There was no sign today of nine ladies dancing, despite this being the ninth day of Christmas. I didn’t even see nine handbags in a pile on a floor so I suppose it was too much to expect to see the ladies dancing without them. To be honest, in this part of the world it’s not all that often that you even see a lady.
Had it not been for all the storm damaged decorations dangling from street lamps, house fronts and comatose party-goers, you wouldn’t have known it was Christmas at all. Having taken the festive season by the horns and shown determination to make the most of it, even though it’s not quite my cup of glühwein, frankly I have to say that I am distraught at the total absence of figgy pudding. I haven’t even heard it mentioned, except in the song which I despise anyway because, although a carol, the lyric that goes ‘We won’t go until we get some’ suggests that this may have been the precursor to the vulgar consumerism that accompanies the modern day celebration of the birth of Christ.
Not a soul has offered me a morsel of the stuff to warm me as I crossed their thresholds to escape the bleak midwinter chill, despite me bringing glad tidings to them and their king.
One of my lady customers asked me if I would like a cup of tea to which I replied, ‘No thanks, but I wouldn’t mind a bit of figgy pudding’ and she just slapped me and asked me to leave her house. Bah humbug, eh? I don’t suppose my parting comment of ‘I won’t go until I get some’ helped the situation all that much.
I am beginning to wonder if this traditional Yuletide scrumptiousness even exists, especially as I have discovered in the last five minutes that even the Microsoft Word spellchecker facility doesn’t recognise it.
With only three more days of Christmas to go, the whole sordid affair does, thankfully, seem to be drawing to a close. People are drifting back to work with their tails between their legs because they can’t remember how much they drank or what they were sick in or who they tried to grope at the office party, television adverts all fall into a New Year’s resolution theme of stuff like anti-smoking aids and debt counselling agencies, the ten feet high piles of mince pies on display in supermarkets have been replaced by hot crossed buns, and today I was only asked twice by nosey old gets, ‘Are you all ready for Christmas then?’
Even the weather has sussed that time is moving on as the storm that has lashed our country for over a week abated for a few hours this morning and the sun came out. Much of my work was out in the Wiltshire Wilderness so I had to change my route between customers’ houses a couple of times because the roads were either flooded or blocked by badgers that had been blown over in the gales, but it was wonderful to see the countryside bathed in sunshine. Nothing fills my frame of mind with sunshine more than sunshine does. Happy days are here again . . . almost!
My car waiting to exit the sunlit grounds of the home
of one of my rural customers.