Thursday, 16 December 2021

Family Christmas - yes or no? Obeying instructions -yes or no? Children playing. Trees and spiders.

My son phoned last night to check if we still feel safe about his driving up from Buckinghamshire to spend the weekend with us. Both branches of the family, Northern and Southern, appear to be well at present. Consequently like many people we have decided to go ahead with the visit as it might be the last chance we have for a while. (Although personally I am determined to travel to his house for his daughter’s birthday in February.) Mind you, he is of the opinion that even if the Prime mInister were to decide at the last minute to cancel Christmas nobody would take any notice of his instructions. Maybe so!

Interviews on radio and television news programmes show people largely of the opinion that mask wearing is a good thing and that they should minimise socialising so that they can actually have Christmas with the family. But there is a definite view that Christmas must go ahead. Pub, restaurant and hotel owners and managers are going berserk as bookings are being cancelled right left and centre. If Christmas is uncertain for them, so is their whole future in many cases! 

My son and family will take lateral flow tests tonight just to be on the safe side. Heaven help us if he decides not to come; the collection of Christmas presents is too big to post. As it is they will have to be sneaked into the car without the almost 8 year old seeing them, just in case she really does still believe in Santa. Every year she writes very nice thank you letters, no doubt cajoled into doing so by her parents, but so far still appears to accept that we all either send gifts for Santa to deliver or instruct him on what to provide on our behalf. If the latter is the case, Santa must be very good at forging everyone’s signature for the Christmas labels on the parcels. 

University students are about to make their way homewards, if they haven’t already done so. There are fears that this mass migration - about a million students moving around the country - will fuel the spread of the virus as the number of Covid cases on some campuses has risen sharply. They have been urged to take a Covid test before leaving university and another before returning to campus. Will they do so? That remains to be seen. 

This is apparently the new normal.

I’ve just pushed a baby buggy round the village. My Fitbit has registered an unusually low step count for that circuit. No doubt it regards pram pushing as a form of outdoor cycling and measures progress accordingly. It’s something to do with the vibrations and rhythm and other such things.

The buggy contained our smallest grandchild who was deposited at our house at about 7.45 this morning. He’ll be collected some time after 1.00pm. So he’s run around, eating breakfast on the hoof, for a good part of the morning and then he fell asleep as we trundled round the village. 

It’s quite fascinating watching small children play, even, perhaps especially, if you have to join in the fun. He happily spent about half an hour putting all the red and yellow tokens in the Connect 4 game structure and releasing them with a clatter, over and over again. And he has just discovered the joys of hide and seek. This involves his standing in a perfectly visible corner of the room while I move around the room asking if he is under the sofa, behind the Christmas tree, and so on until I “suddenly” find him. He then tells me it is my turn to “hide” while he trundles round saying! “Door? No. Tree? No. Plant? No.” He is always delighted to find me and will happily repeat the procedure ad nauseam. The rear light on my bicycle is another source of entertainment. He finds all buttons and dials fascinating and this morning discovered to on-off switch on my rear light, taking it through regular flashing, intermittent flashing, simply red and switched off again and again and again….

My tree, which lives in a pot in the garden for most of the year, has come inside. It is now adorned with lights and awaits the arrival of elves, aka small granddaughters and possible one larger granddaughter, to put more decorations on it. The larger granddaughter, granddaughter number 2, gave me instructions to “de-bug” the tree before it came in. I duly removed fallen leaves from other larger and deciduous trees, and gave it a cursory check for spiders’ nests and the like. It then stood for a day or so in the kitchen. 

This morning I have captured and removed two spiders which I found crawling across the living room rug. Have they come from the tree? Or is it just coincidence?  

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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