My cold is still hanging about. In fact, it has started to relapse. But at least I can now stop. In the past week I have spent the morning at the hospital with my parents, met one friend for coffee, another for lunch in London, gone over to Cambridge with a third, been out to what might almost have been a dinner party in that there were three courses or four counting the cheese and we didn't know the other guests awfully well, except that it was billed as supper and was not stuffy enough to count as a dinner party, and had my parents to lunch. That is a lot more than I would normally aim to do in a week, but that's just how the dates worked out. The timing of hospital appointments you can't do anything about, and there's nothing like Christmas for making friends who have been too busy working or coping with their own parent's hospital appointments to see you decide they would like to squeeze the time to catch up into their diaries. Which is sort of bonkers in that they are also frantically trying to fit in their Christmas shopping, but that's the way it goes.
Now there is nothing in my diary until some time in about the third week of January. Literally nothing. Zip. Zilch. The Systems Administrator is due to catch up with one lot of old work friends on Wednesday and a second on Thursday, but my life is a total blank. That's mainly down to how the dates worked out given how my friends were placed, and my would-be work reunion ended up getting pushed back to January because somebody was away for most of December. It is also by now deliberate, in that once I realised the cold was settling in I tried not to commit to any more plans. So I can have a rest. I am due to do the shop for our very low key Christmas lunch on Thursday, so that we don't have to go anywhere near a supermarket on Friday, and beyond that I am free to sit in front of the fire reading easy books and drinking a great deal of tea until I start feeling better. It's a shame about the garden, but there you go. The last compost bin will remain unpainted and the tulip bulbs in the garage unplanted until I don't have a sore throat. The SA will cook the festive chicken with all the trimmings. Beyond hanging some unbreakable decorations on this year's small potted tree I don't have to do anything.
It is such a relief. I have addressed full boards of pension fund trustees feeling worse than this in the old days, and dragged myself out to do woodland charity talks, but I am so glad I don't have to. I feel for my lunch companion whose elderly parents live in Germany and who has got to get herself there for Christmas amid the threat of strikes and fog. But I don't. I need to post some things and I might buy some throat sweets while I'm out, but I don't have to go anywhere (except Waitrose), do anything, dress up, be amusing or impressive or anything. Like Claudius, a bump on a log. Bliss.