After last Christmas, when most of the family was either self-isolating or unable to travel, I was looking forward to getting together this year in relative safety. Then along came a new variant, and one got sick, two others were informed they'd been in close contact with someone with Covid, and we looked set for a replay. Except the two with Covidy contacts tested negative, and although my daughter in Brighton missed the train she'd booked on 23rd December, she was out of isolation on Christmas Eve, so I drove down to the south coast to pick her up.
It's never a hardship to visit Sussex, and because I'd had a long drive and she'd been nowhere for ten days, we had the perfect excuse to spend three-quarters of an hour on the beach before we made the 160-mile trip back. And although it had been cloudy and dull from Chippenham all the way to the outskirts of Brighton, we had blue skies and enough sun to colour the waves and pick out every pebble on the beach.