Thinking Strange Thoughts - Xmas Again
It's at this time of year that I start getting a bit nostalgic, I start thinking about Christmases past, and how great a cold , wintry, snowy Christmas would be. Its ridiculous because I hate winter here, when its not really cold ,so how could I survive back in an English winter. Its different when you are young , you don’t seem to feel the cold, I remember running around in the snow in my underpants, not that there was snow in my underpants or that I was running around inside my underpants, cause lets face it ,they would have to be very big underpants,, but I think you know what I mean. Anyway I especially remember one xmas, it had snowed for several days and of course it was great fun for us kids, every time great-grandma Agnes went to the outdoor toilet, which was about every ten minutes due to her dickey bladder, we would pour a bucket of water on the concrete outside the toilet door, this would instantly freeze and when she came out she would slide around all over the place, on several occasions she did complete double somersaults, she was a real trooper and took it in the right spirit. Early xmas morning my dad and granddad went outside to have a smoke, moments later we heard a tremendous crash ,we raced outside to find about half a tonne of snow had fallen off the roof and buried them, it was terrible, it took us about an hour to dig them out, we could have probably done it faster only my gran insisted on having a half time mince pie break. Anyway gran dad was in a right state, his teeth were chattering so badly that we had to run them under a hot tap before he put them back in. His pipe was so full of snow that he had to put it by the fire to thaw out, unfortunately our dog, who was a bit short-sighted thought it was a bone and ate it. You could not be too hard on her though she was very old and I suspect suffering from Alzheimer’s, sometimes she would chase a cat and by the time she caught it she would have forgotten why she was chasing it, then she would get all confused and have to apologise., it was sad to see. Of course this did not help my granddad who was addicted to his pipe and spent the rest of xmas whittling a new one out of a tree branch.
We spent the afternoon building a tremendous snowman, it was about a metre high and two metres wide and was modeled on Mavis Grundy who lived next door and was about a metre high and two metres wide , she was an elderly spinster lady, who never stopped complaining just because I was always kicking the ball through her windows. Mavis lived on her own, she had never married and seemed to hold me personally responsible, of course it had not helped matters the previous Guy Fawkes night when I had inadvertently fired a rocket through her lounge window and blinded her pet budgie ‘Sir Winston’ in one eye. She never let me forget it and I must admit , I still felt a bit guilty every time I saw him wearing his little eye patch. During the afternoon the ‘oldies’ would all sit down and listen to the queens speech, all except my granddad who would stand to attention and salute, then they would all fall asleep. I do not think sleeping tablets had been invented yet but the queens speech seemed to have the same effect. When everyone woke up we would eat leftovers and then everyone would put on a bit of a show for xmas, although we had toned it down a bit following Great- Grandma Agnes’s heart attack the previous xmas when she had attempted to tap dance to Flight Of The Bumble Bees’. Happy days and I don’t suppose we’ll see the likes again
Stephen Ainley Have a good xmas