We finished our Christmas shopping on schedule, checked our lists and declared “Christmas is accomplished” in good time to fill the fridge, freezer and cupboards with the last of the goodies we need for our quiet feast and festival days together in the little house under the pines. There were still a couple of non-shopping errands needed but to all intents and purposes, it’s done.
The tree is installed in the corner of the living room and has been dressed in best Graham tradition, with our presents all gift-wrapped and placed underneath ready for Christmas Day. And there is a bottle of decent champagne chilling nicely in readiness for the breakfast package opening along with “ooh-ing” and “aah-ing” and “you shouldn’t haves” and “just what I wanteds” as appropriate.
We’re on course for a happy holiday and we send our best wishes to all our friends for the same.
“You don’t think we’ve forgotten anything, do you?” Graham asked.
“We shall not starve even if we have.”
Then, after a nice light lunch and a well-earned nap we were ready to dress up and walk across the road to attend a neighbourly “walk-in and enjoy” visit in the evening.
I was feeling a little daunted to be meeting all those Welsh people in one big gathering. It’s fine for Graham: he just switches into full Welsh heritage mode and sails into the affray. Me, I can’t switch off my Englishness no matter how hard I try so there was nothing to be done but gulp, follow the yellow brick road into the dark forest, and hope Graham would rescue me from any cultural gaffes.
There weren’t any, of course. This was the nicest and most warm and welcoming group I’ve encountered in a long, long time. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.
Walking back across the road Graham said: “There. It wasn’t so bad, was it?”
“No, of course not. Not a single lion, tiger or bear to be seen anywhere.”
“You’re a silly old fool sometimes.”
“Is that a problem?”
“Nah. You’re my silly old fool so it doesn’t matter.”
“Oh. Thanks. I think.”