At some point yesterday evening there were six women chatting in one room. The brother of one of us had been told by his wife, a couple of months ago, that their marriage was ended – his business had gone bankrupt and she didn’t intend to stand by him. “How long have they been married?” asked someone. “Twenty-eight years.” We were silent for a bit. “We’re a bit unusual, all six of us have grown-up children and we’re still with our husbands.” I asked each of them how long they had been married, and totted it up. Thirty-seven, thirty-five, thirty-three, thirty-two, thirty-one and twenty-six. And all of us still in our fifties…though not all of our husbands. “By July we’ll have two hundred years between us, we’d better have a party.”
We left around 11.30, but I still had wreaths to finish so it was half-past one by the time I was in bed, and I was up again four hours later to help Al put together his orders. By the time his three staff came in at 8.30, they were done except for the few items waiting for the Mr Fru1ty delivery.
I’ve had breakfast – bacon, eggs and tomato – and I’ve got some clearing up to do, bits of holly all over the floor. Then I’ll wrap the rest of the presents. It all seems very calm and organised, I wonder what I’ve forgotten.