Better than Twister: let’s play Untangle the Christmas Lights – Lesley Keating

Lesley had to prune her Christmas tree to make it fit the room.
Lesley had to prune her Christmas tree to make it fit the room.
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Last December, dangerously close to Christmas, we were renovating our house. We’d moved out and only moved back in time by the skin-of-our-teeth. Consequently, we only had decorations up for a matter of days. 

So, this year, I have been determined to milk Christmas for all it’s worth.

Firstly, I badgered Mike to get the outside lights up by the very first of December. 

I must say they were a little brighter than expected. In fact, one of my neighbours actually said they wouldn’t need to put their kitchen lights on over the festive period at all now, thanks to our version of Blackpool Illuminations.

I also spotted real trees for sale outside Morrisons, so gauged what we needed – by eye rather than by measurement – and got Mike to collect it.

When it finally came home, however, it became apparent that it was actually blimmin’ huge and, although our house isn’t small, a Triffid appeared to have set up residence in the lounge. 

Mike and I circled it, doubtfully, while Milly ran off to hide, not a good sign.

 After much head-scratching we finally decided the only thing to do was for me to give it a really severe haircut with the secateurs.

Boy, that was fun!  If I ever decide to give up writing I have certainly uncovered hidden skills as a tree surgeon.

Then came the annual fun game of Untangle the Christmas Lights.

Forget Twister. If you’ve never played this jolly Christmas favourite, do give it a go. It’s endlessly entertaining.

Eventually, after a good few hours – hours which included glueing a wing back on the angel and rather a lot of swearing – ta da, I revealed the tree in all its glory. Well, all it’s two-tone glory I should say.

How was I to know that we had lots of different shades of white tree lights?  There was Warm White, Blue White, Vintage White and more.

On reflection, buying two sets of lights that were actually the same shade may have been better, but I’m sticking to my cover story.

As a result I seem to have created the first ever ombré Christmas tree!

I can’t wait for Catmas and arrival of His Royal Furriness

Still on the subject of Christmas, we’re bracing ourselves for the arrival of our daughter’s cute kitten, Momoko – aka Weapon of Mass Destruction. 

Her reassuring texts of ‘Stop worrying Mum, it’ll be fine’ don’t help when I also get her updates about his antics. 

This week, so far, he’s run up her from ankle to shoulder using his impressive claws as crampons. He’s had their Christmas tree over. Twice. He’s emptied the contents of a plant pot (white cat, brown compost – not a good mix) and swan-dived into a full bath. But despite everything I look forward to hosting His Royal Furriness.

So, bring on Catmas. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Police quarantined house in bioterrorism package alert

Someone I know works as a virology scientist. One day, a small unmarked package arrived at home. Inside was a container with a blob of an unknown substance.

She called the police as she works in a secure lab where bioterrorism is a threat. They took it seriously, arriving in body-suits and masks, with infra-red and laser equipment, to quarantine the house. A potentially infectious substance was inside. They asked if anyone held a grievance against her. After much testing, they left, telling her to be on her guard. 

It was only later, when her beautician rang to see if she’d received the patch test kit for her eyebrow microblading, that the penny dropped…​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​