Perfect seems to be a very popular word this week.
Every celebrity chef is advising 'how to cook the perfect Christmas dinner', estate agents demonstrate how to have the perfect home and how to make the perfect jelly for the perfect child, using a seaside bucket as a mold.
Christmas trees in glossy magazines are perfect. They are colour coordinated and are set off by colour coordinated gift wrapped presents.
Fashion articles tell you how to be stylish yet warm and how to look perfect in the little black dress.
Perfection appears to have flown past the farm....it swooped past with its immaculately trimmed wings and thought "Naw. I'll away and see the neebors".
Perfection sends it's cousin - Slightly Chaotic, to the farm instead.
The Farmer's wife is in a bit of a burach.
(Only the Gaels could invent a word which describes beyond mess and chaos.)
The Farmer is in the throws of bad flu and Off His Feet.
He has a wicked temperature and wild glazed eyes. He coughs and splutters through the night and sleeps a lot during the day.
That said, he dragged himself into the cowshed, yesterday, when his wife also had wild glazed eyes and wicked temperature; not born from flu, I hasten to add, but from the Fear of being chased by Badass Cow and incomprehension of operating the tractor with the stab forks.
The Eldest son helped but is in a dark place just now, he wears his grief like a black mantle. It is a year to the day since his loss.....
They will both have to drag themselves round today and every day as Christmas is a normal working day on a farm.
She tries to make the farmhouse look festive but the paper chains keep snapping and falling off the ceiling. Some of the fairy lights refuse to work and sit there in a huff. The tinsel is now tin, singular, after the PieDog chewed it. And the baubles are all in a tangle but pinned en masse to the ceiling so as 'No one takes their eye out on them".
One of the baubles is real glass, you know, and you can never be too careful....
The little tree sits on the only table high enough to prevent PieDog launching an attack on it's bedecked branches.
Golden Christmas crackers are hidden in the big cupboard for fear of Sabotage from the younger family members.
The house adopts an air of a hospital ward at Christmas; walls brightly decorated and glittery things hang but underneath the glitz lurks the worry of unwellness.
The little one has caught a secondary virus and sleeps beside his Dad on the sofa during the day. They are both too tired to see the glitz.
It is not perfect.
Today, after everything has been done, I will insist the Farmer goes back to bed, properly under the covers, dose him up with things to get his temperature down and plenty to drink.
The wee one can have a little bed in the living room. He fluctuates from very listless to very energetic and would jump all over his Dad, so best keep them apart for a bit.
My daughter (who is still shaking off a bad cough) likes to sit with her colouring pad and crayons, sealed off from the noises of the house with her iPod attached to her ears, hugging the fire and keeping warm.
It is not Kirsty and Phil perfect. The mince pies are not Heston perfect and nobody wants them anyway.
If I can get them all back to health it will be good enough. Perfection is unattainable and unrealistic. It picks at our psyche as the raven picks at carrion and we are with feelings of inadequacy and despondence.