At reveille this morning I lay in bed mulling over what the upcoming festive season on Planet COVID would bequeath. Amongst these notions, GJ Strachan attempted to recall how Christmas advents played out prior to my 2019 health issues, marriage split and the coronavirus pandemic.
This act of recollection causing me to look back as some old narratives I’d written on the build up to yuletides of yore. Amongst them was the pièce littéraire below, which yours truly penned three years ago today. A time when my wife and I were still cohabiting, and evidently chocolate pieces were ‘mysteriously’ disappearing from behind advent calendar doors.
Anyhow, here’s my literary observations for the 13th December 2017. A time when I’d never of dreamed within the next trinity of years I’d have a heart attack in my 50’s, split from my spouse and the world was gonna be blighted by coronavirus:-
“The advent calendars door number 13 opened effortlessly this morning. A small tug of the sticky tape applied by the pilferer of its once confectionery contents all that was required to relinquish its union with the calendar façade.
The shape of the plastic insert where the candy’d lay hints today’s missing chocolate piece was a reindeer. Either that or a dog wearing a crown, or maybe a cat clad in a reindeer fancy dress outfit……. Or even possibly a cat adorning a dog wearing a crown fancy dress outfit.
On quiet reflection, as I think the last three possibilities aren’t very festive, I’m gonna go with the ‘its a reindeer’ theory. We’ll never know for definite, though, thanks to our light fingered chocolate plunderer.
To try elevate the houses Christmas cheer levels from 0.5 to 0.75 on the Richter Scale, my wife and I wore our Christmas sweaters yesterday and partook in our perennial watch of ‘White Christmas’. Sitting there in our seasonal jumpers watching a classic Christmas movie, a warm glow filled our modestly sized living room.
This not a glow of mental contentment generated by the feel good festive movie; moreover the physical affects from the flames of a 6ft advent candle on the fire hearth. Although highly unlikely to bear any basis in fact, allegedly this edifice is constructed from the ear wax of Santa’s elves. This received as a gift from an elderly aunt last Christmas.
As she always goes for overly large festive trinkets, it was a fairly typical benefaction from the old girl. Five years previous, she bought us a soap on a rope the size of a wrecking ball, of which over half still remains. An absolute monster soap, I’ve lost count of the times it’s knocked the shower guard from our bathroom wall.
It is a really awkward experience bathing with this thing as it cuts out a lot of your space, and weighs a substantial amount making it deeply uncomfortable to balance on your knees. Some say “Why use it?”, to which I respond that my wife feels it would be ungrateful not to.
God only knows how Mr Claus got it into our living room last Christmas Eve, although it’s safe to venture he didn’t come down the chimney with it. He wouldn’t have been able to due to it’s sheer size……. Plus we haven’t got a chimney!
I suspect he had to take the front bay windows out to gain access for the waxwork brute.
I’d proffer there’s significantly less wax in the BFG model at Madame Tussauds than forms this candle. Yesterday, I’d to light it stood on a set of step ladders. During this time, I went through nearly a full box of matches attempting to ignite the wick whose girth is so vast you could use it to winch in a ships anchor.
The heat it produces when ignited is quite remarkable. I’m currently debating whether I should have a chimney built to help reduce its affect, or just extinguish the flame to cool the room down a tad.
The illumination is so bright, mistaking this wax monolith for a lighthouse, we’ve been attracting the attention of oil tankers from North Sea shipping lanes……. Which, as Leeds is about 40 miles from the coast, is some achievement.
Its fragrance isn’t the most festive either. As I sit here in sun glasses looking at the brute, wearing factor 30 sun cream, I’m not being overwhelmed with the redolence of cinnamon, pine or robin sweat. The sensory prominence in this corner of chez Strachan more an ambience of creosote and crow dung….. Don’t ask!!
I know I’ll have to put out the flame at some point, however, blowing this bloody mammoth thing out won’t be one of my feasible options. My lungs would need the capacity to exhale with the power of a category 2 hurricane to achieve that goal. Consequently, I’ll need to research online for suitable alternative solutions.
Right I’m off for a shower to get away from the godforsaken heat in this room…. Time to create more damage with the soapy wrecking ball upstairs.”