5:30am | The sun is so bright and the birds are so loud on these mornings, I can't seem to sleep in much past dawn. I get up, tie on my fluffy white robe, and head into the siting room where I spread my blanket on the killim rug and attempt 20minutes of meditation. I probably only do 10 - I don't time myself and my mind is restless with the day's to do list whirling around, but this is how I'm trying to start each day and I do notice an increased feeling of positive energy when I take the time first thing.
5:45am | I make tea, and treat myself to this season's last episode of The Affair. I have such a busy day ahead that I know this is the only time I'll have to veg out by myself, and watching my program before the rest of the house stirs feels like a real indulgence.
7:00am | I'm out the door, in the car, heading to Showroom. There are last minute parcels to be packed and sent out, emails to answer, social media posts to schedule and merchandise to arrange. The shop has been so busy over the last week we've not been able to keep on top of everything during trading hours, so I've found myself putting in long hours.
10:00am | Sav arrives to help for the morning, and we get to helping customers with their Christmas shopping. This is the most fun week of the retail year, when there's a buzz around the place and customers are coming fast and thick, all looking for special things for their loved ones.
11:30am | I duck out of the shop to the Queen St Mall where we have a few things to pick up for our family. It's hectic and hot and I'm hugely relieved to return to Showroom with my few purchases neatly checked off my list. On the whole I've chosen gifts from my own shop this year, which may be cheating and most likely is in bad taste... But I love the things in my shop (they're beautiful!) and I just can't bear the idea of spending the time I do have away from work trawling through markets and malls, so when it comes to my own Christmas shopping, pragmatism has won out big time.
1:00pm | More bubble wrapping, more printing shipping labels, more helping customers in store. I take a break for a tea and a lentil pocket from the cafe next door. I catch up on some banking and payroll while Sav flits around the store like a true retail fairy!
3:15 | In the afternoon I'm on my own in the store, and it quiets down some. There's a lovely little girl who asks for some bubble wrap and happily pops bubble after bubble while her mum checks every last gift off her list. There's more tea, more checking instagram, more re-arranging stock to fill in the growing gaps on the shelves.
6:00pm | At 6 on the dot I close the doors of the store, drive to West End, and meet our clan at London Fields for the first of several family xmas get togethers. We eat, laugh, exchange gifts, and head home with the first real sparks of the Christmas spirit - a slow burner this year - beginning to glow.