Today’s Top Tip.
Don’t be like Maria. She spends hours writing a shopping list. Then goes off shopping without it.
Top tip if you write a list take it with you.
(that way I might get a decent Christmas pressie.)
(that way I might get a decent Christmas pressie.)
Christmas Eve – two am – Constance Claus decided it was time. She tiptoed through the snow filled square. Though the sound of the elves snoring was reassuring Constance was being extra careful. She knew Enda could hear a feather drop in snow.
“I wish I could snore in harmony like them.” She paused, mid step to listen. “Ahh. I know the name of this tune. Let’s get this party started.'” Bending down to rub her white cat, she murmured, “we agree, don’t we Summer?”
The cat shook her paws before continuing on to the doorway of the workshop.
Constance believed her idea was brilliant. She was tired of listening to the elves moaning about the amount of snow. They are getting themselves in such a state that they are catching cold. She shivered at the thought of catching such a dreadful thing.
With her hand on the door knob, she paused to check again. Their snores floated on ice cold air to her. Satisfied she walked inside, flicking on lights as she went.
The workshop looked empty and vast. It wasn’t that way an hour ago.
* * * * *
Panic had been the order of the day. For a start, getting Santa into the sleigh proved to be difficult.
“Steady on, mind my trousers.” He shouted as the elves formed a line and pushed him into the sleigh.
“Let’s fit the other toys in around him when we squish him down,” Enda suggested.
“Hey Enda, less of the squishing. I can sit down.” Santa roared.
“You do the squishing bit.” Enda’s brothers, Slim, Noel and Sam, sang. They preferred to stay out of his way during the fraught filled minutes of final preparations.
Constance walked up to Santa, “Wait dear, you forgot your thermal insulated gloves.” She narrowed her eyes, “did you remember to put the matching socks on?”
He gave a nod then grimaced because they were hotter than he liked.
She said, “Good. I packed you a snack.”
At the mention of food he cheered up.
“And some liquorice for the reindeers.”
When he scowled, she chuckled, “a thermal mug of hot chocolate and a barrel of ginger nut elf biscuits for you. Take your time. Remember the list. Drive carefully Mr. Claus.”
Santa scowled. “That incident with the plane was not my fault, the idiots came closer for a second look. The reindeers lost their bootees with fright. As for the traffic lights in the main street, it wasn’t my fault, Mrs. Claus, I didn’t know they could swivel.”
The elves scurried away to check the reindeer’s boot laces.
She kissed the tip of his nose then worked her way around the reindeers planting a kiss on top of every head or they would be jealous.
“Have a nice rest, be kind to yourself Constance do something for you just for a change.” With those words he left.
“I will indeed,” she said. Armed with a giant cup of creamy coffee embellished with a sprinkling of coco and a flake bar, to get her creative motor running she began to plan. She liked inventing things, and tonight she felt like doing so.
“Deciding to invent something is easy. The problem is doing it without causing further complications along the way.” Constance bit into her flake bar. “Oh dear I will have to be careful. I remember poor little Elsie’s hair. Poof, up it went in a rainbow cloud of smoke when I made a hair curling tongs for her. And poor Jake tested my first sock warmers. He couldn’t bear to reveal his scorched foot to anyone for a long time. It looked so hideous. I got sick when I changed the bandages, but then I suppose that was my punishment for the damage I did.”
To dispel that nasty image she nibbled on the flake bar. Summer neatly caught the bits that fell towards the floor. There was silence for a long time as Constance sat and considered if, maybe, this was another stupid idea. The clock chimed. She glanced up at it. A scroll flipped down. It read, “late Christmas eve, go to bed.”
She muttered, “You are correct. I should but I won’t get an opportunity for another twelve months. So lets start.”
* * * *
Once in the work shop she began by grabbing her tool box and plugging in the compressor. Bright blue sparks flew about her. Steel screeched as she cut and shaped. She didn’t realise she was finished until she reached for the last nut and bolt and discovered there was no more.
“Now for the fun bit, testing and trying.” She hesitated. “Bother health and safety but I can’t ignore it.”
Getting ready for the test took more time than she bargained on. She dressed with care but she frightened Summer who raced towards the woods.
“Coward,” declared Constance as she pulled on the goggles and the thick safety gloves, before checking everything. “Right let’s check first, safety harness for climbing. Hard hat, in case I slip. Bright obnoxious yellow jacket to make me highly visible, in case I get stuck under the snow.” She lifted one booted foot and stopped, they were of course safety issue, heavy and cumbersome.
Saying a quick prayer to her guardian angel she went to drag her monster invention out of the workshop. It wouldn’t budge.
She stood looking at it wondering how to get it moving, then spotted a pair of roller blades, “perfect.”
Minutes later it sat outside in the snow, looking like a forlorn giant dog. Humming merrily she pressed the on switch. Clipping her rope to the central Christmas Pole in the middle of the square she took a look at the trampolines. They were lined up in strategic spots. They were used for hanging up lost and fallen lights or icicles. “Tonight I have another task for you,” she said.
Taking a leap she began to bounce along the trampolines hovering all of the snow from sight!
Constance was woken by a loud rumpus. It roared in her left ear. Sitting upright in her bed she discovered wasn’t easy as elves were climbing up onto her bed. From the muffled sounds beneath her she guessed a few were hidden underneath her bed.
“It’s been stolen, Christmas has been nicked.” Enda squeaked. His brothers took up the shout. “Not one snowflake left. Christmas is lost.”
“Not at all. It’s….” Constance smiled. “Isn’t this what you wished for?”
“No course not. It’s gone.” There were elves sobbing and moaning all around her.
She chewed on her bottom lip while considering the problem. “Let’s make the most of it, pretend we are in Hawaii.”
The elves moved into a huddle. There was frantic whispering. Enda appeared beside her. “Slim is googling it on his iphone.” He ducked back inside the large circle.
“Can we barbecue? Make flower garlands, wear grass skirts? Try limbo dancing?” Sam asked.
She grimaced and worked her way around the vision of a hundred elves who can’t cook attempting to barbecue while wearing grass skirts.
Constance nodded. “Of course we can, but we’d better make sure there is a giant bucket of water standing by just in case..”
The words, “Christmas gets burnt,” died on her lips as she quickly added, “in case you get thirsty.”
Constance watched them race from her room chattering about sun lamps and sun burn. She wondered how she was going to explain this to Mr. S. Claus. With a sigh she tumbled from her bed and went to search her cookery books for tips on barbecuing.
“I suppose if the worst comes to the worst, the reindeers will not get lost this year, they will be guided home by the flames and aroma of one hundred turkey’s burning.”
Christmas Eve, twenty minutes to closing time. Traffic is dense; people are filling every space on the footpath. Need I say more?
I am a woman on a mission. Being a godmother is something I take seriously, considering my older sister is someone whom Superman would never mess with. Milly, my goddaughter is heartbreakingly cute which adds to the pressure of not disappointing her.
I am, chasing up and down the aisles looking for this doll, Princess Fairy Gumdrop, a doll that will save my universe. I am frantic. I spot it. I lunge and meet a large warm hand.
Glancing up my blue eyes meet the sexiest pair of brown ones, a woman could ever dream about. I blink. Focus, I tell myself, remember Gillian you are a woman on a mission.
“Hands off the Princess fairy!” I growl at him.
“Don’t call me a fairy!” His voice is suave, smooth and sexy.
I try to ignore his attributes. I am a woman with a mission, I silently chant. Aloud I say, “Don’t change the subject, hands off, she’s mine.”
Brown eyes do not waver. He breaks out this sunshine of a smile. Gritting my teeth, I remind myself this is a life or death situation.
“What is it? You don’t like men!” He softly purrs.
I am not immune, or stupid. “‘Course I do, but not at this moment when you are throttling the life out of my goddaughter’s present.”
“I would not know how to, ” he begins. Then it happens.
The world implodes. The earth moved, really moved, not because of this hunk rattling my hormones. The floor shook, the shelves began to shake and shiver. I did not let go, neither did he.
“This way,” he yelled tugging me and the canny princess along as if we had any choice in the matter.
“Let go!” I shout grabbing a wobbling shelf.
He stared over my shoulder. His voice changed, wavered as he said, “Move now or you will get hurt.”
I turned to look. I moved. A domino effect was coming our way. The boxed dolls looked scared as they danced off the shelves toward the floor and us.
We ran. All about us there were screams and sounds of people being hit by dislodged toys. “‘Can this get any worse?” I muttered. Trust me to open my big mouth. It did.
There was a loud bang followed by a hiss.
“Gas.” Voices screamed. “Gas. Run!”
We did. “It’s not gas,” he panted.
“What? Are you an expert?”
He smiled in a very Hugh Grant manner.
“No but you could say I am an expert in life. Besides if it was gas we would be dead.”
He stopped. I tumbled very neatly into his broad solid frame. “What are you a wall?” I moaned as I rubbed my shoulder.
“Close, rugby player.”
“Typical I can’t meet a nice puny guy who would step aside and say; go ahead please, be my guest and take the last doll. No. I meet a hulking great hunk who decides chivalry got left behind on Noah’s ark.”
“Ah, so you think I am a hunk. How high do I score? Ten, eleven, twelve?”
I scowled. “Minus twenty two.”
“Your brain score I take it.”
“No. I’m just stating a fact; I am immune to everything bar this doll.”
“Ditto.” He lowered his face to mine. He was inches away; I could smell his peppermint breath and could not look away from those brown eyes. The world stopped for one tiny second. Neither of us could tear our eyes off the other.
Then all hell resumed once again as we heard what sounded like gunfire…….
part two will be posted tomorrow.
Teaching You to Teach Them
Dog, tips and ideas in training and behaviour. Specialising in all things scent. By Susanne Broughton and her team
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Michigan Moments & Morgan Horses
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