Sunday, December 24, 2006

Yule Blog: Christmas Eve

At forty-four, I am still learning to see the world in new ways. This evening, I learned to celebrate Christmas Eve in the traditional English fashion. It was a lovely evening!

Saga and I, after n afternoon of running last minute errands while the shops are still open, went to Terry and Angie's for dinner. I drove Kevin's car back to Molesey for him this evening. He had left it parked in my forecourt after the party last night. It really worked out well. It gave me the way to get myself, Saga, and the gifts for our friends to Molesey and it saved Kevin the trip back here to get the car this morning.

It was a lovely dinner with Terry, Angie, their parents: Mavis, Beryl, and John and a treat for Saga. Saga was treated to a little ham while we ate ham, chips, coleslaw, chutneys and jams, a lovely dark brown bread, and pickled onions. Once the dinner was done and cleared away, we called for a car and headed down to our local.

I am informed that Christmas Eve in the pub is another English tradition. Unfortunately, our favorite pub decided to close early. When we arrived, the pub had just about ten people in it. The bar manager decided to close at 21:00 so the second bell rang at five-to-nine. As we all discussed later, the view the pub took was a bit myopic. There were a fairly constant stream of people trying to come in once the bells had rung. Oh well!

The King's Arms closed; we headed on foot over to The Albion across the river in East Molesey. The place was packed! We had to stand for a short while using the balustrade around one of the bar floors as a table until half a table over by one of the fireplaces came open. Shortly thereafter, a full table back by the balustrade came up and we could all sit at the table.

Saga was in Dog Heaven for the evening. Everybody who came by the table (well, everybody worth writing about) stopped to pet her and tell her what a lovely girl she is. No attitude problem there, she happens to agree with them! "Yeah, I'm a pretty puppy! So? What of it? If you don't have a Saga Snack, give me one more pat, a compliment or two and move along! Clear the way for people with food!"

We stayed in the pub until around midnight and then the noise and the crowds were about as much as we could take. Even Saga reached her limit of people stopping by and telling her how beautiful she was.

We took the car home and, after a brief stop outside to assure that Saga still owns the back garden, Saga snuggled into her kennel for her "long winter's nap." She'd dream of sugarplums, I am certain, if she only knew what they were. Santa Paws will come some time this evening, and he must be even better than Father Christmas at evading notice. Saga lets me know when stray leaves blow against the windows. What chance does Santa Paws have at getting down the chimney, crossing the kitchen, leaving her gift under the tree, and getting back up the chimney without Saga telling me we have an actual intruder?

I guess he will just have to work at it!

Well, it's well after midnight and I imagine that Father Christmas must be sitting on the roof about now wondering when the heck I am going to get to bed so that he can pop down the chimney. (He has coal to deliver at #8 Cholmley Villas!) So, I had best wrap this up and get to bed!

Wherever you are, I hope your dreams tonight are of mistletoe, the food, the family, and the reason for this celebratory season! Merry Christmas!

Don Bergquist - 24 December 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

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