We have nearly thawed the Grandmother. She arrived three days ago – almost as deep frozen as Debi Gliori’s Strega-Nonna – courtesy of TransPennine. She has to put up with a lot when visiting Bookwitch Towers, one of which was an evening of Boggling.
We were thwarted in our plans for a Christmas Eve service in the Bookwitch church in Liverpool by more freezing, this time of water pipes. The plans dried up in the wake of flooding. (Couldn’t resist. Sorry.) Needing to replace our intended outing with something else, we went to the Plaza for elevenses. My past incompatibility with the Plaza should have told me not to try. We repaired instead to good old M&S, where we commandeered three tables and bathtub sized coffees. At least it was warm. After a last minute purchase of apples, Daughter and I managed to mislay WH Smith. We found it behind the Merry-go-round, and Daughter had a look at their teen books section, finding very little that wasn’t black with a dash of red.
Back at BWT we found, as had been expected, that the parcel that was 24 hours late had managed to deliver itself to the neighbours. It would never have arrived had we stayed in for it. Son has a way of writing pleading missives to delivery men and taping them to the front door, wishing them a Merry Christmas. That’s the missives. We have as yet to tape delivery men to our door, but I suppose it could be done, if only as a warning.
I didn’t feel nearly frozen enough, so went for a brief walk, encountering our poor postman on his very late round. Felt so bad that we offered him tea and a mincepie when he finally made it to our house.
Our presents insisted on being opened post-mincepie, accompanied by some suitable carols. A few weeks ago I read about the excellence of Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time, so went to the shelf to get it out. Found to my surprise it seemed to be one we didn’t have, so its appearance under the tree on Christmas Eve was most welcome. As were two DVDs with the really old Famous Fives from my childhood, if not my television, since we didn’t get such wonderful things on our foreign screens. I know the Tey will be good. It has a sticker on the back saying ‘Used. Good.’
We dined on Daughter’s cannelloni in the company of Alan Bennett on the making of The Habit of Art. (I know. We are really boring.)
And this morning I have the meaning of the word ‘stocking fillers’ on my mind. Are they clementines and packets of raisins, or are they iPods and similar? Some weird kind of inflation would seem to have occurred in the nether regions of dress. Surely stocking fillers are tiny items of smaller value than the ‘real’ presents? Hard to manage in our case, but even so.
While you ponder your reply to this, I’m off to bounce some cranberries. According to my newspaper, it’s how you test their freshness.
(Yes, I know. Those are holly berries.)