Saturday, 20 December 2008

A Christmas Message

As this is my art (in all permutations) blog, I thought in the spirit of those dratted round robins we all receive, I'd post my own RR, as an antidote to the Credit Crunch.

Well I can safely say this will be the last Christmas message from me for 2008. Is it really only a year since one of my Round Robins floated effortlessly onto your doormat? Well actually it’s three years. So much has happened in those 3 years I’m at a loss to know what to put down on paper, therefore I won’t. But to outline the whirlwind lifestyle of Border Reiver, that well known socialite, the following diary excerpts will add warmth to any cold winters day.

The books (not to mention the glossy magazines) say Christmas is a time to reflect, sit back, unwind a bottle and send someone a friend. But is it me? Christmas is getting just far too hectic. What Credit Crunch? The shopping Malls are heaving. Today I found myself having to queue for at least a minute while buying some Sellotape to wrap my presents. It’s a tradition of mine to wrap and send myself a present. Always better to receive than give. After that dramatic episode which saw me seething at this monstrous delay as the woman in front of me bought 3 stamps, using cash of all things, I had to return home.

Actually I had to return home as the 4pm curfew came around quicker than I’d planned. If I’m not home by then the tag I am now required to wear doesn’t half set up a din, and at a frequency which seems to attract cats. Never again will I believe a Polish immigrant that the Afghan he had with him was allowed to remain in the country. It looked such a lovely dog to me as well, or at least that’s what I told the authorities as they entered the transit van at Clacket Lane Services. Mind you being indoors all winter has its advantages, as I’ve done all my Christmas shopping on-line this year. Don’t expect anything though, as the one day I did leave the house (to buy Sellotape) the post arrived. Not being at home the card which was left for me said I have to collect my purchases from the sorting office which is only open..... you can probably see where this is going?

Decided to deck the halls with holly. Given I don’t actually have any holly, or a hall, I made do with some driftwood and tinsel around the shed. I have to say it looks tremendous. Later I headed out into the front garden to wrap my new outdoor lights around a tree. These 150w fox-lights have the ability to light a runway and with 200 on the string, a long runway at that. So I was especially keen to get them in situ soonest and then all my neighbours could enjoy the spectacle. It didn’t quite work. On the box it said a 6m cable from plug to first bulb. Smashing I thought, more than enough for my needs. What the box failed to say was that at the 6m mark lurked the “interface” box (which allows various animated illuminated light displays) which must not be left outdoors. Is it me, but surely outdoor lights are not meant to begin indoors. Anyway I muddled through and now sit watching Emmerdale wearing sunglasses, until that is the next phase of the light show plunges the house into darkness momentarily. Fantastic.

Christmas is always the time for having the house lit by candles. There is something magical in the warm glow candlelight provides, and the seasonal treats of stubbing one’s toe or maybe ricochet a shin off a coffee table while trying to find the remote control in the gloom make this time of year so pleasurable. This year’s Advent Candle is providing much needed entertainment. In my youth such a candle would burn quietly through the relevant days, no bother. What on earth is this one made of? In glorious red, it is the shape of an elongated pyramid but just refusing to budge past day 12. I had it lit for 48 hours last weekend and only half of number 6 succumbed to the flame. However the table it is on now looks like an extra from a Sweeney Todd play. Considering the candle is getting no lower, where on earth is this wax coming from? Fetching brown paper and an iron to remove the wax from the carpet, I tripped on the flex went a right old perler into conservatory. Olympic gymnasts would not provide such an acrobatic spectacle. Words were said while I staunched the flow of blood from my nose. I’ve decided to leave wax on the carpet as a Christmas decoration. I’ll stick a sprig of holly in it, no one will notice.

I’ve been neglecting my wildlife blog; such has been the excitement of this week. Today saw the 1st anniversary of my blog, which seemed to pass-by the newspaper headlines. After posting a journalistic tour d force, I waited with baited breath for my legions of fans to post comments and best wishes. There was obviously some sort of internet problem, no other way to explain the lack of replies, so I brewed myself a cup of tea. What is it about tea, we English cannot survive without it? The slightest mishap and out comes the caddy, kettle boiled and away we go, all the problems of the World solved in one cup. I’m always amazed where the stuff I write comes from. I seem to have a very fertile imagination, and certainly most of the comments I receive seem to confirm it is mostly unbelievable. Sent myself a comment anonymously, this may start the ball rolling.

Still no comments on the blog. They must all be out Christmas shopping. Following a walk along the beach to blow off a cobweb or two, returned to write my Christmas cards. Before this can happen I had to print them off. Simple job, select a photograph, print it onto card, sign card, pop into post box. I bought a new printer in the autumn, which is singly unable to print anything sensibly. All looks stupendous on the screen, press print and some other highly amended version of the article emerges. It’s all too much, I can feel my blood pressure rising. I may pop to Lidl and buy my cards instead. One version in particular was, very artistic. Somehow orientating itself NE/SW on a card it managed to avoid the entire photograph, printed the text on the back, twice, and somehow added some characters from clip-art. Mind you having said that, it looked far better than the original.

Is finally upon us. Time for a rest and put my feet up. First though I had to nip to the recycling centre to remove the mountain of scrap paper I seemed to have developed since yesterday. Piled alongside the candles, it was a bit of a fire hazard. It was while at the tip, I fancied a poached egg on toast. Returning home a friend popped in so we unleashed the free range into the pan. Lo and behold, a double yoker, it’s years since I’ve had one. This must be a symbol for the coming festive season. The symbolism of this egg wasn’t lost on me, went down a treat, with some tomato sauce. Great Stuff!!

I feel much better now, so with that I’ll wish you adieu Mon Ami, all health and happiness for 2009, a wonderfully happy Christmas and of course leave the washing up to Santa and the little elves!
And don't forget to watch Santa on his travels from this website. But only on Christmas Eve


  1. You have me collapsing with laughter here. Oh if I could only write like you. Fabulous!

  2. Glad to be of assistance Oldcrow, we all need a giggle these days