Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Prepared for the day, ready for the night.

To the market town for Christmas lights. Not a set to be found anywhere. The Christmas locust has swept through our little patch of France devouring every set of tree lights in existence. With Wilf in the back of the car hastily hurried off to the large town 40 minutes away and bought the last 3 sets in the new Auchan supermarket. €14 each ! A young woman sales assistant squirted me with 'male fragrance' as I was leaving. The poor girl must have been very bored or very desperate. Purchase a bottle of this and "you'll be prepared for the day - ready for the night" she said. As I was wearing a bobble hat and a shaggy jumper at the time this made me laugh out loud with genuine delight. I'll try the line on 'the font' and see what the reaction is.

Set up the Christmas crib on the half landing. Somehow we seem to have lost Joseph and acquired a little old lady instead. Maybe it was always like that and I'd simply never noticed before. There again perhaps it's some strange Biblical revisionism on the part of the Slovak crib maker who decided single handedly to write Joseph out of the plot. Curious.

Over lunchtime pizza turned on the televison to get the weather forecast. Instead I got the Wendy Williams show. I had never heard of Ms.Williams until this chance encounter. Now, here before our very eyes Wendy was interviewing Rachel, a full time Christmas tree decorator. Must be a seasonal job I thought but suspended my disbelief as the rara skirted Rachel told us the four golden rules of tree design :

1) Always use at least 100 lights per foot . A seven foot tree - at least seven hundred lights

2) Always start from the top

3) Choose a theme and stick to it

4) Stand back and view your work. Remember you're an artist !

Wilf looked at me. I looked at the half decorated tree. We then both looked at each other. " Blimey ! Shouldn't have started at the bottom" he seemed to say before we headed off for some touch rugby in the hall.


  1. Well so much for Joseph he really just a stand in anyway. I love the spray you received and the line to remember ! Christmas light, one more thing to add to the list we have found out by experience...never buy long strings of lights invariably half of them will go out the very first year for some unknown reason and your tree is only half lighted. Buy short strings and when they go out it's no big deal to replace one of them.

  2. I love your nativity scene, old lady and all! I especially like the rather nonchalant angel, legs dangling over the manger.

  3. Hahahaha , excellent!!I can see the French in a cloud of perfume trying to conquer their women- makes perfect sense! They will be practically knocked out so offer no resistance ;-)
    Yes, I have lots of American ladies who visit my blog and they all seem to have followed Wendy Williams' advice.Soon America will be popluated with tiny saplings of evergreens only hahaha.

  4. We're sure your tree will be much more fun than the professional lady's. [Although finding a job where you only have to work one month a year has its appeal; almost as good a gig as Santa, who only works one night a year.] We're not familiar with Wendy Williams, either. Gather she's another Oprah wannabe.

    How many years have you had this strange Nativity set? Curious, indeed, that Angus just noticed the ersatz Joseph. Maybe the packers got it mixed up when you moved from Italy?

    Jed & Abby

  5. That must be from the Queen James version of the Bible... :)

  6. Speaking of You'll be prepared for the day - ready for the night, do you comb Wilf's hair in the morning? In the first picture, he is ébouriffé, and his hair behaves on the second. So I was wondering :-)

  7. Love Wilf's gravity defying hairdo in the first picture. Or does he use gel? (You never know, in a land where men get sprayed with perfume on visit to the supermarket...)
    Gail and Bertie.

  8. Our Christmas tree looks very feeble and will have to be hidden from professional tree dressers.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  9. Up at 4 am for husband's flight back to Birmingham (Alabama) to interview project stakeholders. Jakey and JH thinking, steakholders -- mmmm, may we have some?

    But even in this early morning moment, can't help but wonder what happened to Mary? -- and who is the elderly lady that has taken her place?

    Ah the sweet mysteries of la France profonde.

    Also in this early morning time, somehow confused the message of the lights with the message of the perfume and was thinking it was the tree that would be prepared for the day, ready for the night -- and expected to see a glowing nighttime evergreen.

    Hope you and Wilf have a lovely day!!

    xxx Joan

  10. Well, Joseph wasn't that critical, was he?

  11. So how did "the font" like the new pick-up line?? Inquiring minds.....

  12. Wendy Williams show? In France? Cor blimey, Angus!
    Actually that is a well known tree decorating formula which people living in the States sometimes use.
    Your tree is beautiful! Simple, elegant. Not some over styled, tree designers concoction. Gorgeous.
    How did Wilf handle your male fragrance? Now there is the true test.

  13. Your tree and Wilf are beautiful, just the way they are....

    Blessings and Love,
    Janelle and Maggie Mae

  14. very funny stuff! how did the line work on the font?! :)
    hugs to wilfie...

  15. I just knew Wilf would somehow have some choice tidbit of a remark about the tree today! I am not disappointed in the least.

    I think you ought to put on that painting outfit from a while back, with the oversized sweatshirt and Crocs before you try that line on 'the font'. ;)

    That nativitiy is really unique. I like it! I've never seen one like that. The tree has its charms, too!

  16. No matter if you and Wilf started at the bottom or the top, the tree is beautiful. One question. Is it not the habit in France profonde to place the trunk of the tree in a tree stand? That actually holds water? So it doesn't go bone dry? And shed all over the dang place? Blimey!

  17. Bottom, top, it doesn't matter! The only thing that matters is that we log onto here and find that Wilf is playing touch rugby. The rest will sort itself out. We think the tree looks rather festive!! Keep going Wilf, enjoy the pizza, hoping for the crust!!

    With love, your pals from the (apparently) blizzard capital of Canada,
    Dianna along with Tor, Willow and Tucker

  18. Hello there!

    Wilf's looking really great and we looooove your Xmas tree. Having the Xmas spirit sure makes the heart feel more warm.

    The nativity set is soooo... unique. =)

    Have a great week to you, the font & Wilf!

    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai & Wai-Max

  19. we cant write now cos we are too busy laughing, in fact we are laughing so hard we are rolling on the floor!! loves and licks xxx

  20. I think you two boys did a wonderful job on the tree!

  21. Angus - I was trying to drink coffee whilst reading your post and kept laughing so hard that I almost spit it out! First, the fragrance-spraying woman - I wonder what the font will think of that. Then, Joseph written out of the plot. Finally, the full-time Christmas tree decorator. All that I can surmise is that she switches holidays with the seasons. Maybe she's an Easter egg decorator in the spring!

    We haven't cut our tree yet so I have time to use the advice - start at the top!

    Thanks for the laughs!

  22. I love the image of men being cajoled with a trial spray of perfume - at the supermarket no less - it just seems, well, so French. It certainly wouldn't happen here in the wilds of Montana, nor can I imagine it happening back home in Scotland. Vive La Difference. All the best to Wilf.

  23. Has anyone said Wilf's hair-do encapsulates the title of this post? or is that a given? forgive me, I drank too much wine with diner. The font is inspiring me to cook. Many wine dishes this week. tonight: pork chops and potatoes in a bucket of red reserve wine (it was opened already) and coriander. heaven. wilf would approve. my two had their share.

  24. Wilf has punk rock hair in the first shot! Well, some might call it bed head. Either way, it looks good on him.

    It always amazes and amuses me how much American news/tv you get there in France. So did you follow the rules of decorating a tree?