As I'm sure everyone who reads this blog will understand, I'm not exactly looking forward to Christmas this year. I'll be with friends on the day itself, of course, but that still leaves Christmas Eve, and Boxing Day, and all the rest of it. We used to love Boxing Day, we would sit around and nibble on leftovers and read our Christmas books, outside in the sunny garden if we were lucky, with a glass of Harvey's home-made ginger beer.
Of course I'll Manage, as other widows and widowers do. I'll Take Steps to make sure I've got things to do and people to see. But the ghosts of Christmas past will inevitably come crowding in, all the same.
Meanwhile the roses are out. My own Remember Me rose, the one we planted two gardens ago for Patrick, has definitely survived last summer's ordeal by weedkiller, but it's not going to do much in the way of flowering this year. On Monday my heighbour Jenn came over to bring me the first bud from hers. Now it's gone from its deep russet early colour to full salmony bloom. Here it is with a photo from Farm Road days.