Weather Report for North West England: We had ten minutes of sunshine, it is now raining again and looks set in for the day still we don’t actually have to go anywhere since my other half long ago embraced his femininity and does his Christmas shopping well in advance. We probably won’t stir unless Dog decides he really needs a walk but at the moment he has his ear glued to the sitting room door and isn’t budging.
The sitting room has been commandeered by an outsourced Santa workshop – sounds of activity can be heard behind firmly closed doors. My other half is in day three of his annual present making frenzy (I’m assured he’ll be finished by lunchtime) interspersed with appearances in the kitchen to knead the foccacio bread he is also making. I try to guess what this year’s presents will be from the state of his person, at the last sighting he had PVA glue in his hair and his hands were decorated with streaks of ultramarine. Very Interesting! Cat and dog have been banished for ‘helping’ and have retaliated by sitting outside the door barking (dog) and scratching (cat). These efforts draw occasional shouted ‘f**k offs’ from the forbidden region of the house which deter them not one bit in fact dog regards this as encouragement to bark louder. I’m holed up in my study from which I have to phone him to see if I’m allowed out to the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
Previous years have produced jewellery (I don’t smell solder or the carpet burning so I’m sure that’s not this year’s offering) carved wooden spoons (chewed by dog on Boxing Day, we don’t like to remember that incident) papier-maché objects of various descriptions, hand-made paper, stuff with shells and so on. Clever and inventive my other half but with a tendency to overrun deadlines so we’ve also had pieces of paper with ‘Sorry, your present is still drying in the shed you can have it for New Year’.
Still it makes for a much more interesting time than opening the door to collect the parcel you’ve ordered over the internet and much less daunting than fighting through hordes of demented bargain hunters on whatever this particular day is now called in marketing speak ‘Last Chance Wednesday’ probably, or if Manchester Christmas Market is anything to go by ‘Abandon Hope and Prepare to be Fleeced Wednesday’.
We always enjoy the annual Sprout Fest that is Christmas, being among the one percent of the population who actually like Brussel Sprouts and eat them on other days of the year as well! Shock, horror still now you know how truly eccentric we really are. Another report from the Far Side will follow after Boxing Day when we have recovered from our over indulgence in Nut Roast and Christmas pudding and just before we plunge into the excess of Hogmanay. My other half has now appeared in the study door saying I will be able to come out ten minutes and asking whether we have any sticking plaster. I don’t see lots of blood so assume it is only a minor flesh wound.
Merry Christmas Everyone Let’s hope for a peaceful and happy 2015 for everyone and particularly those who are experiencing war, hunger, homelessness or illness.