Sunday, December 18, 2011
Four metres !
Madame Bay calls . She has spoken to the greengrocer . He will cut down a four metre tree and deliver it to the house at eleven on Saturday morning . Madame Bay, Monsieur Bay , Sandrine , a gaggle of baby Bays and the good for nothing son-in-law Hugo are all waiting when it arrives . A wonderful , beautifully shaped , Christmas fir . The tree firmly strapped to the top of the greengrocers small white Citroen van . Madame Bay beams . The baby Bays gurgle. A most perfect tree .
One tiny problem . The height. It's at least five metres tall . While Sandrine and the children head to the warmth of the kitchen Madame Bay reprimands the greengrocer - '' Quatre metres Monsieur ! Quatre " . Amid much arm waving and huffing blame is firmly apportioned . The greengrocer shrugs his shoulders. Monsieur Bay is sent to retrieve a saw from the boot of the car . Then under the ever watchful eye of our saintly septaguenarian Hugo cuts half a metre from the top and half a metre from the bottom . Height problem solved .
Finally a rope is carefully knotted around the lower branches . The other end thrown up to a first floor window . Five minutes of tugging by Angus , pushing by Hugo , a few intemperate words from Madame Bay , a maelstrom of pine needles and swaying branches and voila the tree is safely ensconced in its stand . Christmas one step nearer.
Wilf sits by the fire listening . The second Christmas he can't see what's going on . He never complains . Old PON's instinctively know that " well done is better than well said ".