|The nativity sheep|
Way back in December I had a lovely selection box of nights out and Christmas gatherings lined up - I even knew what I was going to wear to each.
Then a chill blast of mortality gusted through. The Panther's dad had died. And we stepped off the December express into the sidings of funerals and grief. The party clothes hung unworn in the wardrobe.
Still, we managed a subdued but comfortable family feast and I made some more plans for the 'tween days.
In the gap between one year and the next, while children played with their new toys and games, I was going to attend to mind, body and home. Yes. There was going to be a lot of yoga, some spring cleaning (followed by sessions on eBay), plus the luxury of reading and writing.
This would leave me renewed and ready to welcome another year. Only the lurghy had other ideas.
First Boy Three went pale and started coughing. Poor chap wasn't well at all, sweating and shivering. 24 hours later I succumbed too.
And that's it. I'm still in my PJs, nothing has been ticked off a single list. Somewhere on an optimistic afternoon a week or so ago I decided that this year I would run a 10K, write a book and, even, clean the car. They are still as far away as the moon.
What of it? The entire world - or at least the portion of it that has anything to do with children - are dropping like plague victims, so we're nothing special. Bereavement isn't even mark us out - we've all got to go sometime.
It just goes to show that it doesn't matter what our plans our, life in some form will come and laugh at them. Maybe the lesson is about acceptance. In which case, pass me another segment of chocolate orange and let's see what's on telly.