38 degrees

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P is ill. Normally indefatigable, she has been in need of slipping away to lay down and ail, leaving the kids and I staring at each other in panic. Don’t worry, I tell them, we’ll be ok. The girls are sympathetic and nod re-assuringly but they know and I know that we are sunk.

Meanwhile I am planning my diary. P’s illnesses are like Olympic torches. They burn brightly, blazing for what should be unsustainably long periods until finally she passes it to me and she instantly recovers. It’s an arrangement that works. My real fear is that one day we will be ill simultaneously and the children resopirt to eating the dog. I know, however, that I have at best a couple of days before the snot tsunami engulfs me.

We had friends over this afternoon and headed off for a park. The snow was thin, crusty and melting fast but the kids threw themselves into exploiting it for all it was worth. Sara declared “this is the BEST DAY EVER”, which suggests she has usefully low expectations. I wore 17 layers and was so snug I almost fell asleep standing. It was only the constant thudding of snowballs from five children that kept me upright.

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