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Ah, so my distant diagnosis was nearly correct! I noticed the gap and thought you were busy baking mince pies. In one of the few Christmas cards I sent, I suggested to a friend that Christmas may need to be abandoned in the interests of world harmony, but then, I asked, what would happen to the Chinese economy?


Ha ha, Tjilpi!

Tis the season for the credit card, unfortunately. Personally I find Easter harder than Xmas (tho that's for historical family reasons), but I suspect it brings old family tensions to the surface for most people.


I see what you mean, El.

But Easter doesn't bring to my door as many people wanting anti-depressants as Christmas does.

It's been rugged.

Would you like a script for anything, Jude?

(I'm sticking to Valium with a Champagne chaser!)


I'm glad I'm not the only one who has these thoughts. Thank you for expressing it so well.


What's with the champagne, Tjilpi? I remember you saying not long ago that you were on the wagon.

No thanks to the script. A pre-dinner sherry does wonders. My days are always fine - it's always in that hour before dawn that I feel down. But today I got moving - wrote the last of the cards, made the shortbread and some ginger/apricot/rum balls and shopped some more. Roll on Christmas!


Jude, many hugs from over here on the other side of the world. I can feel your soft heart cradled in all that caustic good sense and humour, and it feels good. Raising a sherry glass to you - cheers!


That's a great description of the Australian psyche in general, Jean!


Sherry. Jeez. Don't remind me of sherry. I once spent an English Christmas with a family in a posh part of Guildford. Father was a British Airways Captain. We went up the road to visit neighbours at 9am and they forced copious quantities of sherry on us at that time of day. I thought: These Poms are acting like Australians!


I find that, like you, I tend to think of the tougher side of life during these days and it makes it harder for me to celebrate my good fortune. So much that I see and do seems superficial when I know how others are struggling. That is probably one of the reasons this year that I blew the holidays off. (The other reason is that I spent all my money in Hawaii, she adds guiltily.)

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