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Merry Christmas Everyone

Are you getting excited? Have you sent your letter to Santa? Have the office parties and/or works do’s been good? I certainly hope so. If you follow our Instagram account you will know that we have been getting into the spirit of Christmas, even having one of our videos directed and recorded by our five year old grand niece. The elves were all her idea and yes it was she operating the elves behind the chair: didn’t she do well.

Three weeks after catching covid, I am finally beginning to feel a bit like my old self. The cough has all but gone, the night sweats have stopped as have the continual headaches. However, my energy levels are still low and my batteries run out quite quickly, so not quite there yet. I at least felt like leaving the house this morning as there was a weak sun shining and it was U3A tennis morning. I managed one gentle game before having to stop as I was feeling breathless and weak. It’s a bit of a balance at the moment of making the effort to shake off the lethargy but not overdoing it as the aim is to be fit for our holiday cruise to the Canaries in January (more of that in later weeks). I am a cruise virgin, so am very much looking forward to this holiday.

On Sunday I was 68, and thanks to the striking postman I had a total of 4 birthday cards (and two of those were from the same household) – a fifth arrived Tuesday. Facebook came to the rescue with lots of best wishes from friends and family. Just like with the book, all the birthday plans were thrown out of the window. Sunday morning was spent reading the papers over crumpets (I’m allowed lots of bad food on my birthday) and in the afternoon we watched the World Cup final whilst stuffing our faces with cake and ice cream, and drinking water! There was Champagne in the fridge, but I did not feel like it. Cuddles will have to wait until Christmas day as they didn’t happen for my birthday either. We were hoping for a good final – they often are not - especially after having watched the exciting third place play off match on Saturday. Hats off to the Argentinians, they got their tactics spot on and made life very difficult for the French; it was almost like the French had forgotten to turn up. Credit also to the French manager who realised it was not working for his team and made first half substitutions (were you watching Mr Southgate). Whilst the French team improved, they never looked like scoring and in the second half more substitutions were made, but it looked like there was only going to be one winner. Then just as the commentator mentioned how poor the French teams body language was i.e. it looked like they were resigned to losing, they got a penalty and a route back into the game. What an exciting last 15 minutes it was with the French getting an equaliser and then both teams having a chance to win it in normal time. It was not to be, extra time beckoned and it seemed to us that, just like in the game against Holland, Argentina reset during the stoppage and started extra time with renewed vigour. The French had lost the advantage they had finished normal time with, and it was no surprise when Argentina scored again, but it was as surprise for the French to be given another penalty, so 3-3 it was and onto penalties. Our only wish was that Messi and Mbappe both scored theirs, and they did. Congratulations to Argentina, overall we believe they were the better team on the day.

On the book front, the anxiety is growing, especially for Judith, as we learn that more and more people have been buying our book, including a lady in Las Vegas which we find amazing: we sincerely hope she likes it. That is where the anxiety comes from; waiting to see if those that have read it actually like it or not, and the realisation that the revelations made in the book, for many years kept locked away inside our heads, are now out there for anyone to read: scary. It is early days yet with regard to sales and reviews, but I am pleased to state that two people who have read it, have taken the time to write very kind reviews on Amazon; both giving it 5 Stars. WOW and OMG. Two people have loved it, and as Judith said, “We can die happy now” knowing that at least two people have enjoyed reading our book. That is everything we hoped for.

In Luke 2:10 an angel tells the shepherds out in the fields, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Over time, it has become common during Christmas time for individuals to say “Good Tidings of Great Joy” to one another.Therefore, even though our publisher continues to frustrate us, I shall not dwell on the issue this week and wait and see if they can redeem themselves before next weeks blog.

Wishing all a Merry Christmas

Judith and Philip

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