Monday, December 13, 2010

Where did you put the lights ?

Spurred into action by the realisation that Christmas is now less than two weeks away 'the font' drove into the local market town ordered a Christmas tree and arranged to have it delivered. " How tall is it ? " I asked. 'Oh. About four metres ' came the matter of fact reply.

Nothing could have prepared me for the tree that finally arrived. Usually we leave ordering a tree to the last minute. Each year we end up with a gaunt spindly thing, the arboreal worlds version of the runt of the litter. Not this year. The tree was enormous. It was all of six metres high and surrounded by wave upon wave of luxuriant branches. Impenetrable, verdant, eye poking girth.

A metre came off the top and another metre from the base before the thing was hoisted through a window on the first floor and hammered into its stand. Wilf watches the performance with interest. In its foreshortened version it fits, just. Some of the upper branches actually touch the ceiling but that gives it a seasonal charm. Then the annual pageant of getting the decorations down from the attic and the unanswerable question 'Where did you put the lights ?'. After an hours searching the lights remain elusive. Tree decorating delayed . Time to open a bottle of sanity restoring champagne.

Deep in the undergrowth the gardeners found an old eighteenth century moss and ivy covered weather vane. We've cleaned it up as best we can and set it on the brow of the hill overlooking the valley. Digbys Cedar of Lebanon on one side and a spot for Wilf, when its needed, nose to nose alongside. A place that gets the first and the last of the days light. The actions and memories that slowly turn a house into a home.

In the evening down into the valley for a gentle stroll under the setting sun with Wilf. It seems that he's somehow intolerant to the new medicine. Walk fifty yards, rest. Walk fifty yards, rest. Not a sound apart from his paws on the gravel, the water trickling in the brook, and the ocassional high pitched squeal of an eagle. Peace.


  1. Such a sweet and touching tale. Happy holidays to you and Wilf. We know Digby is there watching over you and nodding approval of the tree.

  2. Angus - I started off laughing out loud. Then I got to the line 'nose to nose' and sighed at the sweetness of the two brothers. I've run a full gamut of emotions in your one post.

  3. I hope Wilf is feeling better. You didn't say one way or the other.

    My parents still haven't put up their tree. I informed my mother this evening that she has less than two weeks to get it put up. I somehow doubt she'd bother with it if it weren't for me pestering her about it. I have mine up.

  4. Our tree is still not up... i am glad to see yours is. Its a beautiful one.. and i always love trees that touches the ceiling :)

    Hope dear Wilfee is alright. Do remind him about the turkey, potatoes and spots of coconut ice-cream awaits him... next week.

    My love to him... we will all be crossing our toes, fingers, paws all for him.

  5. Has Wilf christened the tree, yet?

    XXXOOO Daisy, kendra & Bella

  6. Little Wilfie... I wish I could give him a hug...sounds he is tired out- hope today will be a good day for him ...I send lots of love and good thoughts from Tilda, Thomasina and Gibson, all team members of The Modern Country Lady , and who help ocasionally with the typing by walking on the keyboard..

  7. That's another very touching post Angus. By sharing your everyday thoughts and Wilfee's story with us, you gave us a wonderful gift, thank you so so much.
    Hope little boy feels better today. Happy to see he has his Christmas tree.
    Love you sweet Wilfee, take care, and enjoy this new week.
    Bisous and cuddles from Brittany.

  8. We fly down to South Carolina tomorrow. Ever since my dad died 9 years ago, my mother would come up here to NYC for the holidays. With her passing last year, this will be the first Christmas that Petey and I have spent on the Island in years, actiUally Petey 's first. My Mom loved Christmas so once we arrive our afternoon and evening will be spent decorating every surface! You'd particularly enjoy her collection of Scottish Santas!

  9. A peaceful day is always a welcomed treat...

    Blessings and Love,
    Janelle and Maggie Mae

  10. Your ordeal with the tree gave me the giggles. It sounds like so many of our tree experiences as I was growing up. My sister and I always talked my dad into a tree that turned out to be much bigger than would actually fit in the old farm house.

    I hope Wilf is doing better! I won't be surprised to read his comments about the tree decorating job tomorrow!

  11. Love the photo of the weathervane.....what a glorious lucky you are. Hope Wilf is feeling better today.

  12. The weather vane is so cool. What a fun surprise. I took out my magnifying glass to have a better look.

    I just gave away our old pre-lit fake Christmas tree. Most of the lights had burnt out. A few years before that I got rid of all the ornaments (none were of any sentimental value) My husband is threatening to replace the tree I gave away with another one. I am hoping he is bluffing. We (I) don't go to the bother of setting up a proper, real tree. Like my collection of seasonal silk flowers, I have an assortment of Christmas trees made of lighted ceramic and all manner of folk trees that I set about the living room. Festive and colorful!

    Enjoy! and hope the decorating goes smoothly! Peace to Wilf xo

  13. Sometimes it's so hard finding the right combination of medicines that work and yet are tolerable. I hope you find just the right combination soon.

  14. I've always found it so interesting that Edward never pays the slightest attention to the tree. Neither does Apple. One would think that an 8 ft fir tree in the middle of the room would at least merit a cursory sniff. But, no. They just seem to think it's one more of our sweet eccentricities that must be endured.

    Can Wilf go back on the old medicine?

  15. What images... you manage to write just so beautifully about incongruously difficult and absurd and funny and sad things, yet combine them to such tender effect. Enjoy the champagne today... hope you find those lights! And Wilf... keep walking; so sorry you are intolerant to the meds - we've been thinking much about you, dear PON.
    Hugs xoxoxo
    Sammie and Avalon and Mom

  16. we luffs your tree - alas this year he have been forced to have a rather wonky false one due to mollies ability to get to anything... next year maybe... what a special spot for wilf to rest it really couldnt be more beautiful! loves and licks

  17. Peace indeed!! Hopefully those meds will sort themselves out and Wilf will adjust to them. Keep going Wilf!

    Your pals who are frozen solid in Canada,
    Dianna along with Tor, Willow and Tucker

  18. @Caroline - same for me. Love the weather vane and peace. Tore at my heart a bit to hear for a fact of Wilf's not too long time to join his brother. BUT, in the meantime, he is indeed, with Digby's spirit, helping to make your house a home. YESH.

  19. A beautiful and peaceful tale. "Nose-to-nose" brought tears to my eyes. Then, the vignette about your sunset stroll with Wilf painted a poignant picture. The best of friends...

  20. What a beautiful tree, Angus. A real, old fashioned tree not a,bushy little shrub. Very graceful. And oh, that soft, sweet scent..heaven!
    You know, that vane lay hidden for years and years. I think you were meant to discover it. A gift from the past to welcome the present to its future. A gift to welcome you to your real home.

  21. i hope you find your lights. that's a great tree.

    i hope that Wilf adjusts to the new medicine. he's such a trooper.

  22. We're sorry Wilf is having more rough spells. The slowing down is not unexpected, but we so much want him to feel good, or at least not feel bad. Hope the meds get sorted out and he's soon able to enjoy seasonal gourmet meals again. Looks like it's going to be a magnificent Christmas tree, once Angus finds the lights. Or buys some new ones.

    Merry Christmas, little buddy!

    Jed & Abby