We were to be staying with Julian and Michael, but we drove straight up to Patty and Keith's for their increasingly (as they get older and frailer) low-key Christmas eve do, where we were eventually joined by Julian, Mike, Kelly and Chris. We waited until midnight, wished everyone a merry Christmas, and then we drove back to Rawcliffe Bridge.
Christmas morning we drove back to York to see my sister and her family. Jed's voice is breaking with (to us, at least) hilarious swoops and growls. Luka, as always, was tremendously excited to see us. The only sadness of the day was that Dad had to stay at home since, as Mum said, he had a bad cold. Unfortunately the implications of that didn't register...
Until Boxing Day, when the York 'locals' got together for their usual pub lunch, since Mum now feels that she's far too old to be bothered with cooking. Dad still wasn't there, and I was starting to get a bit worried. Mum wasn't concerned, but the rest of us weren't so sanguine, particularly when she mentioned that he was having problems breathing, and that his chest hurt.
Mum is very lovely, but I don't think she'd recognise possible pneumonia if it jumped out from behind a bush and went "Boo!" at her. Those of us with a bit more nous would; and did. Sue called the doctor; the doctor came out to see Dad, diagnosed a viral infection with possible secondary bacterial infection, and prescribed antibiotics, fluids and rest. I have an awful feeling that perhaps we were only just in time; it wouldn't have surprised me at all if the doc had hauled Dad into hospital overnight, at least.
Julian and Michael's party that evening was fun, as usual. I had a great time playing with the kids, including a grissini-for-swords duel with a little girl who claimed to be a certain Captain Jack Sparrow (I'm afraid that I defeated her with clever use of a stick of celery as a parrying weapon, and slew her with a lethal blow to the left ear with a crabstick). She wants a copy of my Goldilocks and the Three Zombies story, and I've promised her a new story about the princess who was so delicate that she would die if anyone said a rude word in her hearing. I asked her brother what the rudest word in the world was (for the as yet unnamed baddie to menace with), and he replied "Helsinki!". We also had a fascinating discussion of Vikings and why you didn't find sweetcorn kernels in their middens.
Today we bade our farewells to Julian and Michael, and set off for Cottingham to have another Christmas dinner with Justin's maternal grandmother. Then back to York to check how Dad was doing (better, but definitely nowhere near well yet), and at last back to Coventry. Phew!
Tomorrow we relax – it's official. Then we're off again to see Charles and Madeline, the other grandmother, and Jo and Kevin and the kids in some as yet undetermined order. That's assuming that the bug which has had me sneezing and coughing over the last couple of days doesn't get any worse or get hold of Jus too.
I hope you're all having a great time too! Further updates to follow, as and when.