I really ought to have been in work today, but instead have decided that my festive holidays start right here, right now. This last minute change of plan was brought about by about three weeks of dodging the winter lurgy which ended yesterday. Just as I was looking ahead to a bug-free Christmas Day, congratulating myself on my super-human powers of immunity and resilience, the evil snot-monster made its way up my trouser leg,, under my shirt and up into my nostrils. Here, it’s found a nice spot to stay for a while, unpacked its deck-chair, put down a towel and set about its business,
Of course, I should not be surprised. It was just my turn to win the annual game of pass the germ-parcel. When the music stopped it was me holding the mucus. How delighted my wife is that I’ve brought it home to share with the family. Well, it’s Christmas, and that’s all about sharing isn’t it?
So, I find myself with an extra day to wallow around feeling sorry for myself. It means I have a little extra time to potter. I clean out the kitchen cupboard that has been developing teenager tendencies, all messy, disorganised and starting to smell. I wrap a few presents, apologising under my breath to the intended recipients for what I know is my shockingly bad technique. I do washing, empty bins, tidy away clothes and so on. All the while I have one ear on the radio. In particular, I’m listening for news of the progress of this season’s second named storm, Barbara. Really? Who thinks up these names? I’m struggling to think of a less stormy name than Barbara. Beatrix maybe. Anyway, Babs is on her way from the west, while my daughter, Alex, is due to fly home from Paris tomorrow evening.
I know I shouldn’t but when you become a parent your DNA gets altered, and the worry gene is activated. That little critter is now pulsating and generating a quiet beep at the back of my head. Of course, I know this is a reaction of my chimp brain. My rational human brain is reassuring me that they won’t let the plane take off if the weather is so bad, or that statistically flying is still one of the safest ways to travel. Beep, beep.
There’s a good chance we’ll see a whole bunch of Alex’s friends before she arrives home. We’ve organised a festive drinks do for tomorrow night – a further opportunity for me to share my special gift this Christmas. We’ve also allowed our 15-year old son, Dominic, to invite a few friends. The extra time I had today with Dom gave us time for a helpful chat about what ‘a few’ means. In my head it is 4 or 5. His interpretation was several more. Beep, beep, beep.