We returned to London tonight after our four days away in Yorkshire to visit family. The weather wasn't great coming back. Thick fog most of the way. We made it okay though and are oh so glad to be home and back in our own house, even though we enjoy staying with others.
I received some terrible and shocking news on the journey home. After having switched off my phone for two days, due to there being no signal where we were staying, I found I had a message from a friend at the gym asking me to call them.
I think I knew it was bad news, as soon as I saw it, as she would just text me if it was something inconsequential. I didn't, however, anticipate quite how bad it would be.
I called her up to find out that a mutual friend and former instructor had died suddenly over the Christmas period. We are both in shock. Said friend was a young and healthy mum just starting out on the journey that is family life. What happened should never happen to such a young, beautiful and energetic person.
We don't know the full details yet, and might never know, but we are both very sad at the loss of our friend and the deep sadness that it will bring to her family. I've never met her partner, but as soon as I got home I sat down and wrote a card to tell him how sorry I was.
It has made me appreciate even more, the gift that is every single day that we exist on this planet.
When I heard that George Michael had died last week, I selfishly thought, it could be me next. He was only a few years older and his music was the backdrop to my late teens.
I guess I've reached that stage in life where people of a similar age might die suddenly, but this is the first time I have experienced the sudden death of somebody younger than myself, with everything to live for.
It's cast a bit of a long shadow going into the New Year. I was already feeling a little apprehensive about what the New Year might bring, what with all of the global upheaval in 2016, but now these concerns seem to pale into insignificance in comparison to the pain that our friend's family must be trying to bear.
I think I will just be glad of every day that is a good/normal day heading into 2017 and try to make the most of it.
I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas with no bad news.