Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Breathing together

...And a very Happy Christmas to everyone reading this blog! I'm actually watching The Sound of Music on YouTube. After all, what Christmas would be complete without a few of our favourite films? We've just got to the intermission - the bit where Dame Julie rushes back to the nunnery - and I'm now contemplating a dose of Downton Abbey, because I never liked the bit with the Nazis...

Julie and I are ensconced in front of the open fire whilst the others are next door watching Doctor Who. I've never really been into Doctor Who; not back then, or now...

Predictably, I've eaten too much. Way too much. As a result there are only certain chairs I feel comfortable sitting in! Cue the vomitorium!

Nevertheless, I've just heated a load of roast potatoes and am starting all over again. What's wrong with me!? I suppose good food deserves to be eaten, and Julie's food - which she's spent the best part of two days lovingly preparing - was particularly good.

Other than that, it's been a quiet Christmas. I was lucky enough to be given a Queen Mary Christmas parcel tin dating from 1914. Queen Mary, King George V's wife, was a recidivist fundraiser, who raised huge sums of money at the start of the First World War, which she used to provide every fighting soldier with a little souvenir brass box which was filled with cigarettes and chocolate. I've read much about these boxes, but genuinely never thought I'd own one. To make things even more appropriate, the tin is not only made of brass (tick), but it belonged to one of the Durham Pals, who followed the Leeds Pals over the top at Serre on July 1st, 1916.

I am hugely grateful to my brother for even thinking to buy it for me. It was a hugely touching gift which left me really quite speechless.

I was also rather thrilled to receive a badge which would have been worn by the Leeds Pals on their caps.

I've not left the house today, not once. I'm not sure this is particularly good for me, but, then again, does anyone ever do health conscious on Christmas Day?

I hope not too many people reading this will have been depressed, alone or lonely today.

My dear, dear friend sent me a text today in response to my sending her a rather maudlin message about not having any money, which I'm sure she won't mind my sharing. For some reason it really made a difference...

"Right now we are not homeless. Right now we are managing to pay bills. Tomorrow we will keep working towards our goals. Right now- just keep breathing. We'll keep breathing together."

Isn't that wonderful?

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