Another public and bank holiday, as indeed is tomorrow.
This is because Christmas Day and Boxing Day fell on a weekend and the populace are entitled to a day off for each of these Christmas holidays as they would not normally be working at the weekend then clearly they have to have other days off in lieu.
The only disadvantage is that it tends to be a time when many of the shops are closed and there is a very limited transportation. Mainline trains and undergrounds seem to work on a skeleton basis as if people do not need or wish to move around on the two days! (Poor Michael took four hours to get here from Heathrow instead of the usual 2 Â½. hours.
I think I will again very quickly deal with the cricket which, for the aficionados, is extremely exciting. England finished the day (or most of the night for me) in Melbourne with 444 runs on the board and five wickets in hand. In other words they are 346 ahead of Australia’s first innings score. Trott was the star of the day finishing 139 not out. I suspect England will bat on tomorrow morning and declares sometime before, or shortly after, lunch leaving plenty of time to skittle out the Australians and retain the Ashes.
Today is our sort of second bite at Christmas with the arrival of Chloe and family for lunch. Mid-morning we are expecting the good doctor to arrive from Australia, who we anticipate will stay a couple of days. Then the day after he leaves my cricketing pals come down from London to give me lunch at the pub next door. After that we can resume some sort of normal routine.
I have had a great idea for a new commercial venture. We have, what is known as, a lifting belt which is strapped tightly around my middle and has two handles sewn into it which we use when I’m getting up and out of the chairs and onto my walking frame. Sometimes I require a little assistance which is where the belt comes into play. Yesterday, having put on the belt and tightened it, ‘my lovely’ forgot to loosen it before I had my lunch and not realising it was there I really could only eat very little without feeling completely full. So, I thought, that instead of people, with a severe weight problem, going into hospital and having their internal stomachs stapled together, maybe something on the lines of this lifting belt, strapped on before each meal, would be much cheaper alternative and achieve the same effect. This is the time of year when a great number of people having over indulged make rash promises to themselves which they rarely manage to keep one of the most frequentlyÂ being to diet, This resolve is usually soon forgotten or, at least, ignored. The belt seems to me be a simple and inexpensive alternative. I think I would try to get one of my chubbier friends to try it out.
The family arrived just before lunch which we had in the breakfast room overlooking the garden. It was lovely to see them all and they clearly had a great Christmas with Karlâ€™s mother. Some of the more adventurous ones went out after lunch into the garden and made a monster snowman and the other, weary ones, slumbered by the log fire until the inevitable fruitcake and Christmas fare was offered at teatime. I’m so glad that Michael has at last met up with the Volz’s family as they had heard so much about him over the years, and are very grateful to him for the way that he has looked after me recently -I know that he enjoyed meeting them. They left, after tea, on their final leg home after having been away since Christmas Eve.
Our present to the children was tickets to the West End show Oliver (of course, based on Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist).
One of Fred’s contemporaries at school is the alternate Oliver and it might well be that they will have the pleasure of seeing him acting that part on Wednesday next.
After the inevitably boisterous herd had departed and, after a brief rest. it was time to crack open a bottle of champagne with the good Dr and enjoy a small cigar to celebrate, what I suppose, we must now accept is, the end of a very happy Christmas.