“It’s the last day for you today!” I informed the lights on my (small but perfectly formed) Christmas tree as I switched them on early this morning.
Unfortunately Mr B chose that moment to wake from his slumbers and immediately decided I was talking to him. Oh, the panic on his poor face as he wondered if I had somehow turned into a Prophet of Ultimate Doom. Or, perhaps,
whether I was planning to shop him off to the Home for Hoary Retired Compositors where he would have to live out the rest of his life discussing lower case, upper case, ens, ems (good Scrabble words, incidentally) and other unfathomable printing terms with
former fellow inky devils.
I quickly reassured him that I was, of course, talking to the Christmas lights but, if anything, the look of alarm on his face deepened
as he considered the worrying fact that these days he was totally dependent on one who was even loopier than he had feared.
Yes, with the help of several readers,
I have confirmed in my own mind that my Christmas decorations should come down tomorrow on the Feast of Epiphany. Mind you, my friend Jude (we used to work together many moons ago, it’s still one of my favourite times, work-wise) tells me there is a
custom she learnt of as a child that, should anyone fail to take down their decorations on the due date, then the only way to avoid bad luck is to leave them up until Candlemas on February 2nd. Sadly, she says, her mother wasn’t having any of it - and
I suspect Mr B would be firmly on her mother’s side...
For some reason, I woke this morning more energised than for some time and decided, before the
feeling wore off, that I should take the bus to the Goring Road shops where I would be able to visit the post office and despatch a parcel to my nephew and his family, a present for the beautiful baby who made her appearance on the very last day of 2018. I
had spent ages in M&S making my choice then worried over it when my Little Sister told me she was sensibly sending a voucher for an up-market baby wear company on the grounds that young parents these days have very different ideas about what constitutes
a Best Dressed Baby. I enclosed the gift receipt in my parcel and hoped for the best...
At the bus stop, I meet one of my favourite couples - I have, I know, told
you about them before. They walk slowly, oh so slowly, to the bus stop, arm in shaky arm, as much to shore each other up as out of affection - though indeed the mutual affection shines out of them. They try to take a trip to town on the bus every day as it
takes them out from the confinement of their “four walls.” Neither of them is wearing a hat on this very chilly morning so I am worried about them but their smiles are as bright as winter sunshine as they see me approaching.
We discuss our respective Christmases; wish each other a Happy New Year; have our usual, unproductive chat about how very helpful a bus shelter would be for them; and wonder, idly
but without rancour, whether we will be in Europe or out of Europe come the Spring. We agree, philosophically, that one of the best things about living to a Great Age (me) or an Even Greater Age (them) is that you learn from experience that events come and
go, while what goes round, comes round and generally it will All Turn Out Alright In The End. Somehow.
Oh, yes, and we share a few words on the weather. It’s
a north wind blowing, they tell me. I am about to break, impulsively as ever, into that song about the north wind, the snow and the poor robin hiding his head under his wing, poor thing - when the Pulse bus saves the day by arriving before I can open my mouth.
Mr and Mrs Stalwart indicate that I should get on the bus ahead of them, given how slow they will be - which I do, reluctantly, thinking how very rude and uncaring I will appear to the bus driver.
Just look at that! I have written a whole Daily Blog about Nothing Very Much At All.
So, what’s new? did I hear you