Maybe the giant jellyfish had a good Christmas, I certainly hope so. There'll be no more party invitations for him this New Year. Wonder what took him - old age, or murder? Guess only the sea knows for sure.
You don't generally see a monster such as him (or is it a her - or both, perhaps?) strewn out on the beach like that. Sure is a first for me. This year, our Christmas Day family walk holds several firsts.
The tide being more in than invited, gone are the flat, puddled stretches of sand, and in place of our usual padded step, it's an underfoot crunch of shingle keeping beat to the sea-pulse of wave to shore.
Never before has this thick cover of snow sunbathed on our beach. It defies all logic, salt and sand, the stuff used to grit our streets, would surely wince in embarrassment at this outright dereliction of it's ancestral's duty.
Except for the wide variety of sea-birds flanking the inlets or wheeling overhead, we pass not one other living soul along the way.
Just as well.
As here I am with my brood, dressed like the Michelin Man, twenty million sweaters layered under a double quilted jacket, and enforcing everyone to smile and play nice for the camera. It's an annual tradition they're quite resigned to.
Well, not everyone. (Not Today Sweet) Sam is here, but on his own terms - hanging well back from the camera, and in grumpy mode. For him Christmas is best anticipated than experienced, the reality of the day he finds exhausting, too much fuss, sugar, and lack of order.
No first there.
Poor hubby is invisible, trying hard to capture the moment, huffing and puffing to run ahead of the sun, he records a soundtrack any heavily breathing stalker would be proud of (later I add music to dampen the creepiness).
This time last year, my eldest still lived at home, and not hundreds of miles apart from us. Another first.
I am so happy to have all my family back under the same roof again, however brief it may be. The boy is a man, grown and prospering, studying well (if not too hard) and making us proud - just as the girls will soon enough follow on too, to make their own way in life.
All is as it should be.
More change will come soon enough, for now I gladly drink deeply with a greedy mothers thirst, savouring each tradition, and storing up every second. When it all comes down to dust, these precious days are the ones we will hold - the slights, snipes, and day to day gripes of taming the savages does sometimes hit pay dirt, and on those (albeit very rare) days when they actually do, face it, the reward truly is priceless!
I wish a Happy New Year to you, my dearest bloggie-friends - I hope the following months find us all surrounded by much laughter, love, happiness and peace.