By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
The Photographer contemplated Sunday morning breakfast. He had taken the Assistant all the way to Riverford farm shop only a couple of days ago. He was happy and secure in the knowledge that two plump free range chickens sat nestling together in the kitchen freezer. The Assistant had bought some beautiful looking chipolata sausages and some streaky bacon. He would make “pigs in blankets” and he smiled at the prospect. The bacon that was before him had a pleasing 1950s look and he would, according to tradition, cut off the rind, chop it up carefully and put it outside the front door for their visiting birds. Yes, Christmas was on its way. He had read in the paper given free by a middle class supermarket that you should be paying loads of money, £70 was mentioned, for Christmas meat. He thought this absurd in view of the local availability of good quality meat. His chickens had cost nothing like that and would be a pleasurable special treat.
The Photographer looked, with pleasure, at his wife’s effort at breakfast. Her bacon would be crisp and his not so. That was as it should be. She had been at “secrets” in the study, making use of her new oscillating electric fire. He knew that since she had bought some wrapping paper with a grid marked on the back, she could actually cut the paper out unassisted, without screaming in frustration at paper that wouldn’t go anywhere it was put. The coffee was now bubbling on the range. The Photographer breathed in the heavenly smell and continued to dream of Christmas. On Thursday he would go and see Andy, the butcher and ask him to kindly chop up some pheasants, which could be used for stock and poached in a wonderful smelling casserole. He would have a look at the gammon too. This would be the very best place to buy it.
This year, the twosome had decided not to go to town. Parking was a terrible price, they hated the quest in the shops, the smell of the chase for money. They both felt very tired of that sort of shopping. Some shopping had had to be done on the internet, but a surprising amount had been locally sourced. The Daughter and The Boyfriend had introduced them into a better way of shopping. If you want to pleasure shop, shop local, go on the internet for irksome stuff and if you have to have it from a supermarket, send the Boyfriend, who is tall enough to fight in any crowd for what you have forgotten. He is currently working on the purchase of an enormous television for his Granny, nothing less than 40” will do for the 98 year old, who still enjoys the comfort of her own home! So, don’t think you can stop enjoying yourself, you simply can’t. He is still worried about that turkey crown, which has yet to be purchased. Goodness knows what will happen if that doesn’t appear on Granny’s Christmas table!
The Photographer loves it. Its an old fashioned Christmas in every way. He and the Assistant walk to the little town, and really enjoy themselves. They have coffee, mince pies, or a slice of Christmas cake each time they go. The shops are beautifully done up. The organic cafe has a wonderful display of all types of Christmas vegetarian food and the Deli is just a delight. The clothes shop in the square is magnificently dressed. The trees glisten and shine. It is all, straight off a Victorian Christmas card.
The Photographer walks over to the fridge, full of contentment. He opens the door. In front of him beautifully wrapped from the deli, and bought some time ago by the Assistant, is something he had forgotten in his euphoria. Inoffensive, but quite deadly to his plans, to pick up a pint and walk to the Daughters, was a small parcel of locally made marzipan. He had forgotten to cover the Christmas cake. He would have to ring the Boyfriend to get him to pop into the supermarket to buy some ready made cake icing. It was quite possible, that when the Assistant found out that he had not done this one thing that was expected of him, his Christmas would be over before it had begun.