To keep the festive spirit going strong into the new year (and Christmas Tree Death Day), Kate in the Countryside brings you a happy tale of Christmas Tree hunting in urban sprawl.
BOF and I have been excited about acquiring our tree since last Christmas. Back then, pre-Pad, it seemed a little bold to acquire a festive shrub when we had nowhere to house it. So I spent my time wandering the snowy streets of London gazing jealously at window dressing to a soundtrack of James Blunt through frostbitten homeless ears.
This year all has changed. Firstly, no snow. Secondly, I am housed. Thirdly, I am in the process of becoming a grown up. Symptoms of this include (but are not limited to): negotiating rent with landlord; fixing internet so it no longer dies every time BOF and I youtube a song; wrapping presents in advance of Christmas day. And achieving The Christmas Tree before Christmas.
|Friendly Giant |
looked nothing like this
So, on the day allotted Tree Day, defying torrential rain, BOF and I met to hunt a Tree. This could not wait. Never mind that, post walk from work, I was already as drowned as a rat at swimming class. On the Titanic.
Rousing ourselves with carols, we scurried to Battersea Park to find (thanks Twitter) a charmingly ramshackle tree operation in the car park. Staffed by two men in kilts, one of whom was jumper-less and giant, the shop looked like an example of amateur entrepreneurship from a worthy Battersea resident. The tree chaperone was more rained on than I, this Friendly Giant, and looked positively gleeful. Only a true tree enthusiast could muster that much cheer in the face of such soggy adversity.
Poor BOF didn't know what he was getting himself into on the tree decision.
KITC: 'I want this one.'
Other Tree Man (OTM): 'That one is 52 pounds.'
KITC: 'What?? (teary) But I love it! And we can't afford that much. It's Christmas! How about … ten pounds?
OTM: This isn't really a bartering situation. We're a franchise.
BOF: Fifty-two pounds you say? Fine! Good! OK. Actually that is a lot why don't we find another tree? Maybe a shorter one? They might be cheaper you know.
KITC (lip wobbling): NO! I want this tree. It's the best tree by far. Can't you tell it's the best BOF?
BOF: We could get a littler one and put it on the table? Maybe?
OTM (gently - concerned I may be a child): OK how about I throw in some holly? And a stand?
|Tree! Also Wellies.|
Finally everything was organised to our (my) satisfaction. A marginally smaller tree at a deeply superior price was purchased. And dead holly into the bargain! I was delighted.
I carried the holly, BOF carried the tree. As we passed other soggy folk on the bridge I called 'Merry Christmas' to them all with levels of cheer that bordered on the hysterical. It was bloody brilliant.
But, dear readers, next year I resolve to get the bigger one.
NB. It should be recorded that BOF carried the tree by himself all the way to the Pimlico Pad. From Battersea. Fan-mail should be directed to his agent (KITC in this instance) by postcard. Or in comment form below. Or Twitter (@kvlmason). Thanks.