There are few things more dispiriting than spending the whole day writing Christmas cards - only to find, on carrying out a final tally, that there are still another forty cards to be written. Of which 30 are yet to be
bought. I thought I was doing so well too.
Mr B is saying nothing; he has been advising me, year on year, to trim the Christmas card list. Unfortunately, left to me, it grows ever longer. Today I thought I
had scored a minor victory when a card arrived from one of the young members of Mr B's Staplehurst Monarchs Boys Football Team, now all grown up with kids of his own. He had enclosed a team photo of his son who had, he told us proudly, inherited his father's
talent and love of football. A passion which Mr B helped to foster all those years ago on the playing fields of Staplehurst. This demonstrates The Power of Christmas Cards, I tell Mr B.
Our Boy is following
in his father's footsteps, having become "Coach Steve" to son James's football team. He has asked for a pair of football boots for Christmas and it's just about my favourite of all the presents we are giving this year. Just because. I know you will understand,
knowing me so well, as you do.
Most of the presents we have received so far are all wrapped up in festive paper, awaiting the Great Unwrapping on Christmas Day. However one present, from the younger of my
two brothers, has arrived unwrapped and it's probably going to be our most useful present of Christmas 2015. Regular readers will recall that Mr B's unfavourite songs, as trilled by our Singing for Pleasure Choir, are those of Scottish origin. He just can't
get his head - or his tongue - around the lingo. To the rescue comes our Christmas present - a tea-towel carrying a selection of "weel-kent" words in the Scots tongue. My dear Mum, who loved all things Scottish and liked to sprinkle odd words like "bairn"
(a baby or young child) or "muckle" (large, big, great) into her conversation, would have loved it.
All I need to do now is to find ways of introducing these new words into my own conversation. Helpfully for
each word my tea-towel supplies an appropriate sentence to illustrate its usage. "Drookit"means soaked, drenched, wet - as in, "A got fair drookit in that shower o' rain." To "slaver" is to talk nonsense or chatter in a silly way, as in "what a slaver yer
friend is Maggie." I am going to have a fine old time with my tea-towel and I don't intend, for a moment, to use it on my dishes.
As you may have gathered, after all the efforts of writing our Christmas cards,
I am "richt puggled". I am also in an "awfy guddle wi' ma hoose work." It is no wonder, indeed, that I am looking "peely-wally." According to my tea-towel, this translates that I am feeling exhausted, my house is in a right mess and I am looking thin and feeble.
Well, feeble, anyway...
It is Our Jack's 18th birthday today and I have loved reading the messages posted on his Facebook page by friends and family. So much affection, so much respect and admiration for the
amazing young man he has become. The only problem is that everybody has said the things I wanted to say: about his kindness, especially to the littl'uns who cling to his legs and follow him around with slavish devotion; about his brilliance on stage, whatever
the role; about his capacity for friendship; about the way he always walks to his own drumbeat. I shall have to resort to weel-kent words in the Scots Tongue to mark Jack's Coming of Age.
I ken ye as a wee bairn and now yer looking fair braw, ma bonnie lad. I ken I slaver on but, couthie yin that ye are, ye dinnae fass when yer Nan has a gid greet aboot ye growing up. Mak time for a dram, Jack ma lad, muckle as ye are. Tak a right guid-willie
waught o' cider on me.
Would you like to borrow my tea-towel, in case this gets Lost in Translation?