I had to wait in this morning for a very special delivery. For the last two weeks Mirinda has been asking when we could get a Christmas tree and I refused to entertain the idea until December. This being the first weekend in December, I ordered for a tree to be delivered today.
(By the way, the abbreviation Xmas, which we see everywhere this time of year especially in relation to trees, comes from the letter ‘X’ which is the first letter in ‘Christ’ in ancient Greek. I thought it was a lazy American thing we’d had foisted on us. Pronounced Chi, it was used as a secret symbol in ancient times for those people who didn’t want to be killed for their belief in their imaginary friend. How they managed to tell each other about it when it was all very secret is a mystery…unless they used Twitter.)
The company delivering the tree have an excellent system for letting their customers know when the tree is being delivered. It’s a tried and tested system that never fails to work. They tell you nothing. They don’t confirm it is arriving let alone what time. This meant I was in the unenviable position of waiting in for a tree that I assumed was turning up but had to evidence for it happening.
Anyway, all was well and the tree delivery was made at 11am. The driver was a rather gruff and grumpy chap who was annoyed that he couldn’t turn around at the top of the road. I told him how most trucks do it but he brushed me aside by saying his van was very long. In order to demonstrate the length, he’d parked across Dave and Gail’s driveway as well as ours. As soon as he stepped out of his van, Dave hopped into his car and asked to be let out. This meant a bit of to-ing and fro-ing before he could hand me the tree.
He then proceeded to reverse all the way back to the main road.
Mirinda arrived back from guitar class shortly after it arrived and helped me secure it in our tree stand. I then went up to the attic to retrieve the 326 boxes of decorations, lights and general festive stuff.
Mirinda had to go into Farnham after lunch (to see the optician) so we both climbed into Max and drove into town.
I sat in Starbucks (which was the most crowded I’d ever seen it) while she had her test. I was then texted to go and help her pick out a pair of glasses. This is always a good idea when you’re very sort sighted.
We then decided to have a peek into India Jane. A surprise awaited us outside the shop as kids frollicked in soapy snow. It was a bit odd…but did look like snow. Sort of.
It did look a bit weird seeing kids with soap suds in their hair after the machine was turned off.
Then, in India Jane, I was surprised to discover that I needed a magnifying glass held by a hare – I like to think of it as a March hare, obviously. The sales assistant who served me said that she thought it was so quirky she’d bought one for her boyfriend, an architect. She claimed that his home office used to look very professional and technical and dull but with the addition of a hare with a magnifying glass was instantly interesting. I told her that every time I looked through it, I’d think of her boyfriend. Mirinda thought that that sounded very strange.
I should explain that I have found the need for a magnifying glass on various occasions when researching or just trying to read serial numbers or Chinese instructions printed too small for unaided eyes. I have a lovely antique map reading glass but it’s not very good when handheld. And so, the magnifying glass. It is presently sitting in the middle of the dining table along with St James of the Pickle Forks.
Most of the rest of the day was spent dressing the tree with the numerous decorations we’ve collected over the years. This always takes longer than expected because, as we get older, we tend to forget some of them. Mirinda reckons we should photograph each one and write a short description of its provenance. Perhaps we’ll do that when we pack them away…though it would take a lot of the guesswork out of it.
By the time I had to start dinner, the tree was complete with Madonna looking down over us all. We accidentally placed the tree beneath a single spot which not only lit it up beautifully but also cast a wonderful pine needle shadow on the tiles.
Tomorrow I’ll tackle the lights.