It was another day for not going outside more than you had to. There was no frost on the grass when I woke, but the air was savagely cold on my face and in my lungs when I went to open the hen house. The flu has left me with a hacking cough, which according to the NHS website is not uncommon, and the cure is rest, warmth, plenty of fluids, and time. The GP cannot do anything to hasten recovery and does not want to see me, not unless I start running a fever or go blue. Neither of these things have happened so I am stuck indoors, drinking tea. It's a waste when there is so much to be done in the garden, but there it is.
I took the Christmas cards down, sorting them out between out the ones with glitter that can't go in the paper recycling and the rest that can. I still couldn't work out who one of them was from. I would have hazarded a guess, and the card was sold in aid of the RSPB when I know the person I might have guessed at is a keen bird watcher, if it were not that she had sent me another card, clearly legible and with her news taking up the left hand half of the inside. And the mystery card was addressed to both of us with the Systems Administrator's name first, while she generally addresses her card to me and had done so again this year. Somebody wishes us well, but I really don't know who.
Somebody else had sent us two cards, presumably having had to write them in more than one batch and having not kept a list, but that doesn't matter, not like the story in the Guardian by the pseudonymous Widower of the Parish who received a card addressed to Adam and Helen wishing them the best Christmas and New Year ever! from somebody who had actually been present at his wife's funeral earlier in the year. Things can feel rushed at Christmas, but that is a fairly basic failure of mindfulness. I suppose they will now be smothered in remorse, if they read his column.
Only one of the neighbours bothered with a card (not the Airedale owners). Maybe cards are ceasing to be a thing. I have heard that it is so among the younger generation. We don't even have postal addresses for some of our nieces and nephews. It came as a surprise to me that one of them had a baby this summer, though not so to the Systems Administrator who looked unsurprised when I read the announcement included in her parents' card and said Ah, yes, I think I knew that. The SA is less inclined to talk about people behind their backs than almost anybody else I have ever met, which is in many ways an admirable and endearing trait given that about ninety per cent of anything said behind people's backs is bitchy at one level or another, but it can make it difficult for me to keep up sometimes.
Meanwhile I am half way through writing a letter to an old friend whose card indicated that all had not been plain sailing in past couple of years. It must have been three or four years since we've seen each other, but she was happy with my suggestion that we should try and meet sometime in 2017. On the basis that she probably gets several hundred work related emails a day I thought an actual hand written letter in a paper envelope might be likelier to get noticed.
Addendum In the afternoon I made a Victoria sandwich. That came out quite well, but the ricotta with honey I had for breakfast was really vaguely horrid, dry and not a patch on Greek style yogurt. After putting the tail end of two white sliced loaves and the desiccated fourth quarter of the chocolate sponge in the food recycling bin I think we have finally pretty much cleared out the last of the Christmas food. If you are both going to be ill try not to do it with a stuffed fridge.