We’ve had a splendid Christmas so far – we’re one of that lot who don’t really start thinking about decorations and Christmas music playing in the background and so on until Advent 4 – and sure enough it was Sunday last week when the ritual journey up to the loft took place and the old familiar garlands and baubles and bright shiny beads (ting-a-ling-a) along with our long-serving artificial tree were handed down and over the next few hours arranged with Fiona’s familiar finesse around the mansion. And lovely it all looks too. Do you remember those now long forgotten days when folk used to drape heavy multi-coloured streamers from the central light fitting to the edges of the sitting room? And those awful paper-chains we used to make! Doesn’t bear thinking about now does it? I think we rather tend to under-statement when it comes to Christmas decs.

We were away for Christmas itself staying with my sister (Lizzie & Gerry) in Epsom, and a grand time was had by all. It was especially good for Fiona because the pressure of supplying a bountiful Christmas was taken from her shoulders – she has, afterall, done enough running about after me these past few weeks especially when it was to and from the hospital – nearly a two hour drive each way. One of the many treats awaiting us in Epsom was a taste (and a take-away bottle) of a very special whiskey.

If you know anything at all about whiskey you will have heard of – perhaps even tried - Johnny Walker Red Label. And very nice it is too. But have you tried Johnny Walker Black Label? It’s quite popular and can be found in the better pubs and clubs. If you are more than just a casual whiskey drinker, you might have come across Johnny Walker Gold Label….mmm…lovely! Green Label? Well that’s also delicious. However, you’d need a few pounds in your pocket to have tried Johnny Walker Blue Label which retails in the airport duty-free shops at about £110.- litre. But there’s more you see. On Christmas Day we had the pleasure of Johnny Walker White Label – “The Director’s Blend” – of which only 450 (numbered) bottles were made. Now how special is that?! It is still a blended whiskey, but one made to a very specific and tailored requirement – and it comes with it’s own instructions: “drink neat and follow immediately with a sip of ice-cold water.” As you – sadly – are never likely to have a taste of it, let me tell you that it is a very particular taste and sensation and is definitely the flavour of Christmas 2008 !

A special and specific blend of radio therapy awaits me in the New Year. Evidently this sort of treatment is particularly tailored to fit each individual patients’ needs and requirements – I’m sure I’ll find out more about that when it all starts. Hopefully we’ll be kicking-off in the next two or three weeks – I’m anxious to get started and get on with it. I have a Macmillan nurse coming to see me on Tuesday afternoon, so all being well I’ll get some more answers then – ‘cos if she doesn’t know, I’m sure she’ll know a man who does!

Meanwhile there’s still another nine days of Christmas to enjoy and you may be assured I shall make the most of it! I trust you are doing the same…have a nice weekend!