Alright, enough of secrecy, I'm going to introduce the family. I'm married to Steph, the Frenchman, who unsurprisingly, is French. We have Elodie, who is 16, Juliette is next and would be 13 (nearly 14, wow..), Pierre is 12, Raphi is 9 and Celeste is 7. Um, that's it. We live in a little village in rural Essex a few miles outside Colchester, and our house used to be the village school. More than you want to know? OK then.
Christmas for us this year was with my sister's family in the big, snow-bound Nottinghamshire house where my parents live, and it was a happy one. They aren't always. Christmas is all about children and family and some of the earlier ones in particular, were agonisingly poignant. Even now I see the glaring gap between an increasingly grown up Elodie and her siblings, and feel the lack of a teenage Juliette for her when the fun gets child-oriented.
New year we spent at home with friends. Amongst them was a father whose eighteen-year-old son died earlier in the year. He brought chinese lanterns which we lit and released at midnight, which was beautiful. Steph squeezed my hand and we both hugged our friend and some of us shed tears. I think the others were oblivious to our thoughts, and that's as it should be.