Damn, blast and bugger…I’ve succumbed. Yup, I’ve caught, completely and with no mistake, the ‘thing’ deftly between my two ears and a little between my ribs too. The ubiquitous, the compulsory, the obligatory, the very one…yes – the seasonal lergy.

Well, what could I expect?  I have been shut in a house for the past two weeks with most of the family coughing, sneezing and snorting so I guess the good old immune system was a bit fed-up with being Mr Strong-and-Aloof, therefore deciding to step down off his pedestal and join in the general furore.  The problem is that they’ve all gone and I’m left coughing and spluttering on my own (apart from husband and Olly).

Feeling red-eyed, cracked-lipped, fiery-throat and explosive-cough sorry for myself, I mournfully strip the house of all its festive evergreen, red and gold trappings, pack away tinsel, baubles and twinkly lights.  Muttering and spluttering I hoover yet again the non-disappearing stick-in-your-socks pine needles and gaze woefully at the forgotten bits of turkey carefully saved for ‘finger-bandage pie’ (a family name for any poultry based pie or fricassee…I once found said finger-bandage in a portion of mine generously covered with a gloopy white sauce!).  Take out then throw back into the fridge again the hardening heels of once dashingly delicious cheeses, scrape the crusting residue of cranberry sauces, brandy creams and butters into the compost bucket and stare at the remnants of those oh-so-delicious chocolates and feel vaguely nauseated at the thought of food.

All the family phone.  Thanks for a fabulous time…yes, yes, they feel fantastic.  All’s well at their various homes.  Refreshed, better and full of the joys.  And yes they’ve managed to accomplish lots before work starts in earnest next week.  Full of get up and go, yes, really brilliant start to the New Year!  Oh, and take care Mum, feel better soon and don’t do anything!

I apathetically return to the cotton wool contents of my head and try to jiffy myself into bubbling enthusiasm by looking at my fortnight’s neglected in-tray and an excessive amount of due-by-today-at-the-latest deadlines.  Not an awful lot of luck of zinging myself into action there.

So back it is to the Echinacea, to the potions of cinnamon, cloves, honey and chilli, Neal’s Yard Winter Warmer and homeopathic Silica remedy. Next week it’s full on work both on and off the farm – better be better by then!

p.s. my front page has gone whoops-a-daisy. I’ve searched for front page format and can’t find a reference. Support is on holiday and computer litterate sons couldn’t do any better.  Any of you savvy folk out there know how to rectify it?