Thursday, December 14, 2006

Being Santa

Leamington Garret. Life is sweet. It has been amazing recently. I feel like I have emerged from a deep, dark tunnel. I walk around with a permanent grin on my face.

Suddenly everything seems so much easier. I am enjoying life in Leamington again. I feel relatively comfortable and am really looking forward to Christmas.

Funnily enough, I was asked to be Father Christmas the other day. A mum called Mel approached me in Lewes during the interval of a magic show.

'May I ask you a favour?' she asked.
'OK,' I replied awaiting the worst.
'Will you be Father Christmas for a school Christmas Fair?' she asked.
'You have a smiley face.'

Well, that won me over. I agreed and so, late last Friday afternoon, I was dressed in full Santa costume and awaiting my first customer in a grotto like a Bedouin tent.

My first little visitor proved to be the one of more than 150 over the next two hours, by which time I had almost lost my voice with a mouth full of white synthetic hair.

But it was great! All that hope and expectation on those little faces was an inspiration. I had never before fully appreciated how much pleasure and joy the myth of Saint Nicholas brings to the young.

I asked every child if they had been good that year and they all said: 'Yes!' 

Life is getting better. The Day-Job has been good; order has returned to my Leamington existence, and I have been writing much more poetry.

There are also good omens, such as the return of my wristwatch. I was given it on my birthday. My sixth birthday, some 39 years ago. It was a present from my German grandparents (now long dead).

On the back is engraved 'Oma und Opa. 22/12/67'. I recall proudly wearing this full-sized man's watch on that day in 1967 – while The Beatles were still together and before Man walked on the Moon!

I wore it until, I believe, my third year at Hull University when at this time of year in 1982 I lost it at the Silhouette Club, then on Spring Bank. I do not recall what happened that night in that club, although I did return many times in the hope of finding my watch.

My grandfather had died by that time and I swore that I would never wear another wristwatch until it was recovered.

Last month when clearing out the London Garret, I found the watch at the bottom of an old biscuit tin I had used to knick-knacks while at Hull University. I had had no idea it was there and hadn't seen it for almost a quarter of a century. Its face was smashed and, obviously, it was not keeping time.

Now, thanks to an old watchmaker in Lewes, my beloved Kienzle is returned to its pristine state, with new glass and a repaired mechanism. The watch is back on the wrist!

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you the one who made those comments about Paris Hilton's music to Daily Star?

Friday, 22 December, 2006  
Blogger Oliver said...

No, not guilty of that one'

Monday, 22 January, 2007  

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