It’s all go. I mean not as much all go as it was for my colleague who had an emergency stent fitted the other day, but pretty busy. I have to say we all got a shock when this older but apparently fit and very popular man nearly died on us in the run up to Christmas. Hurrah for modern medicine. He’s safely home and planning a quiet Christmas.
I got into the Huguenot graveyard in the centre of town during the week. It is almost always closed but a man was painting the gate and he let me slip in illicitly. There was a big plaque to Jacques de la Fontaine. I went and looked him up and thanks to the internet, I found a whole book he had written about his life. He had bad times in Cork, unintentionally hilariously described. It was strange to think of this man whose grave I pass daily having a life in Ireland a good 400 years ago. It’s all intimations of mortality around here at the moment. And also, I seem to have put out my lower back. Does this augur well for the ice skating session I have booked for us on St. Stephen’s Day? I think not.
The return of my first born continues to be a source of delight. She had three friends from primary school around for dinner on Monday. These girls who I have known since they were tiny tots of 4 have turned into beautiful, charming grown up Amazons (all very tall, I must say, something in the water?).
I was chatting to her the other night and asked whether she read the blog. A bit. “You’re funnier on the blog than in real life,” she offered. “I know what you’re thinking, you’re going to put that on the blog. Listen here, I’m more than a content farm.” Meta paragraph right here for you, all the literary tricks are being deployed.
I was amused to hear Mr Waffle talking to Michael the other morning in the kitchen before school. As I was standing in the hall I heard him ask in slightly surprised tones, “Are you following the election in Chile, Michael?” He is, apparently. This slightly nerdish streak in my children means that the Christmas receipt of school reports is generally an occasion for rejoicing and so it was on this occasion. Teachers love children with views on the Chilean elections, it appears.
We’re in Cork for Christmas. It’s quite the logistical challenge, my sister was in Dublin during the week and she brought down our Christmas presents. Like a saint she’s cooking Christmas dinner for us as well. And she took the boys off on Wednesday afternoon to her partner’s parents’ place where they spent a happy afternoon playing magic (don’t ask) with her partner and being fed by his parents. I rejoice as did they.
It was the winter solstice on Tuesday. That makes me think of my father. He was a summer person, always loved the sun and always celebrated the turning of the year with delight and a glass of whiskey. I used to ring him to wish him a happy solstice. It was this time last year that I saw him for the last time. He died on Christmas day. We’re off to Cork today and we’ll celebrate Christmas in my parents’ house tomorrow. I feel a bit sad about it. A little bit strange.
Where ever you are, I hope that your Christmas is happy and that the logistics do not defeat you. See you in January.