Arles, 7 January 89

Dearest mother and sister,
For a couple of weeks now it has been my firm intention to drop you a line to wish you a prosperous and happy New Year. I’m perhaps a little late for that now.
You’ll probably forgive me for this when I tell you that I’ve been indisposed, and in December at that.
But can tell you at the same time that I’m completely recovered and back to my normal routine and work.
Although we have winter here too and, what’s worse, the countryside is partly flooded, all the same we have a good deal milder weather at times than you do in Holland.
Would you be so good as to take note that I’m dropping you this line in case Theo should have told you something about my being indisposed for a few days.  1v:2
I hope that he understood of his own accord that it wasn’t worthwhile telling you about it.
But so that there can’t be any worrying about it, or any question of it, I’m writing to you myself.
I’ve also deliberately put off replying to Jet Mauve,1 which I hope to do very soon, though, and thank Wil very much for her last letter.
I acquired quite a few acquaintances here just at the time I wasn’t well, and will probably get several portraits to do.
I do hope all is going well with all of you, particularly your health. As for me, precisely because I’ve been unwell for a few days I’m actually very refreshed, and have a chance of not having anything else wrong for a very long time.  1v:3
Meanwhile, it would please me very greatly if I were to get a letter from you one of these days.
Although it’s still somewhat in the future, you’ll already be thinking about Theo’s visit all the same. It wouldn’t really surprise me if he came rather earlier than usual this year, that’s to say before the exhibition instead of after it.2
But he’ll have to act as circumstances dictate.
I couldn’t help thinking about you quite a lot these days, be assured of that and believe me

Your loving