Sunday, 11 September 2011

Wrapping Paper

The sketch above is the view from our hotel room in Gran Canaria showing half built apartments. Most building work is on hold there similar to most parts of Spain and also in the UK.

I was watching an episode of Pepper Pig yesterday with one of the grandchildren.
It was the one where Father Christmas forgets Pepper Pigs Christmas present. Anyway it brought to mind a Christmas day many years ago. It was quite a memorable one.

My parents used to live at the top of a hill in an old stone cottage and barn near Knighton in Mid Wales. It had been a smallholding. The cottage was freezing cold in winter and summer. The only real heating was a wood-burning stove in the little room used as the living/dining room.

It was a cold Christmas and unusually I wasn’t working Christmas day so Alex and I were spending the day with our children at my parent’s home. There was snow on the ground and we had been for a Christmas morning walk while my mother prepared Christmas dinner. When we got back we all sat around the table to Christmas dinner.

Our son decided to put some wrapping paper in the log burner. My grandfather told him not to put any more paper in it. Our son being a boy and seven ignored the advice and as we were sitting waiting for a main course he found a big ball of wrapping paper and stuffed it in the burner. The inevitable happened a large “whoosh” and next thing we were abandoning our turkey to get outside. The pipe from the wood burner was glowing and flames were coming out of the top of the chimney. We all stood outside forlornly waiting until the fire engine arrived. They quickly put out the fire but not before a good deal of water had been sprayed liberally around the living room.

Our Dinner was cold and the house was a mess. I don’t think the firemen were too pleased to be interrupting their Xmas dinner either. Still it could all have been worse.

It is a Christmas however that we will never forget.

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