Thursday: a man is walking towards me as I run down a muddy track. He is dark and thick set and he looks like he wants to kill someone. Then around the bend appear four children walking with their mother. She looks like she wants to kill someone. Oh dear, I think, Christmas holidays.
Friday: my beautiful goddaughter is hanging a gingerbread family on our tree (a few limbs go missing). My children are playing a raucous game of 'touching the ceiling' with her father. Outside on the drive K's car is drawing up. He is home early and we are all excited. Oh good, I think, Christmas holidays.
Saturday: a little sequined angel is standing at the front of the church, holding hands with a littler shepherd clutching his toy lamb. The angel is singing Away in a Manger and is protecting the shepherd from stampeding wise men. A young couple steal a kiss as they leave the church. Oh good, I think, Christmas love.
Sunday: four wide eyes, sparkling with excitement as wrapping paper is ripped open and presents are shared. K is carving a five bird roast, symbol of generosity and greed. Oh dear, I think, for what we are about to receive I feel horribly guilty.
Monday: two people standing by a fire on their allotment, which gives me a warm cold feeling as I run past. The owner of a local wine bar walking his dog waves hello (and I resolve to drink less next year). More people walking in ever stranger familial formations. A waterlogged nature reserve, with up-tailed ducks searching for morsels. Two planes flying overhead, uniting and dividing a couple of hundred families. The world's coolest parents on rollerblades, teaching their youngest of three how to skate. Darkness descending as I reach home, but on the front lawn two bright white doves shine out. Oh good, I think, Christmas peace.