There is almost always a rational explanation for even the most puzzling of circumstances.
I shall be expounding on
this theory shortly but, in order to establish a bit of useful background, you need to know that the Youngest of the Darling Daughters was paying us one of her regular, and most welcome, visits. It was an extremely timely visit, just as November was turning
into December so her assistance in helping me usher in the most festive of months was doubly important.
For starters, she would be with us for the ceremonial
turning over of the calendars on the morning of 1st December. Regular readers will know that I never, ever peep to see the next month’s photograph before the due date. This is particularly significant, given that I must admit I do quite often skip to
the end of a book to see what happens / who dunnit / and why. Not, I hasten to add, any book which has involved me completely in the fate of its characters so that I need to experience every twist and turn of their lives. Those are the books I simply don’t
want to end. There are, however, others where I find it hard to relate to any of the principals and find myself skimming through the chapters in search of an interesting nugget of story-line which might entice me back into the book.
You will be interested (or, possibly not) to know that the December photograph on the kitchen calendar is an enchanting one of the Twins, Tala and Lilia, appropriately dressed in
Father Christmas hats, while the bedroom calendar features the blackbird, one of my favourite garden birds. The caption describes it as the “common” blackbird which I felt was unfair in the extreme. At least the calendar compilers resisted the
temptation to have a Robin as the Bird of the Month…
Then we needed to make a start on one of the two Christmas jigsaw puzzles - I’ve been waiting
for December 1st. One of the puzzles is a Nativity scene, while the other features Santa seated before a warm fire and a well decorated Christmas tree. We would start with Santa, I decreed.
First, though, we had to shop for curtains, curtain poles, a shelf for the bathroom, a cushion or two and I was glad to have a companion to consult on my choices. She would, I knew, prevent me from dithering which would never do, given
my firm desire to have added some finishing touches to my garden-themed hallway by Christmas. Our shopping trip was most successful until we decided to take a break for a well-earned lunch - at which point we discovered that the shop’s café was
about to close. Why any food establishment would close at ten minutes to one, we couldn’t imagine - but presumably there must have been a rational explanation. We just couldn’t think what that might be.
Back home, out came the Santa puzzle, which I had bought from a local charity shop a couple of weeks earlier. When I say, puzzle - well, I’m not kidding. Opening the lid, there inside was a small
plastic container, housing a number of jigsaw pieces. Not just any plastic container, moreover, but one on which was stuck a label, in my very own handwriting, which read: “Chicken and Lentil Coconut Curry” accompanied by an October date. How could
that possibly be?
My daughter suggested that maybe I had actually done this jigsaw before and returned it for recycling to the charity shop? She couldn’t
imagine, however, why I might have tucked the plastic container inside before returning it.
Maybe, I pondered to myself, I am turning into a magician, or
even an illusionist? You have to admit that the “Chicken and Lentil Coconut Curry” label is a touch of genius worthy of Derren Brown. Possibly not Derren Brown, to be fair, more Tommy Cooper. But without the fez. I decided not to share this
thought with the Youngest of the Darling Daughters because, although I know she loves me, I am not sure she would accept this as a rational explanation and might even start questioning my sanity.
Which was just as well because we eventually realised what must have happened. While we were out shopping, the Really Rather Wonderful Kay was keeping Mr B company - might she have started on the jigsaw, sorted out all the
edge pieces and then searched around for a handy receptacle in which to place them? A quick check with Mr B verified the truth of this theory. Puzzle solved. Not the jigsaw, you understand, which is still Under Construction but the other puzzle which had so
Suddenly it all made sense. “Just like that!” as Tommy Cooper would have said…