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In the bleak mid-winter, illness will ruin your Christmas

In his series of reflections on memorable walks, Will Gore recalls one rather groggy festive trudge when the shivers started to kick in...

Saturday 22 December 2018 19:58
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There’s nothing ‘ho, ho, ho’ about a dose of flu
There’s nothing ‘ho, ho, ho’ about a dose of flu

We idealise Christmas – of course we do. Family, presents, good food, church bells, roaring fires inside, softly falling snowflakes outside: a time to rejoice in the good that we see, to borrow a festive phrase.

The reality doesn’t always work out like that. Familial rows, gifts you don’t want, overcooked sprouts, stifling central heating and walks in the rain: the Christmas we get we deserve, to borrow another.

Illness besets many a winter holiday. As a child, I habitually developed a cold on or around 23 December; the come-down after a tiring term at school. In my late teens and twenties, pre-Christmas parties would take a similar toll and have the same consequences. I think I’ve got a sniffle coming on as I write.

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