The two things I know for sure about Christmas are that it’s expensive and that children just can’t wait for it to arrive.
Of course, I’m sure like so many people of my generation, my memories are overflowing with images of school parties and rooms decked with paper chains bathed in the warm cosy glow of flaming logs and coloured fairy lights, a memory I hoped to recall as I peeped through the branches of the Goosebarley bush to a place beyond the fence where a miniature cottage stood, hearing once again the shrill voices of the carol singers as the ladybirds and old Joss the hedgehog huddled together beneath a black and starry sky.
Christmas at Mallows
(Extract from Beyond the Goosebarley Bush)
Over the last few weeks, excitement had been growing about the imminent arrival of Christmas. Rooks and robins had been arriving at Mallows with tales of happy children trudging home from school carrying long chains of coloured paper decorations to hang in the cottages.
‘Even the frosty air feels warm and sweet’ commented a blackbird, ‘filled with the aroma of cakes baking in ovens and plum puddings boiling over huge log fires. ‘
Tussel had decided to make his Christmas cakes and after stoking the kitchen range into a welcoming orange glow, slid a large tray of mince pies into the oven. He suddenly became aware of the shrill voices of some carol singers and hearing a loud knock he opened the cottage door to see the ladybirds and the old hedgehog huddled together beneath a black starry sky.
The night was still and frosty and the ladybirds were vigorously shaking their hands trying to keep them warm inside their mittens. The glow-worms, as usual, were pleased to light the way, huddled inside the swinging lantern frames and of course joining in the singing with gusto.
Tussel ushered them into the cottage and invited them to warm themselves by the fire while he fetched some mince pies and ginger wine from the kitchen…… Read more