It is fortunate that I am now able to bend both my knees. Until not so very long ago I was still having problems with my left knee in that it was painful to kneel on it. This, for those who really couldn't care less, was a hang-over from the crippling bout of arthritis with which I was afflicted during the summer. As I say, it is fortunate that I can now bow the knee as the Christmas decorations are kept in the loft. Our loft is in three parts. When the boys were teenagers or coming up to that age we had the loft converted by putting down flooring over part of it, adding plasterboard walls and ceiling and putting in a Velux window. That part of the loft is now my office. There are two storage areas, one of which has electric light and some flooring. That is where the Christmas decorations are stored during the eleven and a half months or so that they are not in use. Also stored there are numerous board games that the grandchildren are still too young to play, the remains of an N gauge electric railway layout along with the usual host of other things that really should be thrown out. To enter this Aladdin's cave of my childrens' youth we have a hatch about 2' 6" high which means I have to take to my knees to get through. I really don't know why we didn't make a higher entrance - there was more headroom - but there we are; we didn't.
I had bought a Christmas tree nearly a fortnight ago and it has been resting in the lean-to which we laughingly call a conservatory. This is where we have the freezer, the tumble drier and where we keep muddy wellies and waterproof clothing - and the dog when she comes back from a walk either soaking wet or just plain muddy. I thought that as I was to be out at a Lions meeting yesterday evening and there was nothing the Old Bat wanted to watch on television, I would put up the tree and add the lights. That is the extent of my involvement with the tree. I do have to put up the garland-like streamers around the walls of the lounge and strings on which to place the Christmas cards in the dining room but decorating the tree is reserved for She Who Must Be Obeyed. Anyway, I thought it would give her something to do while I was out. But no, she didn't want the tree brought in yesterday. So I shall have to do it today, provided SWMBO has vacuumed the carpet first.
I find it slightly surprising that no new ecorations have been bought this year, though I suppose there is still time. Most years we have at least one new thing. We also have several old decorations which are brought out year after year, like this crib scene which I bought in Holland many years ago. I had gone over with a party of
Scouts to meet up with Dutch Scouts with whom we had established a sort
of twinning arrangement. Looking round the shops in the Hague I saw
this and it proved a big hit when I got it home. I'm not sure that Joseph should really be holding a crook, but there you are.