I have learnt several things in the past few days.
1. If you are having 27 family members to lunch, and they say can they bring anything, never, ever say "no - just bring yourselves!" This is daft, and you will live to regret it.
2. Do not buy a small nifty vacuum cleaner by a very well-known manufacturer. Yes, it's light and easy to carry about. Yes, it's quite pretty. But it does not - repeat not - do the business. There is no point in having a vacuum cleaner if you have to follow it picking up all the fluff it has decided to ignore. You can carry it up the stairs (we live on four floors) with one finger, but what's the point of that if it won't do what it's supposed to do?
3. When you wisely replace it with a bigger (heavier) one, get someone to show you how to put it together. True, there's a sheet of instructions with no words, just pictures and the word"click" written in various places (nothing clicks). There is also a helpline functioning practically round the clock (that in itself should arouse suspicion). But when the helpful operator tells you she's sitting with this same model of cleaner balanced on her knees and the wheels facing towards her, and can you see the little grey button on the left? trust me. You can't.
4. The thing (in this case, the vacuum cleaner) which fitted so nicely in its cardboard box when it arrived will never fit back in again once you've taken it out. It just won't. It's like some kind of Chinese puzzle.
5. Echinacea does not prevent colds (which is why we are not out partying this evening). By the way, has anyone else noticed that tomorrow will be 1/1/11?
Happy new year!