Christmas gets closer as each day passes and the shops are packed to the hilt with tinsel, turkeys and cake. The problem with the shops stocking all types of goodies is that you end up buying things that at all other times of year you would not turn a hair at. I don’t even like Christmas or the wanton waste of money spent on too much food that we won’t eat, and yet I still found myself buying some vacuum packed chestnuts. I have no idea what to do with them and they will probably stay in my cupboard until the next Harvest Festival at Pavers Primary. Enough of my culinary conundrums, there have been more serious problems in the street, it would appear that Lionel Blair has a liking for Christmas Trees.
Lionel Blair, you may recall, is the gender confused cat that Ian and Raphe adopted in October. He has settled down significantly and they have now found that he will sleep quite easily at night to the soothing sounds of Enya, a folk artist from the eighties who could put you in a coma with a couple of trills and sings as though she could be drifting there herself.
Ian and Raphe are delighted and feel he completes the family unit, making this Christmas one to saviour. This will also be the first Christmas they will be spending together with no other extended family, Raphe’s mother having met a toy boy on her coach journey to Bognor in the summer, a Spanish lad called Pedro who was the very attentive waiter. She is travelling to meet his family next week; but I digress.
Raphe’s mission was to style his home with the Christmas spirit throughout, this involved copious amounts of tinsel, greenery sprayed gold and silver, baubles, glass ornaments and five trees. That’s right, you did read that correctly, five trees. One for the hall, one for the lounge, one for outside, a small one for the conservatory and a mini tree to stand beside Lionel Blair’s food bowl. I do know that they have extended the house a little at the back and also installed the said conservatory but they are still living in a Victorian terrace, I can only imagine how cramped it will be.
The decoration took a full weekend, furniture was moved to fit in the trees, gold and silver paint was sprayed onto sprigs of holly and conifer bought from the market and lights were unravelled and tested; by Sunday evening the transformation was complete and displayed on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Catherine and Mand had been invited round for a real life viewing and they discussed it excitedly afterwards before returning to their homes. The excitement was fuelled by rather a large number of mulled wines, Catherine was sober enough to express her concerns about the cost of electricity with that number of lights, even Lionel Blair’s tree was adorned.
On Monday morning Raphe seemed very unhappy, he was ringing his hands as he spoke to Jacinta and Ken, and looked close to tears.
‘He pulled all of the baubles off of his own tree, then carried on in the lounge before starting on the one in the hall. I didn’t even think cats liked chocolate, but he’s eaten all of the hanging ones covered in silver foil and had started on a net of chocolate coins.’
Jacinta was looking sympathetic but it was clear to see that Ken was on the verge of laughing.
‘Did you find all this when you woke up today?’ she seemed genuinely interested.
‘No, that’s the worst of it, Ian is fuming, he woke us up at two o’clock, howling at the top of his voice, he was stuck half way up the tree having caught his collar on a branch. I had to clear up, Ian went back to bed, he hasn’t spoken to me this morning. It’s always the same when Lionel Blair plays up, suddenly he becomes my cat’.
At this point Raphe burst into tears and Ken burst into laughter, Jacinta gave one a dig in the ribs whilst putting her arms around the other.
When she relayed the story to Prithpal that evening they both agreed that their choice of pet had been a good one, cats may have some qualities to redeem themselves but you could rely on chickens not to trash your Christmas trees and provide you with fresh eggs, they couldn’t be more perfect.