And we’re eating prawns, baked cheesecake, roli-poli cakes, ice-cream, etc. Apart from the prawns, all the stuff that’s left over (there are never any prawns left after lunch on 26 December) will be sent to one of the compost bins. Including the chocolates. Which we don’t (generally) eat, and despite constant reminders that we don’t eat ’em, turn up every year (by the bucket-load).
And this year, I’m the gateway person for all the nonagenarians who visit the town and get visitors from all over to come here. They sit outside with their families and friends and stay for a week afterward and get tested a coupla times. It’s easier than the other options. Hard for people to go to nursing homes, hard to get restaurant bookings, hard, hard, hard. So they set up in our garden, do gift exchanges, meet and greet, and keep their distances, usually masked.
A week and a day and they’ll be taken back to their various places of residence, but with photos and memories and a bit of something indefinable — a sense of peace that comes from knowing they’re not forgotten.
It’s been hardest on the older community, who take family and time more seriously than the younger generations.
However, I will be glad to see them leave, as long as none of them test positive. That will be a problem for all of us despite everyone being double-vaxxed. None of us are due for the booster until the new year (although they changed the rules yesterday, Christmas day!).
So, in short, the next week is a week of listening to the oldies speak of their time during the plagues (yes, they use that word) after the various wars. Or about the stories their parents told them of the Spanish lurgy. Not sure how long I’ll last, but it’s interesting to hear the back and forth of how they remember the things that happened, how people dealt with it, and how the younger people did what young people always think they can get away with (the story about the returning men being ‘confined’ to a football stadium and escaping by the droves each night!), and the deaths of so many.
On a lighter note, the Christmas music is on the wane, about to fade to nothing for the next ten months — I cheer!!!
My best wishes to you and yours, and stay safe and sane and think lots of positive thoughts — you never know who’s listening …