As the Sun sits ever lower in the sky, and somewhere (far away from anywhere I’m likely to be) the gods of commercialmas receive the blessings of their frantic acolytes, Yule approaches. The Yule tree is up. Outside, a far more impressive holly is full of bright red berries, suggesting a hard winter ahead, but indoors the pretty dancing lights play beneath a fairy who is still older than I am. If nobody loves a fairy when she’s forty, they must absolutely detest this one. But she’s one of the house gods now, having had a bit of twig up her bum almost every midwinter for the past sixty years. I feel that counts, somehow.
Another almost-Yule ritual is the cleansing of the bird feeders, and they’ve been cleared, cleaned and restocked for the colder days now approaching. All the houses around here seem to have feeders on every tree, but some of them hang empty; memories of intention released. I love the activity of our feathered folk and feed all through the year, but the feeders do get a bit manky after a while. Today, they are splendid!
Now. It appears my strategy of withdrawal from Facebook has hit a snag, and a fair few folk are displaying miff and misunderstanding my de-linking of them as I minimise my account. In fact, it looks like I am going to have to bite the bullet and re-grow my friends list rather than give unintended offense. I’m fine with doing so – I love my friends as much as I ever did notwithstanding their use of a state-side ethically impoverished marketing scam, I mean scheme… I simply won’t be posting much there, remaining only to connect with clubs and organisations.
And this week we started what I suppose I shall have to call “our Offal-y Big Adventure”, as Miss and I attended Southmead Hospital to start tissue typing tests to check if we are compatible for a live donor kidney transplant. And then we went up to Harrogate for a pre-retirement course! Yes, it’s all going to be an adventure! Some wives carry photographs of their loved ones around with them; mine wants something a bit more impactful. It’s all fine, we’re all fine, and thanks for your gasps and good wishes. I’m also trying to avoid the word retirement, to be honest, rather preferring to be self employed but not very good at it… I’m still only 46 (and a little bit).
I’m guessing I will run a thread of blog on the kidney thing, since we are certainly not alone in this situation. Indeed, after we left the consultant we bumped into old friends who happened to be visiting the rental unit for much the same reason – one of them had found out only very recently his kidneys were not his best asset… So, we all learn from others… I shall blog. And become ever more informed myself. So do comment if you are on this journey, or through it.
And since I seem unlikely to post a message to my reduced Facebook status… let me bid you a splendid Yule, a marvellous mid-winter, a merry Christmas, happy Hogswatchnight or whatever seasonal festival you observe to while away the dark nights in the hope of seeing the reborn sun.
Hail Sol Invictus!