Ho ho ho 

The reindeer head was one of the first signs that Xmas madness was beginning to descend. I was out shopping with my husband, some time around November – maybe early November – and we found them tucked away on a shelf among the various piles of Christmas paraphernalia. When you pressed the reindeer’s ear, he sang and his mouth moved.

I would not say he had a stunning voice, he sounded not unlike the late English actor Robert Morely, but any concern over his ability to sell a tune was quickly put aside when he started, because his singing was accompanied by coloured flashing lights in his antlers.

I tried to resist, but I absolutely could not, and the one person I can guarantee is not going to stop me is my husband, although he was concerned with logistics. ‘Let’s wait until we are ready to leave,’ he suggested, ‘so that we are not lugging it all around the store.’

I panicked. ‘No!’ I said, ‘You don’t know what these people are like.’ At this point I gestured wildly around to the mild mannered shoppers in store that day. ‘These people are locusts. If they spot these, we will come back and they will be gone. Look! There are only four left on the shelf as it is.’

My husband sighed. He has lived with my over active imagination for decades now.

‘I’ll get us a trolley,’ he said.

It was just as well he did, because it did not stop at the reindeer head, but carried on to include a singing Santa, complete with board shorts and swiveling hips.

As it happens, I need not have panicked. I was in the same shop this afternoon and there was a whole heap of them out on the floor, stacked up like a furry-headed Christmas tree in a position on the floor that might hint that they had not exactly flown off the shelves in their previous locations.

I snapped a picture and sent it back to my husband, ‘Just as well we bought one early!’ I quipped.

My husband took the fifth.

Yesterday, he had already walked the dogs when I got home late from my parents’ house so I took them around the block. It is a shorter walk, but they find it terrifically exciting as they do not do it very often and there is always something new to smell or see. On that occasion it was a group of ducklings. No mum or dad, but a group of about seven siblings, old enough to roam around on their own, but still young enough to want to stick in their group. I loved the way they moved together, waddling slightly, but close, as if held together my a magnetic force. It was charming to watch, until of course Archie got wind of them and led Lucy astray, both of them charging at the group, which took off immediately.

Our little family is scattered for most of the year and even now, one brother is here but my dad is not home but currently recovering in hospital – he seems to have a little fever following a day procedure he had on Monday so I am hoping that will settle down. Brother number two will fly in with his family tomorrow, so I hope my dad will be home to meet his new grandson. Either way the apartment, which is big enough for two, will be bursting at the seams over the next three weeks as  they are huddled together like the ducklings. I shall have to remind Lucy and Archie to be on their best behaviour when visiting.


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