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The last week before C has been a long, long drag. Last weekend was far too busy, there was the Festival of Light to organise and sort, and a fortieth birthday bash to arrange.

Monday was designed to catch up on rest and relaxation, but instead, we were in Chichester at 08.30, doing the last of the shopping. We got home by early afternoon, leaving sufficient time to replace the rotted light outside the front door.

By the time I was back to work on Tuesday, I ‘d developed a head cold and sore throat. So, doing the customer service bit was extremely difficult, culminating, today, with a site visit to Hythe, and the customers there.

But at 17.00 today I clocked off. The next ten days are mine. No getting up before dawn, no travelling 50 miles just to get to and from work. I can watch the Christmas celebrations, see in the new year and have a quiet birthday – a whole year’s celebration – before I go back to the office on 3 January 2012.

In the next few days I’ll have chance to get two news letters compiled, two lots of parents fed and partied, four grandkids and their parents Christmased, what ever Julie wants done – anything from decorating to car washing – , and a few bottles of wine sampled and quaffed. I might even get time to get some flash fiction written to submit to Lily Childs’ Feardom and Writers’ Talkback – or maybe the trompe l’oeil on the bathroom wall finished.

Whatever your belief or tradition, I wish everyone health, happiness and peace over the mid-winter holiday.