me) or having an awesome time. Mrs P had really put her heart and soul into creating the perfect room for us to have our Christmas Day spent in and it looked amazing. I was optimistic that this year was going to be great. Dorothy nearly 2 understood Christmas and Bethany 15, who I hardly see, was here for a few days.
How wrong I was!

Christmas Day

Christmas Day was fantastic. Dorothy get her new kitchen that Mrs P worked hard to get just right and Bethany who wanted for nothing but got lots. Mrs P hopefully loved her present, hopefully and we started to make plans for our Boxing Day pilgrimage to the Bullring in Birmingham. Fun was had, lots of biscuits were eaten and as we got involved into our Xmas Movie number 5 it was nearly time to put Christmas Dinner in the microwave.

Yep Microwave Christmas Dinner (Was actually quite nice) The day then went downhill. Dorothy was off her food which has been really weird as she loves food and it wasn’t until she turned into a chunder fountain that we knew she was feeling ill. Not once though but three or four times before bed. Mrs P took the night time shift, acting like a backstop all night while I slept on the sofa. (In my new adventure sleeping bag) Not how the ending of my Christmas day turned out when I imagined just a few days earlier. But it’s ok, little bit of sick and she’ll be alright tomorrow ready for Birmingham and a family day out!

Boxing Day & Onwards

It wasn’t getting any better. Waking up Boxing Day excitedly throwing clothes on for the drive down to Birmingham no one else was moving. Bethany on her only day at home wasn’t well and Mrs P had no sleep and Dorothy was still sick. One of my presents was this beautiful jacket that Mrs P ordered for me to pick up at Next in Preston. So I drive to Next, get through the crowds and the jacket is the wrong size! But it’s ok that’s not the end of the world and I have a good look around before heading to an outdoors shop. Turning a bad situation into a good one until there’s a problem with the card machine and I end up looking like a right plonker as I head out through the door to go get some cash. It doesn’t end there on that trip as I stop in the café on the 1st floor and order a latte and poached eggs on toast. Have a guess how embarrassed I was when the five pound in my hand was three pound short! Jesus, they better be amazing eggs. To be fair it was just what I needed. After heading home, everyone was trying their best to be normal and see some shops so we head out having a drive around the shops but no-one is keen to actually go in. Finally resorting to a quick McDonald’s (remember this for later), we head to Preston where we drop Bethany off at her bio dad’s and then grab an ice-cream. Now at this time no-body has eaten or drank anything apart from the McDonalds and even then Dorothy has only tried a little bit. We felt that an ice cream would be a good idea but as we walked through the door the rumbling started deep within Dorothy. Rachel ran outside just in time as she again very sick but still asking for Ice Cream. Good girl. Getting home and snuggling up in the sleeping bag again, the sickness started but this time it was from me. OMG I’ve never been so ill and it lasted a day with Mrs P and I playing swap with Dorothy in between sleeping and cuddles. On the Thursday night we end up spending a few hours in Leigh Walk In Centre as Dorothy hadn’t really eaten or drank in a few days and had physically lost a lot of weight. It was like a scene from Shaun of the Dead in there so I spent a lot of it walking Dorothy around the hospital or on the toilet. Don’t ask! Luckily everything was ok but we were right to take her and the nurse said she’d have been worried if we didn’t. Lots of water and try to eat what she can was the order of the night.


It was amazing to spend time with my loved ones it really was. To see Beth and Dorothy’s face on Christmas Day opening presents and singing songs. It was beautiful. What wasn’t so beautiful was the days of being ill, the lack of Christmas Dinner in our own house, being able to see friends and extended family or having fun and enjoying some time smiling and laughing. We managed to get the most done in the time where we felt better and it gave me a few hours to build an engine or fly a drone. But overall, what should have my favorite time of the year ended up being one to forget. P.s We were all sick throughout the period but there’s no more sickness and Dorothy is eating again. However, I slept all last night and Rachel is in bed all day today. Wish us luck!
DIY Daddy


  1. john adams Reply

    Oh good grief Phil. That is a Christmas you won’t forget. Hope you’ve all recovered and that 2018 has got off to a smoother start.

  2. Nige Reply

    So sorry to hear you have had a rough Xmas 2018 is your year mate see you in may at BlogOn hopefully Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  3. Tim Reply

    Oh, good God, how horrible! I hope everything sorts itself out soon and I guess the one consolation is that Christmas 2018 must surely be better …

    1. corporatedad Reply

      Morning Tim, apologies I didn’t get notifications of comments!!!! 2018 can only get better but I’m not wishing away the days just yet. These kids are growing up way too fast

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