There are highlights though. My daughter and I felt so emotional when the flu had us in its clutches that we cried at everything, including Jeremy Kyle and most adverts. I cried when my husband and eldest daughter cooked a roast for Boxing Day even though they'd never done it before. They worked as a team and produced a perfect meal. aided by several gin and tonics. I shall never forget the look of pride and pleasure on their faces. They are now planning to be the Boxing Day cooks every year. The most tears I shed were when the boyfriend of the daughter with flu carried her down the icy lane to our garage so that we could take her to hospital the first time, two days before Christmas. Her little white face resting on his shoulder is an image that will stay with me forever. He shovelled the snow away from the garage door so I could get the car out. He came with us, waited there for six hours with nothing to eat while she was assessed and kept our spirits up the whole time. He assured me she would be discharged in time for Christmas. He is only fifteen.
I also have a guardian angel. When we were driving to the hospital, my car slid on an icy hill and refused to go anywhere other than towards stone walls and other cars. A huge Land Rover appeared out of the greyness and smilingly towed us until we were on safer, flatter roads. This kind of thing has happened to me before, which is why I think I have an angel watching me. I have got into several difficulties on the roads (my own fault, owing to my head always being engaged in fictional matters, I think). As you can imagine, I cried further tears at this act of heavenly kindness that helped us on our way to hospital. The boyfriend then had to read all the road signs for me as I didn't even know where this particular hospital was. He remained calm and patient throughout and there was nothing a panicking flu-struck mother with a very ill daughter could have needed more.
It all goes to show that, even in miserable times, there are amazing surprises that will never be forgotten.
So all this is why I have been behind with writing my blog and reading your lovely blogs. It's lovely to be back and I'm ready now to catch up. In the middle of the dark days, I found out that Woman's Weekly are taking two more of my stories, which was another beam of light shining through the murk. We're definitely having flu jabs this year!