Today, I decided, should be a Clearing The Decks Day. Almost, but not quite, the opposite of a Deck The Halls Day - though my crossword compiling friends would be sure to point out that I am using the word “deck”
with two of its many different meanings. That is the wonder of the English language.
In case you are imagining that I am divesting my home of all its Christmas
cheer then I must hastily explain that my decorations - tree and all - will be staying in place, as per usual, until Twelfth Night. Apart from anything else, so many helpful people were involved in decking my humble halls this year that it would be discourteous
indeed not to leave their efforts on display until the last possible moment. There is the added advantage that the strings of Christmas cards, glittering garlands and all are hiding a multitude of sins of the Dust Related Variety.
No, by “clearing the decks” I mean that I am trying to bring the house into a state of order which will enable me to start the New Decade the way I mean to go on.
To be fair, all my visitors over the festive season have done their level best to clear up behind them before they left and I must thank them all most sincerely for that. However,
inevitably there are various examples of assorted rubbish - what my dear mum liked to call “toot” - which need my attention. I’d forgotten all about “toot” until I opened our present from the younger of my two older brothers -
a beautiful wooden box, inscribed with our names, and the message “Bits and Bobs - and no toot.” There are few presents more precious than those which bring fond memories flooding back.
So here I am, pottering about, picking up remnants of Christmas crackers - hats, riddles and tiny gifts which nobody has bothered to take home with them. I am finding odd duplo bricks under the settee which have escaped from
their home (a large plastic bag ) and need be reunited with the rest of the Duplo Family. I must take the books we have been given for Christmas and make a neat Reading Pile, stopping myself from pausing to read a chapter or two because I know full well
that if I do, I will never get back to clearing the decks. A home must be found for all the other Christmas gifts we have been fortunate enough to receive, but not until I have made a mental list of who gave what so that I can write to thank the generous givers.
On my bedside table, I carefully place the “Book of 365 Days of Happiness”, my thoughtful present from grandchildren Jack and Hazel; tomorrow I must start recording my happy moments of every day in 2020 and 2021. What a good thing I have been clearing
the decks today, in readiness for whatever tomorrow may bring.
In the fridge, all manner of festive fare has been stored so I need to work out exactly what to
do with it all. I start by cooking a chicken pilaff which was one of my regular Boxing Day meals when The Foursome were littl’uns. I didn’t find out till some years later that they referred to it as “Leftovers.” I am assuming, perhaps
wrongly, that they meant it affectionately....
It’s nearly time to sit down and watch a good film to take us almost up to the Witching Hour. We may not be
partying but we are munching our way through a box of chocolates which is, of course, part of clearing the decks for a chocolate-free tomorrow.
I wish all
my readers everything they wish for themselves in 2020. For Mr B and I, I’m just pleased we should start the New Year with decks cleared and all the small items I can’t find room for anywhere else stored safely in my Bits and Bobs box.
New year, new decade - no toot!