It’s Blackberry’s second Christmas and she’s already decided she hates it. Curious trees with curious lights that produce shrieks of ‘NO BLACKBERRY’ every time she approaches them; the postman, for whom she reserves particular venom, ringing the doorbell obviously just to taunt; strange people upstairs (where Miss B is not allowed); parcels, none of which are addressed to her. Nope, Christmas is no time to be a dog. If only she knew how I sometimes envy her! No shopping lists; no hangovers; no credit crunch.
But our whole family is together for a whole week in a way that Blackberry’s never will be – or at least I hope not. Six Jack Russells at the chewy twoey stage plus a couple of JR parents would spell the end of civilised living. Leaving the dogs aside, I think that human togetherness is what Christmas is mainly about this year, which suits me just fine except for the laundry. I’ve got used to the once a week wash. But then who cares because although I know Christmas is a wonderful time for children, it’s an even more wonderful time for parents whose children are grown up but still want to come home. If an orchestra were to strike up during dinner when we’re all round the table, I might well burst into song. ‘Let’s make a musical and do it right here!’