Fourteen-week-old baby Matilda has sent greetings to her Great Aunt!
How sweet! And such well-formed handwriting - remarkable for one so young! Clearly she will go far.
The Christmas Feeling is with me this year. I've decided not to descend into cynicism, however fashionable. So no Bah, humbug! No wearing the green willow. I'm going to enjoy it, wallow in it. After all, I may only have twenty or thirty Christmases left to celebrate, and I'd best make the most of them!
So let's be hearty, and tuck into goose and turkey roasts, and all the fixings! And pull crackers, even if they don't go BANG!!! as expected, but simply scatter daft plastic gifts, and jokes that make you cringe. And let's wear silly paper hats that slip down onto your nose. And laugh till we hiccup. Or cry. Funny how laughter makes the eyes brim, as you remember the Other Things that are so sad. Then, if partying, you have to lock yourself in the loo and howl. Even me, sometimes. But then you rejoin the throng, as if nothing happened.
Amid all the carousing, however, my real personality will assert itself and I'll drive off on my own to some beach, or some peaceful woodland, or to a quiet ancient town - or just drive - reflecting on the chance events of my life that, for better or worse, brought me to this point. And since I believe that this is my real moment, the truest time of my life - and to be frank the most rewarding bit of it that I've ever known - I have to salute whatever and whoever got me here.
The far future however lies with babies like Matilda. Does she have a fighting chance? Of course she has. So long as she believes in happiness, and never gives up. I'm looking forward to seeing her turn into a lively and beautiful little girl.
(The green willow reference, not specifically a Christmas thing, comes from Steeleye Span's 1975 hit, All Around My Hat, which some may remember. Good stuff.)