Here's a last look at the Christmas decorations before they are taken down. It has to be before Twelfth Night because it's unlucky to leave them up any longer. We always have a real tree, always leave the decorations up for as long as possible because I love Christmas so much. I wished somebody a Happy New Year today and she said 'You'll be glad it's all over!'
Er ... no. I'm quite sad really. This Christmas was lovely: just the right balance between entertaining and relaxing.
Lots of good friends came round on Christmas Eve as they have been doing for a while now. We used to celebrate a traditional Polish Christmas Eve when my mum and dad were alive, with Polish food and carols. Our own Christmas Eve get together is, I suppose, the remnants of it, or the replacement for it, or what you will. This year, our son Charlie and I walked along to the old village kirk for the well attended and friendly midnight service - many young people come back for Christmas here, so there's always a small reunion of old school friends. After the carols and blessings, the minister waited outside to wish us all a 'happy Christmas' and then we walked home before Santa came.
Christmas Day was slow and casual. Three of us eating a good Christmas dinner followed by a visit to more friends just along the road, drinks, conversation, generations mixing happily together. And then after a few days of walks along the beach and several hilarious games of Scrabble, son departed to celebrate Hogmanay in the city, and we went off to a New Year's Eve party in the village.
Tomorrow, the decorations will be put away, including a few precious glass ornaments that once belonged to my parents, and may well have belonged to my grandparents before that.
And then it's back to work with a vengeance. Which is fine by me. Lots to write. It's not always easy. Sometimes it's weary, frustrating, intensive work. But it's all good and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.