It won’t be long now until the greeting ‘Happy New Year’ can be put away for another twelve months. Surely it will only be a matter of days before people stop asking, “How did you get Christmas over you?” The usual reply to this question is, “Oh quiet. It was very quiet.” I was asked this myself today, “So how was your Christmas? I suppose it was quiet?” “Not a-tall,” says
I. “It wasn’t a bit quiet.” “What!” says he, “You’re the first person I’ve heard of that didn’t have a quiet Christmas.” “Well,” says I, “It would be hard to be quiet with two mad parties, countless visitors, relations, animals, Bert’s carpentry project, six carers in and out every day, an’ oul targe ensconced in the good room and me on the gin for a fortnight.”
There were times during Christmas when I dreamed of a long weekend in the Mournes. That would be just me, one dog, a stout pair of walking boots, a pile of books and four bottles of wine.