It is more than useful, I must say, that whenever I am tempted to be just Too Ambitious for my own good, someone always seems to step in to save me from myself. A kind of Fairy Godmother, if you like, but one with a Practical
Today was the day I had planned, well before Operation Day, to host the annual Christmas Celebration for our Nomination Whist Group. Ever optimistic, I assumed
that four weeks in, it would be a breeze, even for a One Armed Bandit such as I. A couple of days beforehand, I started to have a few wobbles - which is when my Fairy Godmother, aka Sheila, flew in.
It is a notable characteristic of the Fairy Godmother that she never suggests that your greatest wish is (I) impractical; (ii) foolish; or (iii) frankly impossible. What would poor Cinders have done had her Fairy Godmother
pointed out that her ragged clothes wouldn’t pass muster at the Royal Ball (or, indeed, even a more modest affair) or that she had no form of transport at her disposal? She just waved her wand, dug up a pumpkin and persuaded a few assorted four-legged
friends that they could be famous For One Night Only. I have always thought what a good thing it is that Cinderella didn’t have a defeatist for a Godmother. I mean, there wouldn’t have been a fairy tale at all and Walt Disney would have had
to scrabble around for another Rags to Riches story, complete with cute rabbits bobbing about, clever songbirds and mice with a talent for sewing and tying extravagant bows out of satin ribbon.
My Fairy Godmother, likewise, did not so much as voice a tentative concern that my plans for the celebration - mulled wine, Christmas crackers, mince pies and other festive nibbles - might be ambitious. She didn’t put
forward the perfectly reasonable point of view that nobody would mind in the least if we just served up our usual tea and shortbread biscuits. Like all the very best Fairy Godmothers, she knew that it mattered to me. My wish was her command...
So she spent the morning in Tescos (she could have gone elsewhere, of course) adding to her own not inconsiderable shopping list all the items I had either forgotten to buy or which
were too heavy / bulky to carry one-armed - even supposing I managed to walk to the shops and back. She had a bit of trouble finding mini mince pies but refused to be daunted.
Then she arrived half an hour early to set the scene, heat the mulled wine, organise trays of mugs ready for our mid-session refreshment break. My only role was to point out behind which door in our fitted kitchen the refrigerator lurked.
As if that were not sufficient, she took over my customary job of keeping the score sheet up to date, on account of my inability to write legibly left-handed. What a star
was our Sheila.
It was such a Happy Gathering. We toasted each other in mulled wine, exchanged Christmas cards, discussed our plans for the festive season, pulled
crackers and shared silly Christmas Related jokes. Oh, yes, and we played two games of cards too...
Everyone thanked me for my hospitality, wondering aloud how
I had managed it. I couldn’t take any of the credit, dear reader. I was honour bound to set the record straight -
Like Cinderella - she of the glass slipper
- I owed it all to my very own Fairy Godmother.