Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Duck visits and advent calendars

S rang last night, a tough situation having just got somewhat rougher. With P busy this evening I suggested it was a best mate’s duty to step into the breach and take her for the night out of her choice.

As it turns out P’s commitment is cancelled and so ‘Operation Cheer Up S’ now has two main protagonists for tonight’s undertaking.

A trip to the Strawbury Duck is decided on as the perfect tonic and given how tired and post-cold I am, it’s a pleasure to have P driving (I’m enjoying getting used to this new phenomena).

Unlike the old days the pub is almost entirely empty and the food decidedly average (these two facts are surely no coincidence…), but P is on top form and if S enjoyed the evening even a shade as much as I did then it will hopefully have done the trick.

In the course of the evening the subject of Advent Calendars comes up. We all bemoan that this year none of us have personal ones (I feel bad, I quite often add one to P&S’s collection, the year I don’t…).

S is less unhappy on the basis that there are calendars for her to open at both of her churches.

The one at St Thinga-me’s she tells us is particularly good.

“Does it have chocolate in?” P & I ask.

She tells us it’s based on a cathedral design and is quite splendid.

“Does it have chocolate in?” P & I ask.

Apparently it has several sides and folds back on itself to form a structure.

“Does it have chocolate in?” P & I ask.

Apparently the doors and windows open in cunning ways and reveal a stain glassed window design behind each one.

“Does it have chocolate in?” P & I ask.

"No it doesn’t!" P and I are told quite sternly. We look slightly crestfallen.

“What’s the point in that then?”

S counters: “You can put a nightlight in the middle of the structure and then the light glows through all the stained glass windows creating a beautiful effect”.

P & I pause to consider and agree (a little grudgingly) that it does indeed sound quite wonderful despite its confectionery shortcomings.

Of course I’m actually quite impressed by even the simplest of advent calendars, given I grew up in a household on a tight budget, where the same (non-chocolate – they didn’t do that then) calendar was shared by my brother and I, year after year for many, many years. Each year my father simply closed the doors back up, ready for reuse next year (though of course they never close properly really…).

“Oh look – day 15’s an angel again this year - what a surprise…”

Once P&S stop laughing at this news of my deprived childhood/skinflintishly pragmatic father, they have the good grace to extend their sympathies. A bit.

Of course this year, I may not have a personal calendar, but I am enjoying the wonderful Dave’s cartoon advent calendar – check it out, it’s fab (even without chocolate!).

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