The operation having been only six or seven weeks ago, neither my beloved nor I felt like much of a hoedown at Christmas. We usually go to family, who are always very welcoming, but a few hours drive away. While I am still dealing with moderate urinary incontinence, going down and back in the one day seemed quite an expedition. So we just had lunch at home. It was a perfect day, as it turned out, about 24 degrees, so we put the umbrella up and sat in the courtyard.
Our wedding anniversary and my birthday both fall in December; when one adds Christmas, the month gets crowded. All these events create an extra pressure to remember and arrange things, something which anyone who knows me will realise was never my strong suit. Fortunately I had gotten my beloved a couple of nice gifts earlier in the month. (I did come to the party also for our anniversary with a gift voucher for a mani and pedi.) So if my offerings were few in number on the day, I had at least made an effort previously, and cooked the meal as a contribution in kind to the festivities.
Because we are usually part of a much bigger effort at Christmas (mostly on the part of our hosts), I had rather drifted into it food-wise this year. I had thought about it to the extent of prepping some brined chicken as the basis for a main course. For a support act there were potatoes, one parsnip, and some rather ancient bits of pumpkin. I cooked some frozen peas for Der Fisch, which she likes. If this is all starting to sound a bit O Henry, it was actually fine. We had a couple of glasses of a New Zealand sauvignon blanc supplied by Messrs Aldi & Co. This and a big meal for lunch, by my standards, knocked me out for an hour or so. I did get some lovely presents, including a very generous music voucher from my sister. My beloved gave me a beautiful shirt and an art deco-style model of a Spitfire, the E-type Jaguar of planes; see below.
Yesterday we did some work in the courtyard, sweeping, weeding, and fertilising. After a coffee, a lovely phone call from my brother, and a bit of Christmas cake (Aldi to the rescue again), I ventured forth to replenish the stores. In the afternoon I alternately watched the Boxing Day test and read Eddie Ayres’ fascinating book Danger music, which I will review separately. So Christmas was gotten through actually very pleasantly. I said to my beloved that I wouldn’t have changed anything. The message from the sister-in-law about yesterday was very thoughtful, and it was nice to have been missed; the presence of an absence, as someone said. Likewise; normal service should be resumed next year.