On Christmas Eve eve K began to feel slightly unwell. I put it down to a bit of tiredness and slight hangover from my office Christmas do the night before (a brilliant night out which we both thoroughly enjoyed). But by the time we went to bed he was coughing and feeling achy. He had a flu jab earlier in the month so I pronounced that it couldn’t be flu and that hopefully he would feel better in the morning, with a muttered but still audible “you’d better not ruin Christmas”. I’m not unsympathetic; I don’t like anyone being ill but I don’t pander to it and I reserve the right to being a bit pissed off if he had ended up being in bed all over the festive season. He’s not a shirker; he will generally go to work even when he is at death’s door but he does tend to feel a bit sorry for himself and make everyone know that he isn’t feeling well.
Anyway, moving on, he didn’t feel any better on Christmas Eve morning but insisted that we still go ahead with plans to see my brother and his family, but that he would not be joining us on our planned walk to the pub in the next village. We went anyway and it was very nice. My brother and I haven’t been in a pub on Christmas Eve together since circa 1997 and it would have been a lot more full on than the half a lager that we had this year. But it was nice to get out and get some fresh air and the kids didn’t moan about the length of the walk too much – I think it was the lure of cake when we got back to our house.
Christmas Day dawned and he was a trooper and we had a lovely day with Mum and Dad here. He didn’t eat all his Christmas Dinner but it would have probably over-faced anyone who had been slightly under the weather to be honest. I don’t hold back when it comes to Christmas Dinner. But he did use the fact that he hadn’t eaten all of his dinner as proof that he was “clearly not right” and mentioned it several times over the following 24 hours. By Boxing Day he was feeling pretty much back to “normal” (I obviously have to use this term loosely) and, as we had a chill out day planned, by the evening he was feeling ready for a day at his brothers house, with the 4 hour drive it involves, the next day. Another lovely day was had by all. The journey home was eventful with A getting a nose bleed 20 minutes in meaning a stop at the services to clean her up and stop the bleeding, and then feeling sick 20 mins from home meaning a stop at the side of the road until she felt better (a biscuit from one of the three – yes, three – boxes we had received from K’s mum helped). And then the festivities were over.
So, on to Faith*. Boxing Day morning mum called and after the initial chat, she said “What about poor old George then?”. In my near-constant state of unawareness (and because I hadn’t had chance to look at Twitter yet) I hadn’t heard that George Michael had died. I have to confess to a small gulp and a forcing down of some leakage from my eyes. I refer you back to my blog when David Bowie died and I recall that I was rather disdainful of the outpourings of grief and people ringing in sick to work because they were distraught. I didn’t feel distraught but I did feel a pang of sadness that someone who had been such a massive part of my teenage years and who had adorned my bedroom walls for several years was no longer here. I haven’t followed his career much since Listen Without Prejudice (still my favourite album of his and Mothers Pride never fails to make me cry) but I still feel sad that he has gone and think he was sorely undervalued with people making too much of his sexuality and his so-called misdemeanours. He had a wicked sense of humour which people took as arrogance but you only have to watch the clip of him and James Corden doing the first ever carpool karaoke to see how self-deprecating he was. It’s only since his death that his philanthropic deeds have started to come to light, proving me right and that he was a good bloke who messed up a bit (who hasn’t?), with his gifts to people in need and many unpublished good deeds. Very sad indeed.
Today, I am back at work and if it wasn’t for the fact that I only have today and tomorrow before another 4 days off I would be very, very fed up indeed. As it is, I have just had a cup of tea made for me by the boy and a slab of Christmas cake made by the girl and all is well in my world.
*I haven’t made the link for you between GM and Faith because quite frankly I shouldn’t have to. Ok, Faith was his first proper solo hit – you can’t count Careless Whisper because he wrote it years before, and credited Andrew on it so that he would have equal shares of the royalties. Because that was the sort of guy he was.