I've come to the conclusion that Christmas is a mini-metaphor for my whole life. At the time I’m so busy worrying about calories, feeling guilty for not buying enough batteries and obsessing about giving 27 of my nearest and dearest food poisoning from inadequately cooked turkey that I don’t remember to enjoy it properly. Afterwards, frantically hunting for bits of stray school uniform in the bottom 0f the laundry basket and nagging about homework and thank you letters, I think back over two weeks of lie-ins, all day champagne drinking and afternoons on the sofa watching films and think 'Blimey, that was fantastic.'
Anyway, the tree has come down and the decorations have been put away, meaning that this morning the only lingering traces of Christmas are my bulging waistline and the numerous crates of empty bottles outside awaiting recycling. On Saturday we enjoyed the last hurrah of the festive season by going for a long, long walk with some lovely friends through snowy woodland that looked more like Narnia than Cheshire. The eldest of their 3 boys had got a storm kettle for Christmas which he used to heat up delicious mulled wine for us all. Found myself considering swapping him for daughter #1, since teenage boy accessories are clearly far more useful than the quantities of nail varnish, body sprays and sparkly makeup that appeared under our tree, and boys seem to have a compulsion to Do Things, whereas teenage girls appear to be able to make elegant languor into a full time occupation. However, when we got back to our house and I fed them all I realised I couldn’t possibly afford to keep one.
So, today it's back to business. If only I could remember what that was. I have to confess that I haven't yet posted off the competition prizes, so will be making a trek through the snow to the post office this morning and steering my mind back to the long neglected book. I have so much to do in the next few weeks that if I think about it too much I'll cry. Or go back to bed. Or both.