We finally dismantled the tree yesterday and, apart from a straggly bit of holly up behind one of the pictures in the living room, the house is back to normal. I managed to be ill before AND after Christmas this year - rather than just after as normal - but cunningly wangled a week or so in between so I could cook the turkey, wrap the presents, beat my way through the pre-Christmas supermarket shopping hell, attend various nativity plays, do the refreshments at a couple of performances of 'The Wizard of Oz', go through the proofs of 'The Not-So secret Diary of a City Girl' etc etc. Handy.
The best bit of being ill is definitely lying in bed listening to the radio. This is something I don't get to do any more unless I have a temperature of at least 100 degrees (Fahrenheit, obviously) and legs that are incapable of staggering downstairs, but even so, it's something. I learned (courtesy of Woman's Hour) that Victorian households had twice as many servants than their predecessors in the Seventeenth century; that one of the unintended consequences of London's Congestion Charge has been an increase in motorbike accidents and that Stuart Maconie (him off Radio 2) collects Rupert Bear annuals. Fab. I even got to listen to the Great God Garrison Keillor.
Do check this one out, though, if you are of an Austen-ish persuasion (ha! no pun intended)Broadcast on Saturday morning, 'Jane Austen's IPod' was wonderful listening - especially the revelation that she altered the words of a Robert Burns song to put herself in it as the heroine. Marvellous. Worth every Beechams cold and Flu capsule to be able to catch that one!