Every Little Helps

Book Tour Intermission

Liam and I spend most of our festive time in Blighty apart. It is our habit. He dispenses TLC to his folks while I tour the Capital like Elizabeth the First dumping myself on various friends and family. Two experiences stick in my mind.

I joined Liam at his folks for a couple of nights and helped with the festive shopping. Picture it – Tesco’s, Christmas Eve, 2011. A cast of thousands weaving over-laden shopping trolleys through the heaving aisles like bad-tempered dodgem drivers. Their faces gave the game away – London during the Blitz. The frayed staff wore festive plumage and forced smiles, praying to the Baby Jesus for closing time. It was as merry as Christmas Day at the Queen Vic.

We shuffled our way along the mile-long till queue, manoeuvred the unfamiliar hire car out of the bumper-to-bumper car park and snaked back to the house, emptied of festive joy. After we packed away the calorific goodies, I stepped outside the front door for a cheeky cigarette. I spotted a corpulent covered lady in Horn of Africa robes wander down the road towards me. A young boy skipped along at her side singing Jingle Bells. She smiled as she passed. That simple, single act of cheer recharged my yuletide spirit. I stepped back inside to recharge it further, courtesy of my father-in-law’s bottle of Jameson’s.

Have you checked out the cheery book?

13 thoughts on “Every Little Helps

  1. A smile can make all the difference can’t it?

    I’m glad I wasn’t in England until the day after Christmas…I used to hate all those queues in the supermarkets.


  2. I was in Blighty the week before Christmas and did my fair share of trolley bumping; I loved the novelty of it……. mind you, Clacton just wasn’t as glamorous as my home town 😉 x


  3. We on the other hand popped along to Tesco/Kipa, had the aisles to ourselves, managed to find a Turkey which wasn’t the size of an Ostrich and no one got grumpy………


  4. . . moments like this (the smile) keep my faith in the underlying decency of my fellow human-beings. We should all do it more often! 😀 😀 😀


  5. Our last Christmas in LimeyLand 2 years ago convinced me that there was a faint but real danger to the true spirit of crass commercialism that you portray. You may not have noticed it as the perpetrators keep it well hidden. There is an insidious trend to DRAG RELIGION INTO CHRISTMAS !!! We have to be vigilant or they may ruin it for us all.


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