Our festive season plans were entirely upended by the ‘ol Coronavirus this year. The plan was to have everyone over to our place. A fair bit of research, development and planning had gone into what we were planning to offer. And a lot of food had been pre-ordered. But a few days before I started to feel a bit unwell, much to my consternation. That said, I actually felt “pretty not bad, as far as it goes” and I genuinely thought I had a cold for the first few days.

Then on the fourth night an intense wave of muscle cramps came out of nowhere, so severe that I couldn’t breathe properly at first. Then it all just stopped. And then about 20-30 seconds later another wave. This carried on for almost five days, slowly reducing in frequency and intensity. I’d gone to a doctor who I hadn’t seen before because there was a part of me (my middle, side, specifically) that wondered if this could be signs of appendicitis. I was pretty sure it wasn’t, but I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t running the risk of spending Christmas day in surgery. He wasn’t a particularly helpful doctor but it didn’t seem like it was appendicitis. He thought food poisoning. I didn’t. So after a very brief consultation I got a RAT and tested positive for COVID.

Shelley had by then gotten it from me, so we had to pull the plug on the whole gathering. By that stage though we couldn’t cancel the food deliveries and had already bought a lot of non-perishables. So we set about making the most of it. And then the power went out across the suburb which delayed things by a decent amount of time.

Fortunately we were both on the tail-end of the illness and could actually enjoy it. Below is a sampling of what we ended up with: