Christmas was still a fortnight away. Although my mother-in -law was due to arrive on the 20th, in our minds Christmas proper would not commence until the arrival of our son and daughter-in-law on the 27th. Not only were they planning to spend longer than usual with us, we had the imminent commencement of his new job to celebrate. On the 7th of January he was starting at the British Museum as research curator for the 2014 Viking Exhibition. Even so, I had to have everything prepared before the arrival of my first guest, so as soon as I was able to I had to pull myself together. Between trips upstairs to make sure my patient was all right I was wrapping presents, preparing food, doing housework and putting up decorations. Within a few days my husband had recovered and, together, we managed to get everything ready before our first visitor’s arrival.
However, it seems that the Norovirus is a very tenacious and long-lived bug. All went well until Boxing Day, when mother-in-law began vomiting. She had obviously picked up the bug from one of us. Thankfully, given the severity of her illness, our other visitors had not yet set out. We phoned our son and told him not to come. I will draw a veil over the next few days but the washing machine was in almost constant use, and I had to make several trips to the supermarket and chemist for extra cleaning products and strong disinfectant. My mother in law was in bed for a week.
All this is just to explain why, after three further postponements (I will spare you the reasons why), we have just celebrated Christmas with our son and his wife. A jolly good time was had by all.