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'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS...


An intense week or so due to balancing Christmas preparations with more mundane duties, including a couple of medical appointments.

I was required to attend an NHS Podiatrist's clinic to start a series of treatments for my feet, which are suffering problems, partly due to my diabetes condition.

The second appointment was with a doctor to discuss my high blood pressure and I have now been prescribed tablets to try and reduce this. Once I've allowed 10 days for the tablets to take effect I have to do another week of self-diagnosed blood pressure checks, noting the twice daily levels on a form, and then return to the doctor to discuss the results. He will then decide if the dosage is adequate or if I need to take a higher one.

Such are the travails of being on the cusp of 70 years old it seems. But how come I don't feel much more than 30 years old mentally? I'm buggered if I know...

Emiko has been very busy fulfilling Christmas flower arrangement orders, plus orders for Christmas door wreaths and also teaching a wreath making class. Always a busy time of year for her, which throws all the more traditional preparations on my shoulders.

The Christmas card list seems to grow each year but, somehow, I always leave it to the last minute and then scamble to remember everyone and get the cards written and into the post. Other overseas cards tend to be sent as email 'virtual' greetings these days though...

Gift buying also takes time...I somehow agonise over the right sort of gift for the right sort of person. I'm sure I don't always get it right but at least the intention is sincere.

But it's now the 'night before the night before Christmas' and I'm checking that everything is in place for our family get together to be a happy and memorable one.

We're bringing my Mum over on Christmas Day, to enjoy the traditional Turkey dinner with us, (she will be 90 next year,) and my youngest daughter Elle and son Elliot are coming over on Boxing Day with their respective partners.

I've only tonight fixed the Christmas cards we've been sent up on the beams in our living room...so nice to get those from old friends going back several years, particularly from my Art School chum Ian Haigh and his partner Anne, from Susan Quinn, (the wife of my late and much missed friend Alan,) from my eldest daughter Julia and grandson Luke, from my dear friends Kate St John and Roger Eno, from my old co-producer John Leckie, from my now retired manager Richard Chadwick and, oh, so many others who have played an important part in my life over the years. I treasure them all.

Workwise, I haven't achieved an awful lot these last few weeks due to the demands of the season and the vagaries of my recording studio, (which still presents me with technical problems.) However, I have managed, (with some difficulty,) to complete a couple of new tracks. These are titled: 'HOUSE O