Hospital Xmas…said Misery Guts when we returned from our annual festive getaway to find more pine needles on the floor than on the tree itself. For once he had good reason to be miserable: of the five days we spent visiting parents and in-laws, he spent two in bed with a migraine and two days and a night at Southampton General Hospital (pictured).

It turns out a sinus infection and a severe migraine are not conditions one wants to experience at the same time. One required intravenous antibiotics, the other liquid morphine. It’s fair to say it’s been a stressful one this year, so I won’t be sorry to wave goodbye to 2013 and welcome 2014.

And there are already reasons to be cheerful: we will welcome a new addition to the family in the new year. But not of the kind one might expect. BB’s great Grandad, aged 90, is getting married. An email from my father-in-law entitled ‘Grandad’s nuptuals’ (there’s a subject line you don’t see every day) delivered the (unexpected) invite only yesterday.

Some are happier than others at the prospect, but if you can’t do what you want in your twilight years, when can you? Starting a new chapter of one’s life within a month of turning 90: I’ll drink to that.

Happy new year.