With Christmas Day hurtling towards us with the speed of a linen basket dashing from a pair of the Grinch’s underpants, I’m concerned to be still awaiting delivery of a few festive gifts purchased in the middle of November…… In hindsight, perhaps it was misguided to order my daughter Rachel a pet sloth family as a Yuletide trinket. Particularly one who stubbornly insist on walking as part of the delivery process.

This morning my prising open of advent calendar door 12 was accompanied by a scene of aural festive poetry. This yuletide soundscape provided by a robin redbreast, windowsill in situ, whistling what sounded like the refrain Edelweiss (from movie The Sound of Music).

A beautifully melodic musical offering which moved me almost as much as the movie version of this moving refrain; crooned by actor Christopher Plummer.

Admittedly, the robin’s canorous toots of the tune bore a few erroneous notes absent from writers Rodgers and Hammerstein’s original interpretation. However, bearing in mind I only started teaching the little fella the songs structure on Monday, he made a pretty good fist of it….. Well, wing.

I’ve gotta admit coaching an avian to whistle a much loved (or even much hated) tune is a tough challenge. They’ve the attention span of a goldfish and are notoriously intransigent when artistic differences arise. That being said, it’s a darn sight easier task than persuading Christopher Plummer to perform the romantic refrain in the modest comfort of my West Yorkshire home.

I’d proffer with some confidence that the actor, who played Captain Von Trapp in director Robert Wise’s 1965 movie, would be mightily indifferent at venturing from his home in Toronto, Canada to West Yorkshire. Particularly when the gig was providing live ceremonial backing music to the opening of my advent calendar’s door 12….. Or indeed any other door.

In fact, I’d go one further and submit that, now at 90 years of age, Plummer’s emotion would be far stronger than indifference to an odyssey to my UK residence. His rejection of the request’d be no doubt delivered with the same scornful disdain hurled at Kurt (his on-screen daughter’s one time suitor) on hearing the 18 year old Austrian lad had defected to the Nazis during the Anschluss***.

*** – The 1938 annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany.

Yours truly visited Toronto last year. With a bit of foresight, while Ontario in situ, I could’ve maybe popped round to Christopher Plummer’s house and requested he performed/recorded the last song ever written by Oscar Hammerstein II…… It would’ve saved yours truly the hassle of spending time training a robin red breast to trill Edelweiss.

Well, that’s in the event old Plums (as no-one knows Christopher Plummer by) would’ve granted me and my tape recorder access to his Ontarian mansion…… Hmmmmm, on reflection, I’d have still been training the robin wouldn’t I?!

On commencing this paragraph I received a phone call advising that two of the online purchases I allude to above have finally arrived….. About bloody time Mr and Mrs Sloth!!…. Any idea how long the kids are going to be?!

This morning has proved fruitful for GJ Strachan. As well as penning this blog, I’ve finally completing the purchase of none online Christmas presents I’m bequeathing to friends and family. Benefactions which he’s already enveloped in the finest festive wrapping paper money can buy….. Well, the finest you can purchase in Card Factory anyhow.