Here in the Independent Republic of Shoreham Beach, Christmas lights are re-appearing and it's all looking very festive. We put ours up last weekend and have invited House and Garden to come and have a look. They are taking an unexpectedly long time to respond, which is fine for the moment as I can add bits and bobs to our flashing Santa, snowman and train. I've already got a title for the feature "Sparkles from Shoreham." They won't be able to resist.
Now, my eagle-eyed regulars will have noticed that I've recently got a job stacking shelves. Whilst this involves getting up at half past ridiculous and spending 4 hours with my hands in a chiller cabinet, it's apparently nothing compared to what awaits. Hannibal, his elephants and the mighty armies of Carthage, are due anyday now and will besiege Holmbush for a couple of weeks. Us fearless black clad warriors are on a war- footing. Local reinforcements are arriving every day; peace-loving regulars are stocking up and heading for the hills and we're being hardened by tactics such as sleep deprivation as the carrot of extra hours at time and a half is dangled in front of us. And why? Because it's Christmas. Some think it's a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Christ. Poppycock; it's a battle and I'm in the front line. Skirmishing is expected near the sausage rolls, hit and runs down the aisles and explosions near the till points. Christmas is not a season of joy and goodwill to all mankind, it's a terrifying ordeal only the toughest can survive. So please do your bit to ease the tension, apply the wafer thin mint test before you balance that extra pack of mince pies on your food mountain.
But should Christmas be terrifying? Just imagine this text is going all wavy now and we're transported into a dreamworld. What's your ideal Christmas? Relaxed, peaceful, exciting, romantic, spiritual, an oasis of calm and contentment? Whatever you'd love it to be, put it down on a postcard, and stick it on the fridge. Oh, and at the risk of being a party pooper, I want to whisper in your ear, manage your expectations. People that don't get on 365 days a year, don't get on at Christmas; there is only a half time break between arrival and the Queen's Speech. However, if you've been inspired by the real meaning of Christmas, then all bets are off.
So, what's my ideal Christmas?
1. A lie in - chances of being achieved - 0/10
2. Relaxed - chances of being achieved - varies from 0/10 to 10/10.
3. Fun - chances of being achieved - ditto.
4. Spiritual - chances of being achieved - ditto.
5. Satisfying - chances of being achieved - ditto.
At the risk of making this blog sound like thought for today, I've also been mulling over this idea that we're all in a terrible rush. No time to draw breath let alone read or get to know a neighbour. I wonder whether this is really true or whether we've simply forgotten how to prioritise? The more mobile forms of communication we have, the more chances there are to create the illusion that all tasks are equally important. If we buy into that, we are condemned to spend our lives chasing our tails. My advice? Get a list and prioritise, prioritise, prioritise. These are mine at this second;
1. Publish this blog - top priority
2. Going to bed - unless fall asleep at the keyboard, then move it up the list.
So in the spirit of leading the way, I'm going to publish now and toddle off. Doesn't matter that it's day time, it's night-night from me. Thanks for making time to drop in and see you in a week.