I'm back from my mother's until Christmas - something which I've got mixed feelings about - her house is warm, the food is free (to me), the company is excellent, and it was possible to be more social (dog walking, distance observed - not least because our dog has a Reputation as a Bad Dog in the village, which I'd like to say is grossly unfair but she revels in the status) than it is in town. Regardless, I had to come back at some point and there were jobs piling up for me here, plus a Christmas tree bought in a fit of festivity last week.
I thought I'd be writing this post 3 or 4 hours ago, but having been away for 5 weeks there was more to do than I expected, and the tree has turned into something of a disaster. I normally love a real Christmas tree, I chose a beauty for mum, but I've rearranged my furniture since last year and the corner assigned for the tree is smaller than I thought when I was buying. It was also raining, very icy rain, on tree day so I didn't take quite as long as I might have over the whole selection process.
My tree is lopsided. A bit of judicious pruning hasn't helped as much as I hoped, but nevertheless I persisted and got it decorated. I had just put the last decoration on it and stood back to take a picture when it listed to one side. I don't know if you've ever tried to slide under a fully decorated tree whilst also trying to hold it up, but it is not easy, especially when it's laden with decades worth of treasured decorations. Replacing decades worth of treasured decorations would probably be an insurance job, except I doubt they're covered.
I got the tree upright again, screwed the nuts in extra tight around the base, cursed living alone and restrictions that mean you shouldn't even yell for help from a neighbour - although it's unlikely they would have heard, my phone was out of reach, and I was trapped on a dusty floor (because away for 5 weeks) under a tree. At least there were no visible spiders. I made a coffee, sat down, and prepared to phone my partner to relate the holding up whilst sliding under experience as amusingly as possible - when half way through I saw the tree gently capsize again.
Holding up whilst getting under the damn thing does not get easier with practice. Happily nothing is broken, the tree is now wedged in between a chair and the sofa, and levered up underneath so that if it does chose to fall again it should do so into the corner of the room. I could look better, and I'm a bit concerned about what happens when the washing machine on the other side of the wall hits it's spin cycle. It is truly a Christmas tree for 2020.
In slightly better news a whole lot of 'missing' mail turned up - I had been getting really concerned that all sorts of things had gone astray, but they'd ended up with a neighbour. He normally looks out for things for me when I'm away, but he's moving any day now and I'd told him I'd asked another flat to keep an eye out for me. I thought he was joking when he said the gays would be fighting over my post, but he'd still been collecting it for me - just hadn't let me know. I should have saved all the unwrapping for my birthday on Sunday which will possibly be a let down by comparison - I've unwrapped some great stuff.
So all in all it's sort of great to be home - or it will be in the morning when the heating has kicked in and the water is hot. Right now it's cold, I'm covered in dust and can't have a bath, and it feels a bit odd being on my own again after all these weeks.