This morning R and I girded our loins and went off to Waitrose to collect the beef Wellington for Boxing Day - where, to our surprise (but as suggested to me by the staff member with whom I placed the order several weeks ago) it was blissfully quiet. Argus Filch wandered in (sans cat) while we were waiting, but he's a lovely man out of character, which made me too sensitive to the intrusion to grab an iPhone pic of him browsing the vegetables.
This afternoon Child One arrived home, and we exchanged late birthday gifts (hers being a couple of days before mine); one of her presents to me was a small flock of small sheep for the Bachmen, which immediately set the cogs in my old brain rustily turning. And then, five minutes before the stipulated dinner hour, Child Two appeared after a trying journey down from Oop Nurth - and immediately the Offspring fell into their normal mode of banter, and the house was full of life and laughter.
I'm known for being better at brickbats than bouquets, so this will probably embarrass them hugely, but I adore and admire my children, and being around them makes me very happy. Many years ago, when R and I were fighting over some long-forgotten infraction by one or other of us, I made the mistake of trying to elicit my mother's support, only to have her say, "Oh dear.... well, never mind - he does make lovely babies," the implication that he'd somehow had more to do with it than I had leaving me (fortunately) almost speechless with outrage. But as we all sat at dinner this evening, exchanging competitive anecdotes and hooting with laughter, I smiled across the table at him and thought Well, never mind the awfulness of much of 2016, and the state of the world in general - we did make lovely babies.
I hope that you're also spending these few days with people you love and admire, and that the season brings you whatever you most desire. And if you're physically on your own, I hope you'll be able to be virtually connected with those who are important to you.
Love and peace. xx