Christmas Crackers

CRACKER LIFTING

CHRISTMAS EVE – THAT GREAT BRITISH TRADITION; A CLIFF TOP WALK IN THE RAIN FOLLOWED BY MULLED WINE AND LUNCH AT THE BEACH HUT.

THE OTHER GREAT CHRISTMAS EVE TRADITION IS THE MORNING PHONE CALL… WHICH STARTS WITH ‘BAD NEWS..’ AMIDST ALL THE COVID TESTING, BOOSTING AND WAITING TO BE TRICKED BY THE PM INTO A LAST MINUTE LOCKDOWN, THERE ARE OTHER WINTER LURGIES LURKING. NOW WE ARE DEFERRING CHRISTMAS FOR A FEW DAYS UNTIL TEAM H HAVE NEGATIVE PCR RESULTS AND FEEL BETTER.

ELVES ALWAYS ENJOY CHRISTMAS
BUT SOME GET A BIT TIRED OF THEIR COMPANY…

IT’S STILL RAINING BUT WE’VE HAD A GOOD DAY, GOOD LUNCH, FACETIMED, WATCHED ‘ARTHUR CHRISTMAS’ AND EVERYBODY GOT MORE LEGO…

I HOPE YOU ALL HAD A PLEASANT DAY WHATEVER YOU PLANNED OR HAD TO REARRANGE…

Christmas Real Time Tales – part one – It Will All End In Tiers

Cassie though it ironic that she had spent last Christmas Day alone and now when everyone else was facing Christmas alone she was having two guests for Christmas lunch, three if you counted the dog. When she had invited Sam the rule had been three households for five days, but Boris had changed all that on Saturday. They were still in Tier 2 so she didn’t think they were breaking any rules; Christmas Day only and no overnight stays, but she hadn’t bargained for Sam’s long lost son turning up. Even in pre Covid days this would have been quite a drama. But there was no question of him being sent back to Scotland, would he even be allowed back in? Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, did not want anyone entering or leaving Scotland. Sam had insisted Lucas ring his mother, so she could call off the frantic search round their huge highland estate, but more to ensure future prospects for cooperation.

Sam was thrilled with the turn of events, he felt he had a connection already with his sixteen year old son. Cassie could not see things in such a positive light, Sam was a long way from being able to provide a stable home for a teenager who still had two years of school ahead, but it was not her place to say anything. Of more immediate concern was meeting Lucas. As an only child brought up by her aunt and sent to a girls’ school she knew nothing about teenage boys. Doris next door had reassured her all she had to do was treat him like a normal human being and perhaps he would be interested in her geckos.

Now as she looked at the time and checked the oven she wondered if Sam had heard the latest news; at one minute past midnight on Boxing Day they were going to enter Tier 4. Any positivity she had felt about the pandemic or her own little life seemed to be fast fading in recent weeks, a new strain of Covid, worrying statistics…

The doorbell rang and as she opened it she was taken aback to see a broad shouldered young man taller than Sam, standing behind him.

‘Cassie, this is Lucas.’

For some reason she had imagined a smaller version of Sam, pale, quiet and nervous, an unhappy runaway; so she was further surprised when he greeted her enthusiastically in a booming baritone Scottish accent.

‘Lunch smells nice.’

‘It’s just a little pork joint,’ Cassie apologised ‘I’ve never cooked a turkey in my life.’

‘That’s okay, didn’t Sa…. my father tell you I am vegetarian?’

Christmas Day

christmas 2019

Wherever you are today, enjoy your time and these last few days of the decade. I have to come off my life suport system – or rather my old recycled desk top is being replaced by a newer recycled, upgraded computer. I am quite expecting everything, words, pictures, email, Facebook and WordPress to be lost in the ether, never to be found again, but hopefully I shall see you all again on the other side.

Ghosts of Christmas Past – Episode Three

Over the years there have been very different Christmases; in one Scottish town we had too much food with one family on Christmas Day, then a Boxing Day with the other family who didn’t appear to have any food in the house; we went out searching for food, but all the shops were shut.

48187057_2225221951080087_2695665223230029824_n

One year the longed for white Christmas arrived. My sister and brother-in-law were coming on their first holiday back to England. We had just bought our first place, a small two bedroom ground floor flat, which had the fortuitous novelty of gas central heating. Everyone had told my sister a white Christmas was very unlikely in the south of England. My brother-in-law’s sister lived with her family in a village near Dover, they came up to stay with us to be reunited. It snowed and there we were six adults and two toddlers almost snow bound in a flat that now seemed very small. I recall that all the adults had different drink requirements, but at one stage we couldn’t get any drinks as brother-in-law had been pinned in the kitchen by his sister for a tearful argument about how fairly their precious time in England was going to be shared between she and I. As she was having us all for actual Christmas Day and Boxing Day I’m not sure why she was complaining. My husband was relieved to avoid the trip to Kent due to his shift work and was going to spend the day with my aunt and uncle who had been deprived of the rest of us for Christmas. It began to look as if none of us would get to Kent if the trains and roads were snowed up… we did and Christmas morning was beautiful, trudging through snowy fields with the little ones , then back to a roaring log fire in their cottage. Alas the circle of heat emanating from the open fire did not spread to the rest of the cottage. It was freezing, especially for the Australian contingent, the bathroom, being a mere asbestos attachment to the rest of the building, was particularly uninviting.

28555474_1997445850285195_707369646_o

If you have access to children Christmas feels more real and we had a few years with four generations, though children are a risk as well, they are liable to be sick all over great aunty’s sofa.
Christmas is something to be ignored and got through for some people, while for others it brings enormous stress as they juggle extended families. But it would seem strange for the year to peter out devoid of any celebrations.

For writers Christmas provides plenty of plot possibilities. In my Brief Encounters Trilogy three Christmases pass, with an ecclectic group of people assembled each time; plenty of tension and opportunity for both love and discord.

Leaflet 2015 back