I like words, but I don't get on well with numbers.
But numbers are quickly being counted and it's starting to hurt my head.
Lurking in the family WhatsApp group, a Christmas situation is developing.
Who goes where, who can visit who and when, and more importantly, will anyone be left out?
The organising of households 'bubbles' is confusing. There are five and a half of them on my wife's side.
Every year, Christmas is the one time when everyone gathers at my mother-in-law's for the annual Secret Santa. With all the cousins (12 of them) now scattered around the UK at university, it's the only time they get to be together.
Two grandparents, five of us, six Tinsleys, five Mawhinneys, four Irvings. Then there is John, another brother-in law who spends half the year living at home, half with his partner in Coleraine (hence the half a household). That's 24 people spread across the households.
There is much scratching of heads as to who is allowed to be in a bubble with who, can there be any cross transference of bubbles, and how many are allowed in a bubble?
One sister-in-law lives right next door to my mother and father-in-law and they are always in contact. Are they one household or two? How does cousins arriving from across the water affect it all? And what about the brother-in-law who'll arrive home from Bahrain?
I decide to keep a watching brief and not get involved. In the end I'll go where I'm told.
In other news, a nasty rattle at the back of my car turns out, on further inspection, to be a popped shock absorber. I thank colleague John Laverty for borrowing his favourite phrase of the moment... "just what I need in the mouth of Christmas".
The diminishing of the tub of Celebrations continues. Yesterday Leo escaped questioning over the lack of remaining Maltesers thanks to arriving home from school with some wonderful shortbread made in Home Economics. Today all the mini Twix bars are gone. The Snickers are not sitting very comfortably. They know they will be next.
I hope the wee dog didn't get to them. On arriving downstairs the smell nearly knocks me over. Poor pet has been a little ill in four separate places across the living room, kitchen and utility room.
She is happy enough, gets plenty of water and is off on her morning root around the garden as usual.
I figure it is worth the risk of freezing by opening the windows. With relief I discover a bag of last year's Christmas scented candles. I'll have the place smelling like a gingerbread house in no time.
I squeeze in a quick run to the chemist to pick up a prescription. My wife hurt her knee playing tennis back in March, which has just now been diagnosed as a torn cartilage.
I'm told it hurts as she limps around the house. Breath is being held amid winces of pain, though not in anticipation of a hospital appointment.
(Apologies to any Johns who may have been offended by the writing of this article).