Nan and Nor by Lucilla Butler
Silver Spoons and Broken Wings by Lucilla Butler
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Oh dear! I’m all fingers and thumbs when it comes to wrapping bloody Christmas presents. I cut the twinkly paper either too short or too big for the plastic shaped toy. I try doing it on my knees, end up crawling on the floor with the toy squashed reluctantly into the torn wrapping paper – and where is the damned Sellotape. Once more it’s gone back, stuck to the roll and I waste hours trying to pick the edge, so I can pull it out once more only to find the scissors have skuttled under the sofa.
This year if you’re under ten you get a book. Nice square shape. Not that I find them much better. Then I run out of labels or forget to put the name of the person whose present it is and have to unwrap it. And have you tried buying hankerchiefs recently? They were standard stuff for grandmothers and men in my day. Now they are like gold dust. Tesco does not sell them other than as novelties. Does nobody need hankies these days? What about the drip on the end of my nose. I cant be the only person……
Having wrapped the presents I realise I have forgotten two or three grandchildren. I have about 20 so it is easy to do. Bugger, another trip of maximum ill will (I am an iconoclast) to buy the remnants. At least I don’t have to get a tree for my Bungalow. Surely Father Christmas won’t notice, but bet my bottom dollar that youngest grandson, Alfie will.
I’m not on turkey duty this Christmas, hooray. A vote was taken and it’s partridge at the other end of village. No carving needed and you can get them from Aldi. But I must do my bit as granny. I have five chairs in my kitchen but each family is at least six or more. Cheese on toast is the highlight of my cuisine. I could do goose (just roast for a few hours), apple sauce, baked potatoes and some of those runner beans I stuffed into the freezer un labelled, and blackberry pie to follow. But the under tens will baulk at goose and my baked potatoes won’t be the same as their mother’s baked potatoes. Will their mums mind if I fill them up on Ice cream? All children like icecream. Bugger healthy eating. Even worse the other family close by is full of discerning grandsons used to a la this and drizzle of that. Rib of Yorkshire beef, Yorkshire puddings with proffitaroles for pud should do it and hope someone can carve. Nobody admits to being a carving virgin, but nobody volunteers. I will sit on the laundry basket.
And what about Peter, with whom I last shared a home. His picnic is even more of a challenge. Peter languishes in a home and I visit him, over a couple of hundred miles round trip, once a month with a picnic lunch. It is full of rich, garlicky, double creamy delicacies. Everything unhealthy that he cant get in the home. Mince pies and brandy butter is a given but can I put boeuf bourgonaise into a large thermos, and smuggle chilled champagne in another thermos?
Baby Jesus and all that jazz is a splendid idea, but I cant help feel it’s over the top and teetering on the edge of schmultz. I must be getting old, but christmas does seem so over the top. Not sure how many more Christmases I’ve got to wrestle with garish paper.
This year Alfie made some cards and the beastly school printed them. As good granny I had to buy them. I havent sent christmas cards in years. Iconoclasts don’t send cards. But Iconoclasts still have grandchildren who will notice. I have twenty badly drawn cards of a vageuly christmassy feel. I must do something with them or else there will be horrible achy feelings. Well, the last few presents must be purchased, the goose and beef ordered and twenty startled friends who will worry I’m getting soppy in my old age.
Get through Christmas as best you can, remember good manners cost little and do oil the wheels
Love Bungolow LIL