#93 theoldmortuary ponders

This time last year our Christmas decorations had been packed away extra carefully in preparation for a house move. Not a single one was broken. The job this year is much easier. They are just stored away in shoe boxes and then kept in a large Sandalwood Chest which in itself a tough old thing that survived the Indian Uprising of 1857-59. A series of mutinies and rebellions against the British East India Company that functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. The uprising is more properly known as the First War of Independence. 900, 000 people, mostly Indians lost their lives in a series of violent and cruel events where civilians were the largest group of victims. Truly dreadful things were done to innocent people. All of the usual cruel and demeaning acts of war and domination plus a torture that is readily relatable to everyone who cooks. A paste of mashed chillies and peppers was applied to the eyes, genitals and rectums of victims.

Our Sandalwood box arrived in Britain after the Partition of India in 1947 and has lived with me since the death of my parents. It has lived a peaceful life for the last 30 years protecting Christmas decorations.

A somewhat grim meandering for a ponder about Christmas decorations , but not without reason.

With a nod to history, our Christmas tree always has a few peacoocks, an unintended but direct nod to the Victorian domination and rule of India. Only the tail is visible in the picture above. This may just be family folklore but it does make some sense.

It would have been rather dull to remove our Christmas tree without some form of celebration. The tree has been part of our lives for a month and has provided light for the darkest of days and a focal point for our festive gatherings. Mince pies and Baileys was the perfect accompaniment to a prickly end of the Festive Season.

#89 theoldmortuary ponders

Lola is struggling with the concept of the festive season being over. Her first full day of normality was mostly spent as I de-rigged 3/4 of the Christmas decorations, snuggled in a blanket. The tree remains and it is the red lights from the tree that give her the warm glow to her face. Our local council is not offering a Christmas tree collection service this year. Without a front garden the tree must stay up and indoors until we can wrestle it into an old quilt cover and take it to the local tip. It is a completely different beast from the slender,fragrant and sheathed tree we brought home in mid December. Remarkably it is not yet dropping its needles but I know the minute we start its decommission we will be ankle deep in spiky needles. To be honest I have little truck with the bad luck concept of leaving a tree up beyond 12th Night, and a great deal of truck, maybe the M2 after Brexit, with the concept of keeping this dark time of year illuminated with twinkling lights. So for now snuggling in a cosy blanket illuminated by small red lights is still a thing in our house.

The tree has also gained its own festive coloured bag of Tea Bags. Thank you, again,Brenda Bennett. We may now have enough tea to see us through to the unpredictable end of this pandemic and possibly to next Christmas!