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?