I have always had the constitution – and similar build – of a strong ox. I rarely get ill. Even when the Little Treasures were growing up, one of their legs would have to be falling off before they could ‘throw a sickie’. But this Christmas, illness spread through Chateau Field. What started in the run up to the General Election on December 12 as a sore throat – which felt like I’d swallowed a bag of needles – ended up as a miserable cold followed by tummy troubles and sickness. Even the lure of the annual Herald festive fun and frolics at this year’s chosen venue The Crown and Anchor and imbibing Irish nectar failed to revive my spirits and I spent much of Christmas and New Year in bed with just a Lemsip for company. It would appear I wasn’t the only one struck down with the lurgy as everyone I met while shuffling around trying to get into the Christmas spirit had some form of ailment. My reason for lamenting over this whole illness business is to explain my absence in recent weeks and lack of words from Yours Truly. But I am now very much back to normal and wish everyone a very Happy New Year.