All I wanted for Christmas

J. was home from hospital in time for Christmas, allowing us to have our usual quiet Christmas Day rather than an outing involving gymnastics with the public transport system over the festive season (there is only one ferry off the Island on Christmas Day). She is now halfway through her treatment for leukaemia, and the Christmas break is an ideal opportunity to fatten her up before the next session in hospital.

We don’t have Christmas lunch as such. The meal extends over the whole day, with soup and a first course at lunchtime, and the main course and dessert in the evening. That way you get the full monty without bloating and being unable to move. As usual I cooked the lot: leek and potato soup; smoked salmon and cream cheese pasta; roast chicken with the usual vegetable suspects (potatoes and carrots from the garden); and trifle.

Jimjams was remarkably restrained when it came to the presents, and for the first time left some to open throughout the day. The two of us had a short walk into Freshwater after the lunchtime stage of the meal, giving us a chance to talk: the second time this week as we both had a shopping spree in Southampton on the Monday. Perhaps it is too much to ask that she is leaving behind her the stage of teenage grunting, but I can hope. She has made several attempts recently at being useful around the house, to the extent of even getting her dishes into the dishwasher rather than leaving them on the side.

With J.’s departure on the 28th looming all too soon, it means Jimjams and I will be on our own for new year. It won’t be quiet: with Rockband for the Wii in the house, I suspect Jimjams has her new year’s eve planned. New Year isn’t the only quiet day ahead: both wedding anniversary and Jimjams’ birthday are in early January, and for one or more of those we will be visiting in hospital.

Christmas was quiet. I got two pairs of gloves – one driving, one gardening – a top that I bought myself, J. home, and Jimjams being delightful. I got up at 6.15am having been to midnight mass and late to bed, and went to bed past midnight again. It’s Boxing Day and I’m shattered. Happy, but shattered.


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