Earth was hard as iron


The headlong rush to Christmas has been stopped dead in its tracks, or rather slithered to an undignified halt, with a sudden bout of seasonal weather. It is just like the Christmas cards promised, but actually not quite what many people want on the last shopping weekend before Presents Day.

I’m quite relaxed though. I only have one present left to buy…

Mrs R. does not make life easy for me. A few years ago she got so fed up with people asking her what the children wanted for Christmas, that she stopped dropping any hints about her own gift preferences.

“I’m fed up with having to come up with ideas for everyone else,” she said impatiently, “you can jolly well think of something yourself. Surprise me!”

I’m not good at surprises. I veer between the stupidly extravagant and the painfully banal. I’ve tried buying her books that I’d like to read and chocolate that I’d like to eat, but our tastes differ. I’ve had a bit more success with a DVD or two, but the unwatched DVD pile has grown too high (how do people find time to sit down and watch a whole film?) and the piano was the sort of present that you can only buy once.

For the last few weeks I’ve been on the alert. Listening intently to what she says in case an unfulfilled hidden desire surfaces in casual conversation. I was beginning to give up hope and prepare for a trip to the bookshop and Hotel Chocolat, when suddenly the other morning after breakfast she said…

“You know, the iron’s on the blink… It keeps stopping when I’m using it and it doesn’t get as hot as it should.”

She will be surprised.

8 Responses to “Earth was hard as iron”

  1. 1 Michael Dagless

    Ooh! How she’ll laugh!

  2. 2 Doodle

    as the iron flies towards your head…

  3. 3 John

    We’ll be seeing you onm the next series of Bizzarre ER (from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital) having an iron removed from an orifice.

  4. 4 Mrs R

    I have an equally thoughtful surprise in store for Alex (but don’t tell him). I thought I’d get him some vouchers for the services of a local handyman so that next time the washing line falls down he just has to pick up the phone. Or he could redeem them to hang the aerial photo he bought at an inflated price, or to get the cistern fixed. The possibilities are endless…

  5. 7 Becky Stafford

    There’sa lovely thought, backlog on Christmas day!

  6. 8 Amanda

    thanks for giving me my first chortle of the new year

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