Sandy's Garden ... An Acrobatic Error Involving a Tree

Is that it then? That was Christmas, was it?

By Sandy Simpson
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 4:16 pm

Is it my age, or the COVID-19 pandemic, or the quality of our political leadership, but that simply wasn’t the most memorable of Christmases, was it?

As the years have passed, the magic which was once associated in my mind with Santa has dulled somewhat, the excitement has faded.

Is it possible that a quenching douche of reality has exposed the inherent contradiction in the words of what is very possibly the most-sung of all the Christmas carols: “Still the night, Holy the night, / Sleeps the world, hid from sight, / Mary and Joseph in stable bare, / Watch o'er the child, beloved and fair, / Sleep in heavenly peace, / Sleep in heavenly peace. // Still the night, Holy the night, / Shepherds first saw the light, / Heard resounding clear and strong, / Far and near, the Angels song …”

Falkirk Herald gardening guru Sandy Simpson

After many years of singing these very words, it occurred to me this year … for the very first time … that I wouldn’t describe an occasion when the clear, strong voices of an angelic choir resounded through a sleeping world as a ‘still night’.

Why is it so overwhelming this year? And can it be treated?

I suspect that I have been over-exposed to the Christmas retail experience in recent months.

It seems that attempts to limit the spread of COVID-19 … whether of the delta strain or the omicron variant … have resulted in so many venues being either closed to the public altogether or open only by prior booking, that I have spent more time in garden centres during the past 22 months than even I may have wished.

And many garden centres now boast year-round Christmas shops.

There is a limit to how many near-identical selections of Christmassy goods I can initially enjoy.

d suspected this to be the case; and recent experience has confirmed my worst suspicions.

That’s one source of the Bah Humbug Syndrome.

Another harbinger of this affliction is the Muzak moguls’ choice of so-called ‘background’ music at this time of the year. How often can one hear Band Aid asking, “Do They Know it's Christmas?” before the onset of paranoia?

How many times can the human brain stand being wished, “Merry Christmas Everyone!” by Shakin' Stevens before becoming psychotic?

But the principal culprit behind my current dose of Bah Humbug Syndrome is, I think, my artificial Christmas tree.

I had unfolded it; I had finessed the branches; I had connected it to the mains by means of a discreetly-concealed cable incorporating a well-tucked away switch; and I had manoeuvred the well-decorated, lit tree into a prominent position by a window. Come late evening, I exercised seldom-used acrobatic skills to reach in … just a little more … almost there … aaah … got it … to switch it off.

Ahh-yaah! What have I done? Ow-wow! I have damaged tendons in my left foot, that’s what, and I’ve spent the past week hobbling about with a stick in a bad mood as a result of my acrobatic error; and it’s so-o-sore!