A quiet end to a busy and fulfilling year. Just the time I needed to pull back from myself and the whirlwind that my life appears to have become. Much-needed, evident from the amount of sleeping I have been doing.
I originally planned to take only a couple of days away from my work, with intentions of writing like a madwoman for days on end, of course. But as it happens I've read one paper in a little over a week, and it's been a joyfully guilt-free retreat from my to-do list. Finally I feel impatient to get back to it; Christmas has rejuvenated my enthusiasm and my energy.
Christmas this year was right out of a carol. Peaceful, quiet, light-hearted, surrounded by those who I care about the most. We danced and sung ourselves silly on Christmas Eve; Daniel and I duetted The Smiths and Nirvana, and he impressed us all with a voice I never knew he had (I'm now trying to convince him to join a choir!). I even said no to that final glass of wine, making it the first year in a long time that Christmas Day didn't begin with a hangover.
We had porridge and fresh figs with honey for Christmas Day breakfast, and then my Dad and I went out for a hilly road run. We chatted as we went, running pretty fast as we were keen to get back to our presents, talking all the while about our running year - each of us having completed our first marathon, while he raised over £3,000 running 86 miles for charity. We returned to that familiar Christmas dinner smell infusing itself through the garden, and drank prosecco while opening gifts. I seem to get more and more every year; alongside the usual undies and smellies, I got the complete set of Wainwright's Lakeland walking books and new bedding and cushion covers handmade by my mum - I must have been good this year!
The rest of the day passed in a haze of food and drink. Champagne was consumed in frivolous quantities, the sprouts were perfect, and the Christmas pudding that we provided for the feast was declared 'best ever' by my Dad (the harshest pudding critic in town). The day was washed down with the Christmas special of Call The Midwife (I had never seen this before (nor have I ever watched Downton Abbey) (we don't have TV at home) but I cried through the second half like a Christmas wreck) and chunks of cheese with apple and oatcakes. And a slice of cake.