True, a friend delivering a last minute card for me fell down some steps in the dark and hurt her foot;
true, the river came out (burst its banks), and it took a jolly old paddle to get across to the other side;
true, walking in the castle grounds was a merry squelch, each step a fight to stay upright;
true, the backdoor, still not replaced, let lots of rain into the scullery;
true, I took twice the maximum dose of beta blockers for more than a week without realising and wondered why I was feeling a bit slow at times;
true, by the time we finally sat down to the main event, i.e. the turkey, three of us had to admit defeat long before our plates were empty.
we had electricity,
no flood waters came into the house.
and no trees fell on us during the gales.
We had a lovely time with two dear friends, half of it spent at our house and half at theirs.
There was music, poetry, the Queen’s speech, the ‘Downton Abbey’ special, a pleasant bottle or four (over the whole day) and delicious food, even if all of us passed on the plum pudding due to prior overindulgence, in the true spirit of Christmas.
And now it’s Silvester, or Hogmanay, the end of the year.
Be sure to finish today any work you have in hand, for a task carried over into the New Year will never prosper.
At midnight, prepare to welcome the first visitor of the New Year, whose nature will determine your household’s fortune therein. This first-footer (or Lucky Bird) should be a tall, well-made man, and in most parts of the country very dark men are preferred. He should not be a doctor, minister, lawyer or policeman; he must not wear any black or carry a knife or edged tool; and, above all, he must come bearing gifts - which should include a loaf, a bottle of whiskey, a piece of coal and perhaps a silver coin. He must enter in silence, and none should speak to him until he has put the coal on the fire, poured a glass for the head of the household, and wished the company
Happy New Year.