The Garden Centre is celebrating Christmas already. Last time I visited, the displays were under construction. This afternoon, calling in for some more winter pansies, I discovered that the Festive Season is in Full Swing.
It was a very good thing, I mused, that Mr B was not with me. He would immediately have started worrying about the fact that we need to buy ten Christmas tree decorations - one for each of the Truly Tremendous Ten grandchildren.
He would be as sure as sure could be that, despite the fact that the shelves are literally groaning under the weight of baubles decorated in every colour of the rainbow, come the end of the month (that's October, may I remind you) the store will be completely
I did report back to him briefly on the arrival of Christmas but then I busied myself out in the garden with the winter pansies so that I could avoid the Bauble Conversation.
Mr B is a bit like Santa Claus who has also determined not to venture out from his cosy home at the North Pole but expects his Number One Elf to suss out what's going on in Shopping Land and bring him back the latest news. He will
be most perturbed when he hears what's going on at the Garden Centre. He will feel like every school-child does at the start of the Summer Holiday when they see all the Back To School displays in Marks and Spencer's.
"What is the world coming to?" he will ask Mrs Claus but she will be too busy planting up winter pansies to answer. She's had her hands full, in any case, training up a new reindeer but he's a right little Rampaging Rascal who can't seem to realise
that, as a reindeer, he is expected to be content with carrots for gifts. He is also most put out when told that only Rudolph is allowed to have a red nose. That's Nasal Discrimination in his book. Always supposing he had a book, of course, reindeer hardly
being renowned as bibliophiles.
What's worse, Santa will bewail, any time now counterfeit Santas will appear in fairy grottos in department stores and at Christmas fetes. However hard he has tried over the
years, it has not been possible to introduce any kind of Quality Control over who is allowed to impersonate him. Even Jeremy Corbyn appeared in a Sunday newspaper dressed as Santa - where will it all end, if every politician starts playing at being Father
Christmas, making promises about what we can expect from them?
At Church today we had to sit in the Choir Stalls. I am not sure why but it may have been because a photographer was roaming the aisles taking
photos of the splendiferous Harvest Festival floral decorations. What we hadn't bargained for was just how low the seats are in the choir stalls, choir boys being generally small, young and agile. "I might be able to sit down," said Joan, "but I'll never manage
to get up again..." I found a couple of cushions for Joan and others to sit on but rashly felt I would have no trouble myself. I should have remembered my Great Age. And the state of my knees.
at the Harvest decorations, I was filled with delight at this season of "mists and mellow fruitfulness." Chrysanthemums as large as footballs but very much more beautiful. Pumpkins and gourds summoning up visions of plenty. Sheaves of wheat. A Harvest loaf,
all intricately woven and baked to perfection. Gifts in the shape of fruit, vegetables, tins and packets which will be delivered tomorrow to local people in need, including the Worthing Churches Homeless Project. (They had particularly requested pasta - and
Looking around - and remembering the Christmas displays in the Garden Centre - I am reminded of those words of wisdom that "for everything there is a season."
Santa Claus and I, as in so many things Christmas-Related, are As One on this