I’ve just helped do a three-and-a-half hour shopping venture, read my email, helped make (are you noticing a serving-man motif here?) a raspberry sponge-cake, and am now about to head for Aldergrove (aka Belfast International Airport) to collect Son No 2 and his girl-friend Tiffany. Do I hate all the fuss and fatigue of Christmas? Well yes. But I hate the back-water of being retired even more, so I’m prepared to put up with a few tired limbs for the sake of having the people who now run the world ( I mean of course the people in their 30s-40s-50s in general, not specifically my ex-children) come swirling back into my life, however temporarily. I once did a BBC Radio 4 broadcast about my three sons and how it seemed they were planning to kill me, by being hung-over and grizzled and grown-up and occupying too much space in my house during the holidays, whereas I still have a mental picture of them as pre-pubescent, sweet-faced children who didn’t drink, didn’t swear, went to bed early and were always asking delightfully-unexpected questions. I don’t think I’ve ever had more positive feedback on anything I’ve written. Positive, with one exception. My daughter pointed an accusing finger in my face and yelled she wasn’t surprised her brothers were trying to kill me, given that I’d just done my level best to air-brush their sole sister out of existence.
Which reminds me. As soon as I come back from Aldergrove, I’ve got to spend an hour exercising in the University of Ulster gym, in preparation for the Greencastle (Co Tyrone) 5-mile run on St Stephen’s/Boxing Day. My dear daughter, still very much in existence, says I must. She’s running on 26th as well, she needs the exercise and I am putty in her hands.
Christmas. I think I like it.