Boxing Day was really about waiting for F to arrive. She had spent Christmas Day at her sister’s house in Wales, with her mother, who celebrated her 90th birthday only a few weeks ago. Towards the end of the afternoon she called to tell me she was closing in on V&S’s house in Edinburgh, and was now waiting for me to talk her in over the telephone. Her satnav hasn’t been updated for some years, and so its knowledge of the geography of Edinburgh is somewhat suspect, particularly given that the building of the tramways in Edinburgh has changed a lot of the traffic flows.
iPhone clasped to ear, I waited expectantly outside the door of the house while F approached on finals. She was approaching St Colme street from an easterly direction, and appeared to be settling in nicely for a good landing. As she neared the end of Queen Street, ready to move on ahead into St Colme Street, she came over the ‘phone telling me that she was being forced to turn left, southwards, and so began what turned out to be a holding pattern that was only ended when I pointed out that if she held the middle lane whilst nearing the end of Queen Street she would be able to drive straight into St Colme Street and stop outside the house.
The evening began with the second round of opening of presents, and that turned out to be as enjoyable as the first. F showed herself to have been hugely thoughtful in buying for me. Near, if not at, the top of a long list of great presents was a T-shirt with the Euler Identity printed on it. That has long been one of my all time great equations1 and I was delighted that F had picked up on that. My stunt kite was another great gift, and just one among many presents that were exchanged as we extended the Christmas spirit with yet another bottle of champagne.
Dinner was another terrific meal, with a ham taking centre stage on the table. After dinner entertainment consisted of a spirited game of Happy Families in which Grandpa made a late run on the rails to finish joint first with S. And so to bed.
1. I appreciate that not all readers of this blog will share my enthusiasm for this somewhat arcane expression. But since it brings together five of the most fundamental symbols in mathematics in a way that seems almost magical I make no apology for finding it interesting.↩