I cannot help thinking that possibly - just possibly, you understand - my local newsagents has Lost the Plot.
I am reluctant
to make such a judgement, based as it is on observations of the display shelves while waiting my turn at the counter, because I, too, feel as if I have Lost the Plot over recent days. I have, in fact, been Proper Poorly which is why there hasn’t been
a Daily Blog posted for a good few days. Did you miss me? Please say you did, my self-esteem is currently fragile as I come to grips with the fact that, faced with being laid low by a nasty bug, I am not the heroic, indomitable character I like to kid myself
Anyway, back to the display shelves in the local newsagents which was where I was (if you remember) before I chose to digress. No, I wasn’t on
the shelf, I was in the queue - don’t be silly.
So there on the shelves towards the back of the shop, lots of brightly coloured garden toys - think giant
skittles, water pistols, blow-up paddling pools, beach balls, all things summery. So far, so seasonal. I contemplate whether, once I’ve paid my paper bill, I should saunter over to the display to see if there is anything which my (Not So Little) Welsh
Boys might enjoy messing about with when they come to visit. Then, as I move a fraction closer to the start of the queue (still observing social distancing) my disbelieving eye is caught by something orange and bucket-shaped. It is, I kid you not, one of those
receptacles littl’uns carry expectantly door to door on Halloween night. Which is, if my memory serves me right, right at the end of October....
am still adjusting to this bizarre discrepancy in the Order of Things, I suddenly note that peeking out over the pile of Halloween baskets are a goodly number of reindeer headbands. What is more, baskets and reindeer antlers are all balanced on a sizeable
display of Christmas gift wrap, greetings cards, and other items generally not to be found in any self-respecting shop until, well. Halloween. The world, I told myself, had gone quite, quite mad...
Tala, the Elder of the Twins by one important minute, would beg to disagree. She would like it to be Christmas all year round. Correction: Tala actually believes it IS Christmas all year round. Out with her much-beloved auntie
(aka the Youngest of the Darling Daughters) the other day she picked a stalk of grass and was taught that age-old nursery rhyme: “Here’s a tree in summer / Here’s a tree in winter / Here’s a bunch of flowers / And here’s the April
showers.” It is a song with actions, involving stripping the grass of its fronds to transform it from summer tree to winter tree; gathering the greenery in one hand to form a “bouquet”; then throwing the tiny pieces over the nearest person’s
head to mimic April showers. Did you ever play that game in childhood?
Tala plucked another blade of grass and studied the tree in summer. “It looks
just like a Christmas tree!” she commented. Predictably.
You may well be wondering how I can possibly describe this charming scene when I am very much absent.
The answer is by the power of my daughter’s mobile phone with its inbuilt camera faithfully recording for me the sweet voice chanting the nursery rhyme and showing my granddaughter stripping the grass of its feathery outcrop and showering it over her
head. It’s almost like being there...
That said, there is no substitute for “being there” and, oh, the disappointment of having to defer our
long-planned visit by the Welsh Boys and their parents last weekend on account of (i) me being Proper Poorly and (ii) one of the boys being told to self-isolate. Never mind, all being well we will get together this coming weekend. Instead of our Merry Meet-Up
being all over now, it is still ahead of us, positively bristling with the joy of anticipation.
Like Halloween and Christmas, now you come to mention it...