As my father might have said, 'Well, that was a snorter!' It's not quite over yet, but I have to report that the cold which brewing when I last blogged turned out to be the full works. I won't go in to the gory details, but suffice it to say that we called out the emergency doctor on Christmas Day - and of course didn't get to church for the first time ever, as far as I remember. A bit different from last year! And the rest of the day I dozed in my chair in a semi-comatose state - not even Her Majesty's speech roused me (though I'm told she wasn't at her most inspirational). I did deign to join the rather good evening meal - another break with tradition, as the turkey only flew in on Christmas morning, courtesy of Jane's parents. Sadly for the children round here we didn't have a white Christmas, though it was cold enough.
Things improved thereafter, though the cough continued for some days, waking up the household at night. Eventually the coughing apparently managed to pull a muscle at the base of my spine; so I'm now shuffling around with a bit of a limp. Still the fortnight has had some bright spots: like seeing all the family, whom I do like, and reading The Italian Chapel, which is an amazing story I didn't know at all, and, most unexpectedly of all, sleeping peacefully through the New Year, undisturbed by bells and fireworks and barking dogs. That is THE way to see in the New Year.
One disturbing feature of the whole episode is how my own miserable condition dominated my horizon. I simply didn't feel like celebrating Jesus' birth. I was grateful for some reminders on radio of the greatest moment of history, but they were like unbidden ships passing in the night with their green and red lights on. I used to preach sermons about sin, and used to say the middle letter of sin is I, and sin is self-centredness - when we put I at the centre. Hmm! Obviously it dies hard. 'Where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more' - which is good to know.