Why I’m Logging Off For Christmas…

ruth crilly a model recommends

Sorry, I know that the internet is full of people boring us with news of their phone detoxes, social media bans and internet usage culls but I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and tell you all with why I’m going completely offline for Christmas. And I can tell you that it’s not because I’m sick of Instagram (bloody love it, not even ashamed to admit I’m probably addicted to it) and it’s not because I’ve lost motivation or become mentally constipated – I have over two dozen posts in my drafts waiting for a final edit – and it’s definitely not because I need some time to reignite my creative spark or whatever other excuses make the rounds at this time of year.

No, the truth of the matter is that we have nine of us here for Christmas dinner, eleven for Boxing Day dinner and a stream of different visitors from the 23rd until New Year’s Day. All of them sleeping over, many arriving with children of varying sizes, who will no doubt be noisy and exhausting. Hopefully all guests will wear pyjamas, because I’m not doing daily linen changes for every room –  a quick spritz of air freshener and a re-tautening of the fitted sheet is about the limits of my upstairs hospitality! I’ll cook and pour drinks until the cows come home but do not ask me to change a duvet cover. It has to be the worst domestic task, surely?

Anyway, I thought that I would throw myself wholeheartedly into the hostessing game which means that I won’t have time for my usual insane work/life juggling. I realised, earlier this month, that I haven’t had a proper holiday for about eight years – yes I took off three weeks after both of the babies were born, but recovering from a C-Section with exploding breasts and crazy hormones isn’t exactly downtime. I’m talking dedicated eat-all-the-Lindt-balls downtime where you’re not drafting blog posts on the inside of the pizza box or trying to re-enact precious/funny/poignant moments so that you can upload them to Instagram Stories.

I mean the sort of downtime that makes you forget that you have a job, that frees your mind from the shackles of ambition and discipline and determination. Because who can keep up that sort of mental exertion for years on end without a break? It’s like doing the Grand Prix five days a week and then analysing your performance on your off days.

So yes, I am going to spend some time practising new recipes and trying to make sense of my AGA cookbooks, which tend to be the most dithery, imprecise cookbooks I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. They say things like, “pop the turkey into the roasting oven for between 2 and 6 hours, depending on how much you’ve got cooking in the other ovens. If you’re drying your boots on the simmering plate then add another twenty minutes per pound of meat – if your AGA also heats your hot water then it’s very important that nobody takes a bath or has a shower for twenty hours before you wish to start cooking Christmas dinner.”

Bloody AGA. I both love it and hate it. Really, as a cooker, it’s ridiculous. Yes you can throw in a quiche or a pizza on a whim and the oven is always on, but the downside of this is that THE OVEN IS ALWAYS ON. Imagine having a washing machine that continuously spun around with a load of sudsy water inside and when you fancied washing something you just opened the door and chucked in the dirty laundry?

“Oh I just love my WASHA,” you’d say to anyone who’d listen. “It’s on all the time! I never need to press one button and take five seconds to put a washing tablet into the drum – it’s just on! All the time!”

“But Betty,” they’d say – if indeed you were called Betty, “isn’t that an awful waste of energy, water and detergent?”

“Probably,” you’d say, “but it generates so much unnecessary heat that you can dry the dog blanket over the top of it!”

I jest. I do like the AGA. It’s like having the world’s biggest radiator sat in the kitchen. So big and hot that it can only be connected from October to April because otherwise the walls begin to melt, like a Dali painting. Good job that there’s an extra module on the side – one with electric ovens and a gas hob, powered by a gas cannister up the garden. But the fact that there has to be an extra cooker that’s – well – a normal cooker… tell me again what the point of the AGA bit is?

Right. I’m off. I was going to film a makeup video, edit it, schedule it, write the blurb to go with it, polish off three blog posts to keep you going over Christmas and then cap it all off with a series of Instagram Stories showing you some last minute gift ideas, but there has to be a moment that you call it quits, doesn’t there? I’m such a workaholic I could genuinely carry on for another evening (last night it was until 2am) and then throughout another day, but the kidlings await (one dressed as a fairy, the other in a policeman’s oufit) and I have to do the Big Shop at Sainsbury’s.

Some Christmas reading, to tide you over:

space nk shelfie

Firstly, a lovely interview that I did for Space NK detailing my Sunday Routine – the beauty products I use, the TV series I watch and the exact amount of time I spend in the bath before Mr AMR recycles my water! Read it here.

ruth crilly red online

Then a great feature with Red Magazine called My Life In Hair. I shot the photos with the amazing Jane McLeish-Kelsey and wrote about the styles that have shaped my adult hair life. You can read that online here.

Hotel Loofah

Finally, a post I wrote on loofahs; more absorbing than it initially sounds, if only marginally. It went up earlier this week but for some reason didn’t format and was an absolute nightmare to read, so here it is with spacing and actual paragraphs.

Now all there’s left to do is to thank you for your immense support this year in what was a slightly difficult twelve months. If you missed why and would like to catch up then my post on grief is here – it’s not particularly cheery, but probably puts things into perspective if your family are driving you mad over the festive season! I hope that you all have an amazing Christmas and a glorious, enthusiasm-filled New Year – I’m looking forward to more hilarious chats with you all in 2019. I’ll be back in two weeks, raring to go and full of random ideas for blog posts…

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  1. January 14, 2019 / 10:37 am

    That’s understandable. Christmas should be about resting. Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

  2. January 3, 2019 / 10:51 am

    Hope you had a wonderful time! Thank you for the post!

  3. December 26, 2018 / 3:28 am

    Thank you for sharing this post, I love it very much, and merry christmad there honey.

  4. Nancy Carnell
    December 24, 2018 / 7:34 am

    Have a wonderful time Ruth xx

  5. Vesna
    December 24, 2018 / 2:15 am

    How many belly laughs! Thank you Ruth for your cheerful and witty stories. Keep on writing about anything that crosses your mind as we, your readers ,enjoy it immensely.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, have a wonderful time with your family and loved ones. xx

  6. Jennie
    December 23, 2018 / 11:54 pm

    Merry Christmas Lovely Lady! I am so pleased to have found you this year and spent hours bingeing on your YouTubes!

    Have more fun than just about anyone – because we don’t have a Boxing Day or Aga’s in the US!


  7. Jane
    December 23, 2018 / 11:38 pm

    Merry Christmas Ruth, hope you enjoy your proper break. I’m going back to work on 3 January after taking 2 years off! I am feeling so nervous, but I know it will be good for me to get back out there. Loved my break, but I need to use my brain properly again.

  8. Kelly Woods
    December 23, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    Hey Ruth, totally agree with the bed changing game…not fun! Get those PJs on guests! As for cooking, with a glass of wine in hand…now we’re talking!
    Have a wonderful Christmas with friends & family, & enjoy every minute!

  9. Gailspear
    December 23, 2018 / 7:31 pm

    Happy Xmas Ruth. Honestly you will grow to love the aga. My husband removed the electric cooker the day the Aga arrived. I never looked back. With six children it was the perfect answer for daily casseroles and batches of buns and sock drying honestly x

  10. Beth Sontag
    December 23, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    Thank you Ruth. You always make me laugh amidst the chaos. This American President really scares me and I know I watch too much news but your musings offer a lovely respite. I hope you and your family have a magical Christmas. It’s so wonderful to watch Christmas through the eyes of a child. Lucky you. Treasure every minute. My boys are grown but we think there might be grandchildren imminent and I plan to the best damn Grammy ever!
    Totally unrelated: You mentioned that cleaning out the kitchen drain was disgusting and I couldn’t agree more. I got this OXO sink strainer and it’s pretty great!
    Merry Merry Christmas!
    Love Beth

  11. Cat Graves
    December 23, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    Ruth, I am so sorry for your loss. I hadn’t read it til today and had no idea. My father passed on Leap Year almost 7 years ago. He was doing better in the hospital and although they had moved him off the stroke floor they still conducted a hard test on him that took almost 5 hours. It was unnecessary but they did it and he passed in his sleep about 5 hours later.
    We raced to the hospital and although I was told I couldn’t go in as they were trying to get him back I ran down towards the room anyway. From nowhere and for no earthly reason I was tripped and went down on the marble floor.
    I believe he was leaving then and that an angel tripped me so I couldn’t get to the room. Had I been able he may have resisted and returned to his ailing body.
    About 6 to 8 weeks prior o his passing I had a dream. It wasn’t a dream..it was an experience. Maybe it was me, maybe it was seeing and feeling what another was experiencing, but I know what happens when we pass…at least if we ascend to Heaven.
    There is a tunnel, kind of like a tornado, though, and you feel like you’re being pulled up. At the end of the tunnel is a light, although not blinding, and I saw the silhouette of a man. He was someone that loved me and was there to greet me. The feeling while seeing this and feeling that draw is so filled with love and peace. It feels amazing and there is no fear. Then I reversed and felt sucked backwards. All I could think if was, “No! I don’t want to go back.” The feelings of love and peace were so intense that returning was horrible.
    The moment I came back I woke up. It was so surreal. I have no idea if it was me or a vision of another’s journey, but I firmly and completely believe that it is what happens when we pass.
    This happened and then my father passed..I believe it was a gift from God to let me know not to worry about my dad.
    I had it happen again about 14 months ago. Teo weeks later my uncle passed. This time there were 2 silhouettes. The feelings were not quite as intense but I now fear that if experience occurs again that someone close to me will pass. Death isn’t to be feared ..this I know, but the intense sadness of missing those who pass is unbearable.
    I know this is long but I hope that maybe it will help you. I know you still hurt because I still hurt.
    Have a blessed and merry Christmas!! And a safe and happy New Year!!

  12. SomeGirlMel
    December 23, 2018 / 5:17 pm

    Love ya, babe. Merry Christmas!

  13. December 23, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    A lovely post as always, Ruth. Hope you have a well-deserved rest over Christmas

  14. Jo.C.
    December 23, 2018 / 3:49 pm

    Merry Christmas Ruth and to the AMR family. Enjoy yourselves, reminisce and love. Xx

  15. Gillian Pidler
    December 23, 2018 / 3:32 pm

    I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, it sounds fun and busy and crazy and fun again! xxx See you on the flip side, enjoy Ruth x

  16. Emily
    December 23, 2018 / 2:34 pm

    Merry Christmas, to you and yours!

  17. Lisa
    December 23, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    Enjoy your Christmas Ruth! xx

  18. December 23, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    Enjoy your break and fingers crossed you finally figure out the AGA part – it sounds like a mistery to someone that can barely work a regular cooking oven.


  19. Sandie
    December 23, 2018 / 12:04 pm

    Have a fabulous and fun filled festive season!! Love your posts and blogs and stories so yes , will definitely be back here in the New Year!! Cheers Ruth. X

  20. December 23, 2018 / 9:51 am

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Ruth. :) Have a wonderful time!

  21. Lizzy
    December 23, 2018 / 8:48 am

    Have a merry Christmas, Ruth!
    You deserve some time off!

  22. December 23, 2018 / 8:36 am

    I see you have also a lot of guests during Christmas For is it is totally the same Merry Christmas!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  23. Jen
    December 23, 2018 / 8:35 am

    Wishing you and those you love a very Merry Christmas Ruth. Thank you for a fab year of blog posts & videos. May 2019 be full of healthy happy times…thinking of you xxxx

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