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a blog by Chris Barrow

Boxing Day 2019

It has been a very long time since I posted to this blog.

Time to start again perhaps?

What better time than to reflect on a superb Christmas Day with my beautiful wife, followed by a Boxing Day with 4 of my 5 children and their respective partners in life (Alex and Portia stayed over on 23rd).

Annie created a magnificent feast for us all.

There was much fun at the opening of presents, much over-indulgence on food and drink and much verbal abuse and praise thrown at the TV as we all settled down to watch Man Utd put four past Newcastle (much to the disappointment of Cal).

Later in the evening, even more food and an hilarious game of “Heads Up”.

The first time in many years that we have been able to get together like this – a real red-letter day for me.

I count my blessings at this time.

My stand out win for Xmas television this year has been the BBC’s adaptation of Christmas Carol, for which Guy Pearce must surely win a BAFTA for his portrayal of the troubled Scrooge?

My first 10km run this year on Boxing Day morning – a significant step on my long road to recovery from Achilles tendinopathy.

My route took me through Dunham Massey Deer park for the first time in a year and I had to smile as I climbed the style into the park and started my run down the long drive.

Either side of me, deer grazed slowly; a doe looked up from her feeding to stare at me, unmoved and unafraid. It was daylight, a chill Easterly breeze at my back, the silence broken only by the gentle rustle of higher branches.

To my left, from a few yards into the undergrowth, I heard quite distinctly a female voice that whispered “we missed you”.

Turning to see the source, I noted only trees and bushes – not even any deer in that direction.

My cadence unaltered, I continued on down the gentle incline to the main house with a chill down my spine.

My only thought was of the many winter runs I have made down this same track, following a cone of light from my head-torch, sometimes in rain, fog or snow, gazing occasionally sideways at the pin points of reflected light from the eyes of creatures watching from the darkness.

Will I have the nerve to do that again?

Merry Christmas.

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