Now, I don't want to panic anyone, but there are only 50 DAYS LEFT TO PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF PLEASE DON'T STOP THE MUSIC! 50! That's like, no time at all if, like me, you can spend a fortnight looking for a sock. And you know those 50 days will be gone in a flash, by the time you've had Christmas, and then New Year, and you're still thinking 'oh, I'll get round to it soon', and then before you know it it's February the First and the book is out and you have LOST YOUR CHANCE TO BE THE FIRST TO READ IT!
Consider yourselves told.
Now. In more sober news, I have yet to buy a Christmas tree. But this is because I have yet to shovel clear an area of floor suitable for placement of said Yule greenery. I live in the official House of Doors, you see. It's a bit like living in a giant corridor when it comes to Christmas Trees and televisions - where do you put it so that it doesn't have to be wheeled out of the way every time someone lets the cat in?
Aha, I hear you cry, then why not get a small tree? Something convenient and plastic with an inbuilt crumple zone and umbrella-fold decorations? Why insist on one of those new-fangled 'real' things? Well, my dearios, it isn't like I haven't experimented, you know. Oh yes, once I too was possessed of a plastic tree; two and a half feet of shine and glitter with a little stand and ... Or was that Tony Robinson? No, no, I'm fairly sure that was the tree.
And I did mention that I live in a corridor, didn't I? My living room has...(hang on, I might need fingers here).. four doors (one of them a cupboard), a fireplace, a staircase and the recent cast of Strictly Come Dancing in it. To accommodate these features, the tree could only be placed in one position - directly opposite the patio doors. Which, in keeping with tradition, opened on to the garden.
Now I can see some of you have got ahead of me here. I can tell by the way you are sniggering and smirking. For, yes, the tree was duly placed opposite the patio doors. In a house with two dogs and four cats, all of which treat the door as though it has been placed there for their own personal use.
And Lo! came Christmas Eve! And with Christmas Eve came gales! And with the Christmas Eve gales came a run of animal incontinence the like of which has ne'er been seen!
Now, if you've ever opened a patio door to a gale you may have some glimmering as to the result. Cat wanted out. Door was casually opened, in came a wind as winds do, wandering around the place, running its finger along the mantelpiece and muttering about dust, caught the plastic Christmas tree somewhere around midsection and suddenly the air was full of balls and tinsel.
The tree itself did three circuits of the living room before we caught it, some of the baubles have never been recaptured and the dog now hides under the table at the sight of a fairy.
Hence, thereafter we have always had a real tree. Six foot of solid pine which, to be on the safe side, we then nail to the floor. It ain't pretty but I'm not having those vet bills again.
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