There were tulips. The last ones to appear arrived three days ago and are doing the cheery-uppy work of January tulips. You know, what you need in order to deal with the loss of the Christmas tree and all the lights.
As Son and Dodo returned from Hong Kong this week, they needed assistance with staying awake. I’m quite pleased Son gets his madness from me, because otherwise why would he fly across the world just before Christmas in the year when he has worked three jobs and is now racing to finish writing his thesis before the deadline?
Anyway, Dodo made sure they both stayed up most of the day, and the following day – tulip day – we had guests at lunch. Partly because it was nice, and partly because I knew these guests would offer stimulating conversation to keep our travellers awake one more day. There was some indiscreet gossip about translations and other literary topics, and we also had explanations as to how one discovers exoplanets, when you can’t actually see them.
I told my – really bad – Norwegian joke, and convinced one of our guests to eat the thing she hates most in this world. I have a knack for picking the right wrong food.
We sat in the new room; the one that is still to be ‘finished’ after the sad case of the vanishing architect. It’s been a good room to have, and we have hosted many literary guests delivering tulips and great conversation in there. It’s where I forget to refill my guests’ empty tea-mugs, of which there have been many lovely new ones. Along with tulips.
As for the rest of 2017, I found it unusually easy to sum it up in the few Christmas letters I wrote. Thesis writing, Hong Kong, two trips to Chile, a new driver’s license, a PhD for Dodo, the cross-Scotland walk completed, building issues, and a bit of Bookwitching.
And writing this, I just remembered that someone had had the great idea that this year we should get a photograph of all of us. Together. Like everyone else has and sends out with their Christmas newsletters. It would appear that we forgot. A bit like the Christmas crackers.
It was a year in which I didn’t go to London once. Don’t know when that last happened. But at least this week we had a conversation about Saint Willibrord, whoever he might have been. There were tulips, both real and as art.
And now it’s time for the annual New Year’s Eve Indian feast.