Yesterday we had a Sunday lunch at mine for my sister’s birthday. It wasn’t until I started to set the table that I felt sick with sadness that Colin wouldn’t be joining us. The weird thing was that I only had enough plates and glasses for the seven adults that were attending not the eight that Colin would have made it and we only just fitted around the table anyway. It was a lovely afternoon but it was always Col who did the Sunday roasts in our house. He usually managed to use every pot in the kitchen to do so (and make each of them dirty enough that I had to soak them for days afterwards) but he was pretty damn proud of his efforts everytime. He would have been appalled that we didn’t roast the potatoes or make yorkshire puddings (whatever the meat these were an essential) and I am sure he would have forced me to make my creamy leeks speciality, which I certainly didn’t have the energy to do. I enjoyed the whole event but it felt like that big Colin-shaped hole loomed over every part of it. I couldn’t settle that well at the table because I kept wishing for his booming voice to make some joke at or with us all about our curious family ways. I missed him profoundly and wonder what Christmas will be like without him.