Baubles

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I’ve reached the spinning in a circle, keening gently, stage of Christmas.

And – breathe…

The Cardiff contingent arrived this afternoon, and Baby B kept R and me happily occupied until about half an hour ago, when he was taken upstairs for bath and bed. We’re now waiting on the arrival of the Leeds party, who weren’t able to set off until S finished work late this afternoon. In a few minutes time I intend to begin occupying myself by lying down on the sofa with my mouth open, while R pours a gentle stream of red wine into it.

The bauble in the centre of this shot is precious to me because we bought it in Venice during a very special weekend trip fourteen years ago. I never look at it without remembering that three nights before we made this purchase, in a shop in one of the colonnades around St Mark’s Square, L’s first car, with both Offspring in it, spun out of control on black ice, hit a steep verge at speed, flipped over a hedge, bounced on its roof in a field, rolled, and ended up lying on its side. It was, needless to say, a write-off. The damage to the Offspring – miraculously – totalled one slightly bruised knee and one slightly muddy school blazer. Even though this has now become A Story and has slipped into family legend, I can still conjure the terror of that night and the emotion of the following weekend just by looking at the Christmas tree.