What with one thing and another, I spent the last two months of this year feeling so sorry for myself that my annual Christmas charity appeal was kicked into a corner of the room along with self-respect, dental hygiene and my resolution to stay in gear all the way to the lights, rather than coasting up in neutral.
I am far too late, now, to appeal for any charity who provides supplies for families in critical circumstances but I AM in time to point you towards the Public Law Project.
This is a legal charity in London who work on behalf of illegal migrants who are here with their families but no right to work or access to welfare. But, primarily, we’re all thinking about their kids, here – let’s not beat around the bush.
With all due respect to any and all charities working with families at this time of year, when you are really serious in deep fucking shit, in an unfamiliar country with no visa, what you really need more than anything is a lawyer.
I find the entirely unemotive nature of the website and the bullish suggestion to donate a minimum of £50 highly reassuring.
In other Christmas news – I have genuinely stuck to my self-promises made in previous Christmasses not to get my kids too many presents this year. In previous years the mountain of gifts has been pretty grotesque and also unnecessary – they really are happy with just one thing and some stocking fillers. I cannot deny that sitting here in my kitchen right now the temptation to scram into town and buy them a shitload more stuff to go under the tree is pretty pressing, but I am resisting it. I know you are proud of me.
More: I also want to you know that I am suffering terribly at the moment from a prolonged attack of heartburn. It happens to me every now and again – for three or four days every 4-5 months or so I have appalling and excruciating heartburn, unconnected to any eating or drinking issue and quite uncontrollable with any kind of ranitidine or Gaviscon-esque tincture. I know it’s cancer, so don’t bother breaking it to me gently in the comments box. I’m sure it will go away by itself.
Also – I think I may well be now mostly vegetarian. I know – what a terrible cliche! It’s not for any worthy reason, I just don’t feel much excitement about meat any more in the way I do about, say, roasted aubergine with curried yoghurt, chickpeas or a really good kale salad. I’m not saying I don’t eat meat, I’m just saying I live mostly without it these days and barely notice. The last three weeks of Christmas parties has mostly been about drinking far, far too much and eating a lot of meat, (and I’m surprised I’ve got crippling heartburn!), and the whole thing has only stiffened my unconscious physical response to animal protein.
What else: Merry Christmas, Spikers. Oh, oh, oh, you don’t know what you mean to me. My lovely readers, my kin, my spiritual children. More than that: my seraphim, the wind in my sails, the wind beneath my wings. Never change! (I cannot guarantee that I won’t.)
See you in the New Year!
Hi Esther, heartburn sounds hideous – apologies for ignoring your request not to try and diagnose, but have you been checked for gallstones? Sounds exactly like the symptoms I had… in the short term ranitadine (Zantac) relieved. Merry Christmas x
Love The Spike and love you Esther for bringing us humour, fun, fashion and shopping. Like an imaginary friend who’s always there and doesn’t cancel at the last minute. Thank you
Agree with Liz. Thank you Esther. It is always good to see a Spike email in the box. Happy Christmas x
I agree too! Love your writing and wit and refreshing honesty when things go awry.. Happy Christmas!
Happy Christmas Esther
Agree with the other posts
Your emails are such a joy when they pop up and without fail make me smile
See you on the other side
Arriety Clock says
If you can get omeprazole on prescription for the heartburn, it’s really effective, or Nexium, daily… none of that lightweight gaviscon/ Zantac stuff!!
Hope you feel better soon and have a great Christmas, thanks for the laughs xxx
Love your ‘spikes’ Merry Christmas
It’s also worth reminding people that the Citizens Advice Bureau can provide free legal advice to support children in all circumstances. Every week members of the legal profession, solicitors, para-legals, and barristers volunteer at centres around the country. Advice first, then action saves a lot of wasted time and potential heartache.
Happy Christmas to children and their parents everywhere!
Jill Brennan says
Love the Spike and fellow Spikers never fail to make me laugh. Happy Christmas and wishing us all no outbreaks of Noro until at least boxing day. I have everything currently crossed…
Claire O says
Thanks Esther, you do make me laugh. And as you feel about meat I’m beginning to feel about alcohol. This is very odd for my friends and husband who take every social meeting to mean a huge piss up 😀 any tips from anyone as they seem to think I’m insane ! Merty Christmas everyone
Lou Booth says
Happy Christmas Esther- you make me smile, I love your Insta keep up the good work x
ps Acid Relfux?
Anne Ayles says
Merry Christmas Esther. My feet have been snug in biker Uggs for a few weeks now – thank you. X
Have really enjoyed The Spike this year. Thanks. Have a great Christmas x
Merry Christmas, Esther xx
Go and get yoself some omeprazole and demand sedation if they come at you with an endoscope.
Merry Christmas Corens xxx
Very Happy Christmas to you too. I have regular heartburn too and it’s been going on for a while now. I’m always telling my (doctor) husband it’s cancer. He says if it was cancer I’d be dead by now. Hope that reassures you. x
Lorna Clarke-Underwood says
Merry Christmas Esther, just discovered The Spike this year and loving all the sage advice and the fab insta updates. You bring a smile to my day. X
Anne Ayles says
Oh, and also. This is the most delicious nut roast I’ve ever made. Perfectly delicious as vegetarian stuffing too (and it’s glutdn free in case you known any pesky coeliacs)
Noel Horlock says
Check out Omeprazole.
Lisa mainwaring says
I have that too Esther. Feels like my entire torso is on fire. I thought it was clearly a tumour in my oesophagus and had endoscopy (FUN!) and it is all normal. Doc advised antacids (on prescription) and no coffee on empty stomach. They work sporadically. Basically it’s a bitch & I am about to do alkaline eating to alleviate. When I say ‘about to’ I of course mean in January. Get well & have a fab Christmas! X
Merry Christmas Esther, I love the Spike and your instastories are my favourite. Have a fab time with the fam xx
Lorraine Tresnak says
So pleased to have discovered your Instagram and the Spike. Merry Christmas and I hope the heartburn goes soon.
Esther! Merry Christmas to my muse yes you are my muse and I miss your Instagram stories so much since going off social media and deactivating my accounts. It will stay that way I am afraid and it sucks cause I miss your stories. Love reading you. A pleasure always I am always and forever your fan. Wish you and Giles and Kitty and Sam a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year babe ❤️😘😘😘 Drink up and don’t worry January will be here very soon and all will be back to normal. Love you
Merry Christmas Esther from a new fan. Toasting you in hot toddy as I loll on the sofa feeling shit with flu, but stylish in full Spike capsule including Baukjen jeans which thanks to you make me feel like an off-duty hedge fund manager every time I wear them. Feel better soon and see you in 2018 xxx
Unconnected? I beg to differ. I’m no GP or indeed, cancer specialist, but a mere 30mins after you tell us on stories that you’re going to bed sober for the first time in weeks you come down with killer heartburn??? WE DONT NEED POIROT FOR THIS ONE. Drink something immediately!!
Merry Christmas xx
Acupuncture! Shiatsu! Get to it woman and listen to your body about less meat. The drugs don’t work (well they might suppress the symptoms but getting to the underlying cause is the wisest move). Also a drop of Doterra Peppermint or Digestzen essential oil is like a miracle. Thank you for all Spike missives this year!
Thanks Kate and a happy new year to you x
Hope your heartburn subsides soon. I was prescribed Omeprazole but saw it was linked to heart attacks. Can’t bloody well win. Been following you since Rifles and you have been funny and smart in every single article, what an achievement! Also, I’m dripping with jealousy as you have, in no particular order (except for the first) ….
A handsome and successful husband,
two adorable children,
a stylist house in London and a pile in the country,
a killer figure which looks good in everything,
oh I could go on but I won’t …
You have to write a book soon as we will all buy it and you will become a hugely successful author, flying around the world on promo tours …
Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2018.
Ha ha! Julie I’m glad it looks like that from the outside…. xxxx
My first comment after years of lurking (Spike by way of recipe rifle) but it’s about time I declared my love for you and The Spike out loud! Merry Christmas to you and your brood. Another fan of Omeprazole here btw – I have loads and would offer to send you some but have feeling there’s probably a law against that kind of thing (shame – I can totally see a Spikers / prescription sharing courier service)! Xxx
Thanks Cathy! I appreciate the sentiment xxx
Happy New Year lovely lady and thanks for all the Spikes xxx
Caroline Ní Mhuireasa says
Hadn’t read The Spike before today. Was feeling smug at having resisted the ‘swipe up’ brigade but now that I am here I am enjoying the company. Lovely fluid* writing, a pleasure to read.
*of the non-alcoholic variety!
Caroline you will be relieved to hear that I do not yet have the “swipe up” function and am not part of the “swipe up” brigade – so you can feel happy that you are still a member of the resistance x
Caroline Ní Mhuireasa says
Vive la résistance and more silly me for not noticing!