I might not have had the fun and games that I was looking forward to (?) with the outside lights, but we put up the Christmas tree yesterday evening and I was allowed to play with the lights on that. In some ways, this evening will be the real start of the Christmas season for me. Sheila's friend Sheila – pay attention now, this gets complicated – is married to my friend Chris (of Les Lavandes fame). But let's start at the beginning.
I had got to know Chris and his wife Gill through Scouts and had become very friendly with them. Gill unfortunately fell down the stairs and died of her injuries, leaving Chris with four children to bring up, ranging in age from 16 or so down to about 9.
Sheila had been at school and in the Guides and was running a cub pack with another Sheila. The ‘other' Sheila's husband had gone off with another woman and she was by then divorced with two children. In time, Chris persuaded me to arrange for him to meet Sheila – and the rest is history. In fact, we all had a riotous time on their honeymoon. There were Chris and Sheila and the four youngest children, Sheila and I and our three, plus another couple and their only son. We almost took over the holiday camp for the week.
Now Mrs Chris (it's less to type that "the ‘other' Sheila"), having been an infant-school teacher, can play the piano, a friend (another teacher) plays both flute and guitar, and another friend plays the cello. The three form a trio and invite other friends round one evening just before Christmas. Chris prints off copies of the words of carols and Christmas songs and we all have a jolly evening with mince pies, sausage rolls, mulled wine etc.