Don’t know about you but I had a great night’s kip last night. Went to bed around nineish and slept through until 6am, afaik. Unless I did a bit of sleepwalking. I dreamt no dreams. Twas indeed the classic dreamless sleep above which the silent stars go by.

This morning I breakfasted well on two slices of brown toast and half a grapefruit and am now in the shed addressing the issues of the day. The greatest issue is the pressing need to mop the floor inside the shed door. 

This relatively straightforward job is made slightly less straightforward in that my mop has only a half length handle. It was purchased in order to facilitate the cleaning of the greenhouse glass for which a shorter handle makes more sense. The shed floor however needs a full length mop if I am to avoid having to crouch down to clean the floor.

I know the cynics amongst you will challenge this with “what’s wrong with crouching down, I do it all the time when searching for my dropped contact lens” but I live in a world where life has been made easy for me. It is akin to the days of the Roman empire where the ruling classes would be seen to lie on chaise longues and be fed bunches of grapes.

Reality is that on a Monday morning I like to get my brain around anything that needs doing workwise before the day gets going. The first item on my works list says “butcher”. This is not a work item but I stuck it in my work calendar so that no rash individual would book a meeting with me thereby scuppering said planned retail expedition. We do need a trip to the butch but the Christmas meat shop can wait until tomorrow where my whole day is blocked out for a “work” pub crawl in York which ain’t now going to happen.

The winner is the shed floor. I’ve decided I need a big mat for the entrance but the mopping has been accomplished. Need to let it dry now before reentering.

Just returned from a successful Christmas shopping trip. Just 3 people to buy for and nailed it. Can’t say any more just in case they are reading this, knowworramean…

It is Monday of Christmas week. Christmas Day, being Saturday, is still a fair way off yet but we are in the final run in. I assume most of you have your plans sorted. Ours are very much phased:

  1. The Sainsburys shop to use up all the Nectar points (£155) was completed last weekend. I don’t collect Nectar points and there are few places to spend them.
  2. The Waitrose delivery is due tomorrow between 1pm and 2pm. I have just under two hours to add anything but it isn’t a biggie as I’ll be doing a Waitrose run first thing on Friday morning
  3. Carol singing in the Morning Star Wednesday evening – 7am start if you fancy coming along. Will be in the heated marquee so plenty warm.
  4. The meat run to Fosters will take place Thursday. I expect to have to queue.
  5. That last minute trip to Waitrose as you know happens on Friday. This is to buy fresh fruit and veg and bread plus anything else I think I might have missed or just feel like buying anyway cos it’s Waitrose and it’s Christmas. Probs go early. Waitrose opens at 7am on Christmas Eve. If I can get there for 7am I will although it will to some extent depend on what pre Christmas festivities happen on Thursday night. Lbefine.
  6. Friday afternoon is listening to the wireless whilst I get myself sorted for the big day. Maybs rope in a few veg preparers. Do the brandy butter. That kind of stuff.
  7. Friday evening will involve picking up takeaways. Chinese from Tang on Newland Street West and Indian from Castle View, Two of the best. I’ll do the Castle View run and have a beer there with the owners. We give people the choice – mix and match Indian and Chinese or just one of them for starter and main.

Historically we used to go to the Morning Star for early doors on Christmas Eve but latterly the crowd there has been unfamiliar to us so we may not go this year, especially with the looming spectre that is covid. See how it goes.



last posting date

This morning I offered to cook the Davies lads breakfast. They are all home, for the moment. However I am the only Davies lad up and at it and am happy to dedicate a few moments of reflection on a settee in the front room. The settee is surrounded by bags of Christmas decorations.

The coffee table in front of me has six bags of chocolate tree decorations. Make that 5 bags. I scoffed one last night. There seems to be a dearth of these items in the supermarkets (singular actually) I frequent so I ordered some online and this particular order was a pack of six. Must have been a good deal. The problem is the chocs are a bit on the small side. Good job there are 72 of them. 60 I mean.

Whilst waiting for some company at brekkie I have busied myself replacing broken light bulbs, one in Hannah’s room and another in the kitchen. There is a third, in the kitchen, that needs doing but I can’t get at it until another pile of empty Christmas decorations boxes is moved back to its place of storage in the garage. Another job to be getting on with. It’s a 2 person job because someone needs to hand the boxes up to me on the ladder.

Alan Titchmarsh is on the wireless – Classic FM. This is very cushy gig for Al. He just sits there reading out some links between the music thinking of the chink chink of the till after the show when someone counts out some gold sovereigns into his outstretched palm. 

The other seasonal media item that immediately springs to mind is the Coca Cola advert. It’s a full length movie designed to make us feel good about Christmas ending with a communal Christmas Dinner where the only drinks to be seen are bottles of full fat coke. Doesn’t sound like a very representative lunch if most people I know are anything to go by. I won’t need reminding not to buy any full fat coke.

One final observation is that today is the last date for posting a letter if you want it to get there before Christmas and only have second class stamps. That of course will be no use to you if the letter is the one to Santa. Your only recourse here will be to opt for Parcelforce Worldwide express24, AM, 9 & 10 which you can leave until Thursday.

The only thing I’d say is what on earth are you up to leaving it this late to get the letter off to Santa. For one, regardless of any perceived SLA on offer, it is a bit risky. 

The second thing is that it is all very well getting the letter there but if it doesn’t arrive until Christmas Eve that doesn’t give the Elves much time to get everything processed and onto the sleigh. Especially with the staff shortages being created by the Omicron variant.

Moreover one assumes that each letter has to be properly scrutinised by the “has this boy or girl been good” committee. How do we know that this esteemed body of worthies don’t down tools themselves after lunchtime on the 24th and head to the pub or get the last minute grocery shopping done.

Your problem not mine.


a robin sang

A robin sang to me this morning as I trod the well worn path to the shed. It reminded me of the Thomas Hardy poem, The Darkling Thrush and was quite inspiring. We live in tumultuous times not dissimilar to the fervourless world of the poet. Unfortunately Hardy got there first. The robin remains unrecorded in rhyme, historically unheralded.

Interesting to consider Thomas Hardy’s powers of observation. He must have heard that thrush and leant there listening for a while. The moment stuck in his memory enough for him to sit down and write when he got home. Did he carry a pencil and paper with him to note ideas as they happened in case he later forgot? Makes sense to me.

It should be added here that the path wasn’t really well worn as it is formed of york stone. I said that to indicate that my journey to the shed was a regular one. The path hasn’t been there long enough to show any wear from the relatively few footsteps it would have seen. 

Were I to have crossed the lawn every morning in the same direction there would definitely have been some wear specially at this time of year. As it is, I spotted some signs of wear early during the summer and started to avoid walking across the grass, or at least taking different routes to get to the shed. This also has the benefit of making an ambush less likely as any wrongdoers would have to guess which particular route I would choose on any given occasion.

I still have a tendency to cross the lawn on my way back to the house, at least when it is dark. Hey…

Now I am sat in a regular conference call on mute, camera off and the volume turned right down so the proceedings are just audible. It is quite distracting and I find myself coming off mute to chip in occasionally. In all fairness this meeting is probably the most useful of the week 🙂

Today is filled with meetings until 3.30 at which point I decamp to the Morning Star for the annual sole traders Christmas bash. In which the self-employed in my circle of friends, most of my friends actually, get together to celebrate the end of the year and reflect on the 12 months that have just gone by.

In reality there is little reflection involved other than whose turn it is to buy the next round. This year the numbers will probably be down for obvious reasons. Last time we held this party was two year ago. I was just getting over a horrendous cold and when we met in the snug of the Strugglers I passed it on to the boys. Ah well.


mushy banana

Had a mushy banana with my cereal for breakfast. Only a bit of it was mushy and I cut most of that off. However when I picked up the skin to remove from the table I caught the mushy bit underneath. Yuk. Nothing really. A little snapshot of a day in the life of Trefor Davies.

As I was leaving the kitchen Jamie Oliver was on the iPad offering some Christmas cookery tips. His programme doesn’t interest me. I heard him mention that after not being able to get together with anyone last Christmas he had prepared some recipes for this year’s round of parties. Recorded in the summer obvs. I’m sure he could have wangled an invite to last year’s Number 10 Christmas bash had he wanted to go! Neither being of a political persuasion nor a celebrity chef I wouldn’t have been invited.

Today I have a meeting at 09.30 then we are off to Sainsburys to spend the £116.97 worth of Nectar points accumulated on trips with LNER before they changed the rewards scheme again. I’ve had the points for a couple of years but we don’t use Sainsburys as it is at the wrong end of town. Figured we should get rid before they change the scheme themselves. 

Tinned grapefruit is in prospect. We only ever buy it at Christmas. I wonder if everyone else is the same. Do shops have to stockpile tins of grapefruit in anticipation of the seasonal rush? Dunno. Maybe it’s just me. When I were a lad tinned grapefruit was always on offer for breakfast on Christmas Day. In the shoebox. Luxury living.

Cavalleria rusticana is playing gently in the shed. Tres relaxing. There may be bits to the music that are not relaxing but this bit certainly is. Now the Lark is Ascending.

It’s a quiet morning in the run up to Christmas. Two kids are here and a third is due today albeit temporarily. Neither is up. I saw the lights on at 3am and suspect that a late night/early morning cricket watching session was in prospect. I didn’t want to look at the score when I woke up but I have now. Although the colonials have started well at least England aren’t all out for 93 or some similarly inadequate number.

I must go now. I must away. There is a cup of tea to prepare before 09.30.


the varied day

A varied day. Began with a conference call with “South Africa” followed by a photoshoot down at the Anne’s Vans depot on Great Northern Terrace. We are documenting progress on our new van on YouTube and today was all about what it looks like before we have done anything to it. Vid probs won’t be posted until after Christmas.

Ended up at the Italian caff in the Carlton Centre for a sandwich with our photographer John. Quite a nice ham and mustard mayo with rocket on the side sandwich on focaccia fair play. Turned down the offer of chips! 

This is partly because chips are likely to be on offer at the Friendship Inn tonight where our little golf society is holding its end of year booze up. Not everyone can make it but we will have a quorum. The usual choice of meal is pie and chips. It’s not a bad pie and chips although it tends to be a little light on the chips. 

Pie was off – you have to order them. Had medium rare steak. Came out medium to well done. Won’t do that again…


dank december

Another dank winter’s morn here in Lincolnshire. Winter has mostly been a con in my lifetime. Ok we do get some freezing cold days in January and February (and June) with the accompanying Christmas card scenes but mostly they are wet and miserable.

Christmas is certainly never white. Considering how far North we are in the geographic scheme of things this is disappointing. I know we have the gulf stream to thank for this and there ain’t much I can do about the gulf stream but it would be very nice to have snowy winters. At least they would feel real.

I can’t imagine living at the equator and getting the same weather all year round. Sipping banana daiquiris from coconut shells whilst slung in a hammock between palm trees sounds idyllic but there does come a time where you want to replace the exotica with home comforts. Log fire. Snuggly warm blankets. Hot mug of cocoa instead of coconut cup.

This is the last proper week of work for many of us before the holidays. Absolutely nothing happens anywhere next week and then it’s the Big Day. We all look forward to Christmas. The annual festival of excess. Wouldn’t do us any harm one year to make it the festival of reasonable indulgence, or near abstinence. Not everyone can celebrate it in the same way, not that that is a reason for not celebrating.

Christmas means different things to different people. For me it is a nostalgia trip and the fact that all the kids come home to their mother (and me obvs). For others it is the symbolic mid winter feast celebrated from the early neolithic period, the heyday of Stonehenge.  I’m sure all of you will have different reasons for celebrating.

It isn’t about the struggle to decide what present to get someone. Well it is partly. Don’t do as I did one year and leave it until Christmas Eve afternoon only to find that the one thing the person you love most in the world had asked for was sold out, in ten different shops. Ahem. Then there was the year we said we wouldn’t buy anything for each other. Don’t risk that one!

We do need to somehow strike a balance at this time of year. By this I mean that tomorrow afternoon we are off around the corner for tea and cake. Then I’m taxiing to meet the golfing crowd for the end of season sherbert (again). Friday it’s the Sole Traders Christmas party, starting early afternoon in the Strugglers. Next week it’s the annual Capacity Yorkshire pub crawl and the Morning Star Carols. Then it’s Christmas.

In the words of the immortal Winnie the Pooh,  backson.

It is dark again. A flicker of light dances in the hearth. The fire is not lit. It is a battery operated candle. Doesn’t feel totes authentic but it is what it is and represents the age in which we live.

The thing that is wrong about a battery operated candle is the absence of the primordial. That feeling you get when gazing into a fire. Dancing flames take you back to the days outside the cave, huddling closer in for protection from the noises in the night.

early one morning

milkman delivers

Nudged gently awake by the milkman at 5am this morning. The bastard. Not really. I was already awake and heard the gentle opening of the front porch door and a barely discernible clunk as four full bottles of semi skimmed were deposited carefully in the half empty crate in the corner. Not a chink chink to be heard.

When I said “not really” I was addressing two potential sources of misinformation. Firstly the milkman did not physically nudge me. That would have been a bit odd. You can picture the note on the front door: 

“Dear milkman, I need to get up early today. The front door is open. Would you mind popping upstairs and giving me a nudge. Please be as quiet as you can as I don’t want to wake the wife. She would be cross. Cheers, Tref”

Secondly, and in all fairness to the milkman, I have no idea whether he is a bastard or not. It is irrelevant. As far as I am concerned he provides our household with a valued service that we are keen to continue supporting. Of course I’d rather he wasn’t a complete tosser but I suspect that he is not otherwise he wouldn’t get up as early as he does to deliver his goods.

The morning has flown by. It is a well known fact that time does this when you get older and crossing the threshold of sixty presumably nudges it into an extra gear. The biggest surprise is that Einstein did not incorporate this into his General Theory of Relativity. It must form a part of it somehow. You heard it first from me (possibly).


trefbash 60

Relaxing in the comfort of our hotel room in the heart of Empire. I seem to recall from some remote little used part of my memory banks that Trafalgar Square was considered to be such. I may be wrong. It matters not.

Outside the window two maple leaf flags flutter above the entrance to Canada House. Quite cold out there. I sense. I brought my down lined parka for this trip. Comfort over style.

We are warm and cosy inside and are planning on meeting some pals for a drink at around 5pm. Heading to The Victoria in Dalston later for the Pylons gig. Will be a goodun if you are in town.

Ciao amigos. Hasta la vista (or something like that)

The hotel room is triple glazed and seemingly very effective. Winter coats, visible on the street below, stride purposefully by. Tourists remain but difficult to determine their point of origin. Few foreign visitors I expect.

I feel that this afternoon might be the opportunity for me to indulge in a cream cake. Lunch is not on the cards as we breakfasted late.  As for tonight I have ordered 150 Caribbean meals. Washed down by gallons of grog and rum drunk out of tankards and coconut shells. Not going to eat 150 meals myself obvs. There is enough to go around. After much deliberation we arrived at Trinidad curried chicken, especially for Shannon, jerk chicken, jerk pork shoulder, jerk sweet potato and black bean curry all served with rice and peas and roti flatbreads. Followed by that ole favourite pudin de pan with coconut sugar caramelized plantains. Standard pirate fare. And birthday cake if anyone still has room. Sa nice cake.

So got to keep some space for all that. Can always fit in a cream cake though. It is a law of nature.

Another successful trefbash. The thunder of the confetti cannons has faded and the last of the streamers have been swept away. Partygoers have left the city for the provinces that most of them call home – the peace of the shires and a slower, more survivable pace of life.

Our train is quite full and someone is sitting in my seat. No seat reservations have been displayed. She was very disgruntled when I suggested to her she might want to move to the window seat so that I could occupy my booked place. We found an unoccupied table further down the compartment and left her to bathe in her own grumpiness. 

We have another party to attend tonight and that is then that until Thursday’s sold out Rills Engine Shed gig. This coming week will be one for getting things done before the holiday season proper. Trefbash is the starting gun for the party season but the return of the tribe to the mothership is the real start of Christmas.

Amongst the many highlights of trefbash60 was the consumption of 152 pornstar martinis. Not sure I’ve ever had a pornstar martini but one assumes that they must have been quite acceptable for the pirate community to have downed that many. The modern pirate equivalent of grog or rum.

It is a warm and cosy Sunday morning. I am back in the shed to avoid the sound of the vacuum cleaner that is disturbing the peace of the Sabbath. My great great great great grandfather the Reverend Daniel Davies was excommunicated from his church the Penybont Baptist Chapel in Llandysul for allowing one of his farm workers to work in the fields on a Sunday. The church relented after a few years and let him back in but had they found out that Mrs Davies was also hoovering that morning it might have been a step too far.

It is a bright and sunny morning out there and despite having taken temporary sanctuary in the shed, not being of a religious persuasion I am free to tick one or two jobs off the list. One of them is to get the pork casserole ready for this evening. A long slow cook is the order of the day and it gives me the opportunity to use up a can of the cider we have in the garage.

The second job is to get the Christmas decorations down from the high up shelves in the garage. This is not one man job but as Anne is operating the aforementioned random noise generator she is unavailable to stand at the bottom of the ladder to receive the boxes.

My other job today is all the thank yous that are the fall out from my birthday celebrations. The card givers, the sponsors who make trefbash possible every year. The revellers should consider this as a thank you for coming along and helping me celebrate.

I do find it surreal that trefbash exists. I was going to make trefbash60 the last but the positive sentiment for the party has been so great that I feel it would be letting people down if I stopped now. Considering the covid headwinds it was amazing that we could collectively pull the event off. 

For a brief moment life will fall back into a semblance of normality. I do have to ask what is normal? A cup of tea and toast for breakfast? Gazing out of the window wondering when I will get around to clearing the rest of the leaves off the lawn. That’s an easy one. Green Thumb are coming tomorrow and before they apply any treatment they will have to blow the leaves away. That’s sorted then.

Christmas is coming hard on the rails and tomorrow our first offspring returns from London for the duration. 


dawns the day

Dawns the day of trefbash60. Preparations are complete. The cake is being delivered this pm. 

Phone has been pinging quite a bit. “I’ve caught covid”, “can I bring a +1 who has arrived on a surprise visit”, “I’ve broken my arm”. Etc. Can’t use that one too often. It’s a bit like taking an sneaky day off to “go to your grandmother’s funeral”.

Relaxing breakfast. Until 10ish.

Off to the barbers this morning. He used to cut my cousin Ken’s hair so must be good. Haircut and shave. The Works. Hopefully ears and eyebrows too. I’m of an age yanow.


The hotel room is triple glazed and seemingly very effective. Winter coats, visible on the street below, stride purposefully by. Tourists remain but difficult to determine their point of origin. Few foreign visitors I expect.

I feel that this afternoon might be the opportunity for me to indulge in a cream cake. Lunch is not on the cards as we breakfasted late.  As for tonight I have ordered 150 Caribbean meals. Washed down by gallons of grog and rum drunk out of tankards and coconut shells. Not going to eat 150 meals myself obvs. There is enough to go around.

After much deliberation we arrived at Trinidad curried chicken, especially for Shannon, jerk chicken, jerk pork shoulder, jerk sweet potato and black bean curry all served with rice and peas and roti flatbreads. Followed by that ole favourite pudin de pan with coconut sugar caramelized plantains. Standard pirate fare. And birthday cake if anyone still has room. Sa nice cake.

So got to keep some space for all that. Can always fit in a cream cake though. It is a law of nature.


3 sleeps to trefbash60

A quiet start to the day. Up early for the usual start the week meeting. Can’t see me doing it after next week. Also booked swimming for today and tomorrow.

After Tuesday the world goes into trefbash60 mode. The gig is on Thursday – just 3 more sleeps. It feels a little surreal. Obviously I’ve known it’s been coming for almost 60 years. 

When you are a toddler watching the Magic Roundabout on the telly your 60th birthday party plays no part in your thought process. It is an unimaginable timespan away. 3 days is a lot easier to get your brain around. Most things are already sorted. Everything really. Just need to rock up and party.

Outside the shed the leaves continue to fall. Can’t be many left now. The cycle is nearly over. Hibernation starts. Interesting that the world goes into a different mode at this time of year. Except for the stalwarts of our small golf society who have planned a number of rounds of golf over the festive period. Will need to get out for some fresh air.

In the meantime if you haven’t got your outfit sorted for trefbash60 now is the time. #piratesofthecaribbean


after noon

It is after noon. Makes more sense to me to make that into two words rather than afternoon. I’ve done the shopping and not bought anything that wasn’t on my list although I did buy two of some of the items on the basis that I wasn’t sure how much was required.

I’ve made it through another Christmas Market without visiting the Christmas Market. The nearest I got was the Morning Star which was rammed with people taking shelter from the cold and rain. 

Terry did even better. He was staying at the White Hart which for those of you unacquainted with our fair city is right in the heart of the Christmas Market. It is however possible to get to the White Hart along Eastgate which avoids the market completely and this is what Terry did. 

In the Morning Star, where we were fortunate enough to find a table, the foursome sat next to us kept putting off the moment of leaving the pub by buying another round. Several times. In the end it was the guilt of having come all the way (from somewhere else) that forced them out into the weather.

Today the weather is sunny with the occasional drifting cloud coming into view. Perfect weather to walk around the Christmas Market. I am disinclined to do this. It will wait until next year…


orrible out there!

What a horrible day it is out there. Orrible. I’m sat warm and cosy by the fire in the front room. No way am I going to check out the Christmas Market in this weather. I will make it as far as the Star – meeting Terry at 4.30 for a couple. Maybe three…

All is quiet in the house. Offspring and partners are either chillin upstairs or out satisfying a masochistic urge to get cold and wet walking around the market.

In the kitchen the wireless is playing the Wolves v Liverpool match. Chelski lost earlier against West Hayme or however it is pronounced dahn there. Fwiw.

Darkness is descending. WIth a little luck the temperature is also going to plummet as I have 8 bags of ice in a plastic bucket out the back and I don’t want them to melt before their time. 

In an ideal world they wouldn’t melt at all but having studied physics in my younger days I know this is not going to happen. Certainly not in our house. If we lived in an  igloo on the Arctic ice shelf it might be a different story but were that the case I wouldn’t have had to buy the ice from Waitrose. Also I doubt there is a Waitrose anywhere near the Artic ice shelf. 

The other issue with line of reasoning is that the Artic ice shelf may not be there for too much longer which is a concern obvs.

Gotta go. Have to bring some dead trees in before I head for the pub.

early one morning


The bedside clock showed 6:00. Six am. It entered my head that this was a fairly pure number. It seemed whole, had beauty. It was nothing to do with the time of day. Just the numbers 6:00 in green right there next to my head on the pillow.

As these thoughts assembled the clock changed to 6:01. I felt robbed, mildly. I didn’t get the whole minute. Must have caught it some way through the sixty seconds. The incident was strong enough to stick in my mind for me to record it downstairs a short time later. 

The 6:01 prompted me to get up. Things to do. Busy day ahead with our Annual Christmas Market Party. We gather around the fire in our front room and sing carols. It’s a fantastic evening. I don’t do the religious thing but I do  do the carol singing. I love singing carols. 

The ingredients for the beef stew for tomorrow’s lunch have now been assembled on the chopping block in the middle of the kitchen. These include some of my home grown onions and garlic. Deeply satisfying. The beef isn’t home grown. That wouldn’t be practical but the other ingredients could be. Even the Timothy Taylors Landlord could be a home brew although the taste would not be the same. 

The streaky bacon would have been doable. Our old house in Greetwell Gate used to have a pigsty out the back. The deeds had a clause allowing us to keep a pig. Never did. My grandmother used to keep a pig but they changed the law saying it had to be slaughtered in an abattoir and that killed off the home grown pig industry, so to speak.

Our front room is in dire need of a tidy. It has been a dumping ground for things that need to be packed away somewhere. Some of my dad’s stuff. Four boxes of glasses we bought for general purpose party use. The supermarkets have stopped lending out glasses. I bought 96 wine glasses and 96 tumblers. They will need a home after tonight.

Anyway the tea is made. I’m off back upstairs.

early one morning


I lay in bed this morning debating whether to just stay there or get up and go downstairs. Bed was warm and cosy and last night there had been frost on the ground so downstairs, before the heating had kicked in, didn’t necessarily feel quite as attractive. 

It’s one of those situations where your mind feels somehow trapped in its surroundings. It was dark except for the clock radio and the little light filtering in around the edges of our heavy bedroom curtains and my eyes were closed anyway.

I put my specs on. This brings the darkness into focus, strangely, even if I close my eyes. Putting my specs on is a precursor to getting up. I took them off again and laid them quietly back on the bedside table. Sod it, I put them back on and up I got.

Had a quick look around the media. Doesn’t take long. Some chubby jowled fat cat won the Bexley by election for the Tories. Man U scraped a win against Arsenal. Nothing of any consequence. No knighthood for Trefor Davies “Boy will he be surprised when he finds out,” says Queen. No surprise there then 🙂

A Lordship would be more useful. It would get my expenses paid on trips to London. Just have to pop my head round the door of the House of Lords, wave at some of my peers, sign the register and head out for some Christmas shopping and a spot of lunch. Sorted.

Would probs do without the Christmas shopping bit. That’s not my department. I did buy my own birthday present (might have been the Christmas present) last time I was in London. Some shaving kit from Sweyn Forkbeard’s in Camden Market. Badger hair shaving brush, soap and stand. This was donated by me to Anne to give to me as a present yesterday when she declared she had no idea what to get me.

All I really want for Christmas is a couple of pairs of nice warm cotton pyjamas. My stock request from the kids is for them to write me a letter. I don’t need anything bought, but everyone likes to give something tangible don’t they? Except when it’s a feelgood “goat for African villager” type of present.

I think we may have given a goat one year. Not sure. I did plant 500 trees last week. Check it out here. I have to go and make the tea.


The start of Christmas

Dark out. Tuesday. Just two days until Thursday. Obvious I know but the significance is that this Thursday traditionally kickstarts Christmas. The return of Lincoln Christmas Market. It heralds our annual carol singing party on the Saturday.

We don’t remember when we had the first party. We think it was before Tom was born and he will be 30 this Christmas. Last year was the only year we didn’t have one. On years where we hadn’t bothered organising one people would ask us about the party so we would relent and have it anyway. There isn’t much to do so we don’t need much notice.

At our party we drink and sing and afterwards when we are carolled out, depending on who is there, we have a bit of a jazz jamming session. People eat before coming but there are snacks – cheesy balls and stuff like that. 

I like cheesy balls. Or at least I think I do but they never really turn out as I seem to remember them. Maybe the recipe changed. It’s the only night of the year we have cheesy balls. That’s because they are crap really and it takes me a year to forget 🙂 

Although the Lincoln Christmas Market is a big affair for the city we stopped “doing it” years ago. The stalls are usually the same every year, ish, and whilst it is probably a good earner for the businesses around the Bailgate area it is a bit of a nuisance for many residents with the roads being closed off.

I usually limit my exposure to the market itself by walking through it to get to the Strugglers for a few on the Friday night, early doors. The main benefit to us of there being the Market is that the kids all come home for the weekend. This is not so much to see the market per se but for our carol singing to which they invite their friends who also come back year on year. It is a source of great pleasure that neighbouring kids who would in the past have been dragged along by their parents still want to come as adults when they have a choice.

We will have a full house and therefore an effort will be put into the provision of a hearty meal on Sunday. Not often do we have a big Sunday lunch so something else to look forward to. We might even get the tree up Sunday morning although I’d have to nip and get it Saturday. 

So that’s the start of the thirty or so days of Christmas.There’s a song there… I look forward to it.