Christmas highlights. The benefits of walking and good humour and why a shared mother and daughter blog works. By Fleur

It is the 28th of December. That strange period after Christmas and before New Year when it is considered still socially acceptable to drink a glass of Bailey’s Irish Cream at lunch time, with ham and cabbage soup, and a stray mince pie.  One of my boys slowly wears his way through the twelve pairs of socks he got for Christmas.  A record I think. The others admire the gloves and scarves that bound. We don’t do fancy presents at Christmas time.

When cabin fever breaks through we all need cures that are tried and tested. Boxing Day morning I noticed that nobody had done a thing the day before except me (Christmas eve hangovers of the five men in my life were to blame ). An hour of gentle rant and a good long walk shut me up and got the washing up done by elves.  Walking helps us all.  Mum’s return from Dorset will give the boys a chance to thank her for the socks. I have turned her heating on and got her milk out of the freezer before picking her up from the station. She is bubbling about sending her latest blog (on care homes and double beds) to Jenny Murray at Radio 4. It is a good idea. Mum will cook a roast beef on the bone feast in her bungalow today, so I can walk further and have another glass of Irish Cream. With the snow on the Yorkshire Pennines and bright sunshine filling the dales with light I can feel the positives washing away the excess of alcohol and truffles.

Tomorrow we have Scottish Reels and supper for 14 and then a new house party arrives for the New Year and 14 of my sons friends for dinner.  We live in a small 3 bedroom house with a box room so 14 people is a challenge.

But guests are an audience I can try ideas on. They all read the blog and give feedback. Mum has the lighter touch but mine is more informative on the process of writing, and how to look after an ageing parent.  It is team work. I edit and sort her novels, she edits and advises on mine.  Together “Bungalow Lil and I” works. It is a shared blog between a mother and a daughter.  I am still pretty chuffed that I managed to get a link to Amazon for her published book .  Soon there will be more, both mine and hers. So keep reading. Mum’s latest idea is to write a series of thoughts and ideas on old age, all released through the blog before being put together and published. Her care home blog shows why she is an original. And you can read it here first.

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