The routines are different now, and then very much the same. Kit and Isabel stay in a B&B one street over, Ivo's inability to tolerate upheaval in the house exacerbated by old age and arthritis.
Isabel and I still make a furtive effort at the traditional meal, saved almost entirely by the advent of pre-cooked packaged food that actually tastes like the real thing.
She microwaves it and I put it on a dish so that it looks legitimate and we share a snicker in the kitchen, toasting with a shot of Ivo's best whiskey. Ah, modern life!
Kit and Ivo are content to watch the football matches and grumble about politics and the younger generation. Because things were
when they were young.
And not suffering from the aches and pains of age.
I helped him make his snowman yesterday. It was disproportionate and lumpy but no less a masterpiece than any other in the years past.
It's simpler these days – a carrot nose and button eyes, no scarf or pipe or bowler hat – and I declared heartily that it was the best one yet.
He frowned at me, pale blue eyes assessing me, clearly discontent. But, then, he is always discontented. Always was. That's half his charm.
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