Saturday, 13 December 2008

The Christmas tree looked great at the garden centre...

Woke up this morning expecting another day of rain but was greeted by the sun rising into a cloudless sky. I had thought that the tourists heading to Rome would have had a miserable weekend ahead of them - instead the weather will be close to perfect with an April-like freshness to the air. Rome can look distinctly shabby under a wet and cloudy sky but sunlight brings out the colour of the buildings and gives the city a beauty unlike any other. Paris is more sophisticated, London livelier, but Rome on a day like this is a city for living outside.

The two boyz were up and waiting at the door by the time I got downstairs. They were keen to get out and get the day started and seem to have sensed that the wild boar were out in force last night . They went tearing off to the fence at the bottom of the garden yelping with delight at the thought of finding some fresh scents to follow. I dread to think what would happen if they came face to face with a herd of Cinghiali - despite their apparent bravado they would probably set the world record for running back to the safety of the house. Dogs can teach us so much - they wake up and are determined to enjoy life right from the word go.Not for them the need for two cups of coffee before they can face the world. They have spent much of the day lying on their backs and enjoying the warmth.

Today was the day set aside for going to the nursery to choose the Christmas tree.We set off early for the nursery, stopping off at the local bar for a coffee and a cornetto. The bar owners have started to take orders for Christmas cakes and are proudly displaying in their window the rather garishly coloured example shown above. It is certainly a Christmas cake but not in the generally accepted sense - the ice cream centre may be something of a surprise for purists. Getting to the nursery we chose what looked to be the perfect specimen - 3 metres tall, bushy, with a good spread of branches . After miraculously getting it into the car ( why when you come to close the tailgate is the tree always 5 centimetres too long?) and getting it home without an accident ( why do tree branches manage to break free from the wrapping and spread towards the drivers seat/rearview mirror/gear change once you are underway ? ) we were amazed to find that en route it had transformed itself . Far from being a perfect specimen it had become the equivalent of the last tree left on the lot on Christmas Eve. Despite our best efforts we have chosen the most out of proportion tree on the planet. When we untied it we found three separate top branches and a complete absence of growth on its left side. Anyway, it is now decorated and stands proud if lopsided in the library. There are fewer ornaments this year after the fieldmice decided to nest in one of the storage boxes but as the tree is 'branch challenged' on one side they are not missed.

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