Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Hunt for the Christmas Tree

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.

1 comment:

  1. i feel odd reading this tale of festive success against the odds in 30 degree sunshine on the beach in southern california. does this count as a piquant observation?

    no longer mysterious,