They say ‘honesty is always the best policy’, but I wonder how honest I will be when I go back to work on Tuesday and a caller says: “Did you have a nice Christmas, Iain?” Do I say, “yes thanks, hope you did too.” Or do I tell the truth and say “No I didn’t. My Dad died and I spent the rest of the time with the mother of all colds, snot dripping out of my head, and half the time without the use of my voice. You?”

What I have noticed as I get older, is that it takes me much more time to recover from a cold. It used to take 3 or 4 days to get it out of my system. This one has lasted a week so far and my head is still as thick with cold as it was on Sunday, Christmas Day – a day when I couldn’t actually speak properly.

If I sound miserable, I guess it’s because I am! This is the second Christmas in three that this has happened. I look forward to a relaxing break, and then it’s ‘snotsville’.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading, which means I then fall asleep quite easily and sleep during the day, which means I sleep fitfully at night. My brain is so addled that I haven’t done what I normally do and watch a series of Box Sets. The most challenging TV I’ve got into so far is THE CROWN on Netflix!

I try to fall asleep but then I start thinking about my Dad. Did I tell him I loved him enough? Could I have done more in his last weeks? All these things (and more) whirl around in my head and of course my brain races back into action and the prospect of sleep drifts away even further. And I am someone who can normally drop off to sleep on command – just like my Dad used to do.

At times like this we all need the emotional support of our nearest and dearest. I know Tracey, Sheena and I have been overwhelmed by the kind words of our friends, and the hundreds of comments made on Facebook. I have the love of John, Sheena has Alan and Zoe, Tracey has Peter, Issy and Philly. And the three of us have each other. And in the end, it’s our closest family who help us get through times like this. It’s just a pity none of them can do the same for my cold!