Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Tree’

Before the blackout -Photo by Jilly Gardiner

Before the blackout –
Photo by Jilly Gardiner

Can’t believe Chrimbo’s just days away.  It’s a whole year since I robbed that Chrimbo tree from someone’s garden and put it in our living room!  Can’t believe it’s already time to go and rob another one.    Our house has got no Chrimbo decos; me ma celebrates Chrimbo by drinking double what she usually does, and staying out for even longer than normal.  So it’s my job to make the house look brighter and Christmasy.

It’s dark when I leave school now, so the day before yesterday I went walking down the posh street where I robbed that dead nice tree from last year.  They put loads of Chrimbo lights outside their houses and it looks dead boss.  One house had a little steam train made of coloured lights on their garden – I really wished we could have that outside ours.   But next to the steam train was a small, fat Chrimbo tree in a pot – just perfect for our living room.  I noticed the house still had their curtains open, so I had to be careful when I bunked into their garden.  The lights from the steam train made it hard for me to hide, but there were loads of bushes for me to stoop behind.   The only problem with nicking Chrimbo trees out of gardens is that they always have lights on them! Have you tried to untangle those lights?  It’s not easy you know!

Anyway, I could see there were people wandering around the living room inside the house, so I really had to be extra careful.   I stooped by the side of the tree and started to pull the lights off, but they weren’t budging.  So then I had the bright idea of getting my flicky out (which I’ve  started carrying for when Zani’s lads come and kick my head in) and started cutting the wire to the lights so I could just carry the whole tree away in the pot with the lights still attached (it’s less hassle than untangling them!).  As I cut the wire, the lights went out and the tree was dark – but I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic impact from light to dark in the garden – somehow it made the steam train lights go out too, and all the other Chrimbo lights in the garden.  This was VERY noticable!   I saw a face of a woman in the window.. she was staring out onto the garden but I don’t think she could see anything with it being so dark.   Then the light came on in the hall, and the door opened.    I don’t mind telling you that I nearly shit myself!  Some fella came out onto the path from the house and stared into the garden.. he stood there for a life time (I reckon), and I hid at the back of the small tree, not even breathing.   I was dead made up when he turned and started walking back into the house shouting ‘Must be the fuse’.   He shut the door behind him as he went in.

I thought I’ve only got seconds to carry the tree away before he’s back out wondering what else is causing the blackout, so I picked up the tree in the pot (it was like a lead weight) and staggered across the garden onto the pavement.  It was then I saw the kid in the window… he was about four, and was sitting on the back of the settee staring at the dark garden.  I stopped and put the heavy pot down.   I could see his bottom lip going as he looked out at the blackness.   Tears rolled down his face as he started sobbing; I could even hear him from the other side of the window.

It broke my heart… How could I take his Chrimbo tree away?  Call me stupid, but I had to put it back.   So I staggered back into the garden with the tree in the pot.  I was just putting it back where I found it when the outside light came on and the front door flung open.   There was I, caught red-handed; bending over the Chrimbo tree.  I couldn’t move…. I just stared at the fella in the doorway (I didn’t know what else to do).  He stared back.

‘I was putting it back!’ I said, knowing how stupid it sounded.

He shouted into the house, but didn’t take his eyes off me, ‘Call the police!’.

I felt my feet again and legged it off across the garden and down the road.  I felt him chase me out of the garden but wasn’t sure if he was tailing me down the road, so I kept running for ages until I had a stitch.

There’s only one thing for it.. I’m going have to do the decent thing and pay for a tree off Greaty Market this year … I can’t have a crying kid on my conscience!

English: Candles on a German Christmas tree De...

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Me ma did come home… eventually.   Last  night – dead late.    Some fella (not Binny) was banging on the door at about midnight.   I went and answered the door and there was me ma leaning heavily on this huge fella who stunk of booze.   I pulled her off him and dragged her into the hall.  The fella didn’t hang around… he staggered off down the street, saluting me before he  went.  I just shut the door and half carried me ma to the bedroom – where she’d passed out before her head touched the pillow.   I quickly took the tree out of the mop bucket and emptied the soil out, before putting the mop/sick bucket by her bed.. I knew she’d be needing it.

Once I knew she was laying on her side so she wouldn’t choke on her own sick, I left her to it, and locked myself in my bedroom for the night.

Once again the tears came… me ma was home safely, I should have been made up!  But I just couldn’t stop crying and crying and crying.  By the time I got up late this morning, my eyes looked like I’d done ten rounds with Mike Tyson.   I  checked on me ma.. she was still in the position I left her in last night, but still breathing, so I just put a glass of water by her bed and shut the door over.

As the day went on I kept thinking about Christmas tomorrow, and whether me ma would be awake (or at home) to sit on her new painted chair I’d made her.  I didn’t have any wrapping paper to wrap it up, so I covered it in a sheet (no difference really!).

late afternoon I made myself a cup of coffee and took it into the livingroom.  The Chrimbo tree was laying on the floor, all its roots bare, and almost without any needles.  I decided there was no point in having it there, so I dragged it out of the house along the hall and out of the front door.   My heart was heavy as I opened the bin and piled the lot into it.   A fella walking passed told me off for putting garden rubbish in the main bin… I stuffed it in further and told him to f&ckoff and mind his own business.

The branches wouldn’t break… I got mad and started smacking the branches with my hands, trying to break them to fit in the bin… I kept smacking them until my fingers started to bleed.  ‘You’re a bleedin’ nutjob!’ said the fella as he toddled off down the street.

‘Yeah, and you’ll be next if you don’t shut up!’ I screamed.     I tried to put the lid down on the bin but it wouldn’t close.  I slammed it and slammed it and slammed it.. but it was no good!   I fell backwards and ended up sitting on the step…. the pain in my heart, and stinging in my eyes got stronger – I could see all the lights from the Chrimbo trees in people’s houses.   Here was the tears again… God I felt so stupid.. what was wrong with me!!  I’m such a girl!

I heard a car pull up the street, but couldn’t look up.  It parked close to my house.  I heard the door shut, and footsteps.  I looked up but couldn’t see through my tears.

There was a man’s voice ‘Tommy?’  I stopped crying.. wiping my eyes and looking up.  It was Anthony! He was standing on our path looking down at me.

‘Anthony! What are you doing here?’  I tried to sound like I hadn’t been crying, but it wasn’t working.

Anthony smiled ‘Are you all right?’

I stood up and wiped my eyes.. trying to put on a deeper voice ‘Yeah yeah, good, good!’

‘I came to see if you were ok, and ask what you’re doing for Christmas? ‘

‘I’m good’ I said again.. but I could see his concern, and I just burst into tears AGAIN!  How embarrassing.  He put his arm out and I hugged him, crying into his shoulder.  He told me it would be all right.

He pulled away and said something which made me cry again ‘Do you want to spend Christmas day with us?’.

I found myself almost shouting out.. ‘Yeah, yeah I do.. I do!’.

I left a note on the kitchen sideboard for me ma, telling her where I was staying if she wanted to come and spend Christmas with Anthony and his wife.    I felt guilty, but it didn’t stop me grabbing my coat and getting into Anthony’s warm, posh car… while he drove to a place for a real Christmas, with a real tree and real presents.

I love you ma, but I don’t want to be alone for Christmas x

Me ma’s barely noticed the Chrimbo tree!  She’s been off her face for the passed few days.   She stumbled into it last night, and knocked it over… soil everywhere.   I helped her up and guided her to her bedroom, helping her up the stairs before putting all the soil back in the mop bucket, and standing the tree back up.   It’s looking worse for wear now… all the needles are falling off.

I’ve got a small lamp in my bedroom, so I sellotaped it to the top of the tree and plugged it in.. it doesn’t look too bad really.   It would be better with proper lights, but beggars can’t be choosers.   The only thing is, it is really leaning to the right with the lamp  attached to it, so I’ve moved the settee closer to it to stop it from falling over.

No sign of Binny for the past few days – hope me ma spends the day sober tomorrow.

Christmas lights 2010

Image via Wikipedia


Did a recky yesterday around the city… looking for a Chrimbo tree.   Found the perfect one… not too big.. not too small!  Problem was.. it was in the front garden of someones house, with blue Chrimbo lights on it!   No one seemed to be in when I went back that way today (I had a look through the window!),  So I went and nabbed it.   It was about 4 feet tall, and was in a pot.  I took the lights off it and put them on the doorstep, before attempting to lift the tree.  It would hardly budge!   I ended up having to take it out of the pot (the pot weighed a ton), and dragged it down the path and along the road… soil everywhere.


By the time I got it home there was no roots left on it, and I had no pot to stand it in.   I got the bucket from my ma’s bedroom (it’s actually a mop bucket, but it’s never seen a mop!)  Me ma uses it as her ‘throw up bucket’ when she’s too bevvied to get off the bed to reach the bathroom).   The bucket stank of puke (still some in it), so I washed it out in the sink and then put some soil into it… The tree fitted in it just perfectly.  I watered it (wasn’t sure if that’s what I was supposed to do), and put it in front of the window in the livingroom.   I wished I’d nicked the blue lights from the garden now, but it IS Christmas, so I thought I’d be charitable and just rob the tree instead.


I stood there staring for ages at the tree… it was a bit lop-sided but it looked the part (Now where can I ‘borrow’ some shiny balls from?).


English: Paul McCartney, George Harrison and J...

Image via Wikipedia

Everyone’s going on about Chrimbo!   Chrimbo this.. Chrimbo that….  Can’t see what all the fuss is about myself!   Empty, cold house, watching the tele, wondering how bladdered me ma will be when she gets home… will she be carried home, or will she be able to walk all by herself (I have bets with myself).   Kids in our school get dead excited about it!  It’s just a commercial scam me ma says.  All that money on prezzies that the kids only play with for five minutes, and they’re put out with the rubbish by New Year.

I’d love a guitar for Chrimbo.    I’ve been sneaking a go of Bubonic Binny’s guitar for weeks now… and I think it’s fair to say… I’m getting pretty good at it!   I haven’t got a book or nothing, and can’t pay for fancy lessons, but I can play a good rendition of ‘Let it Be’ by the Beatles!   Binny still hasn’t noticed I’ve been playing it.  But it’s just stuck in the corner of the living room gathering dust – so it’s a shame not to put it to some use.  I’m working on ‘Come together’ by John Lennon… I’ve got the first bit sounding pretty great, but I’m still trying to get my head around the ‘Doo do neee ee neee’ bit.   They do music in our school.. If I had a guitar I could go and get lessons there.

I’ve cut a picky of a guitar out of the catalogue, and I put it on the side board in the kitchen, where me ma makes her double shot of strong coffee (like treacle!),   I’m hoping it’ll give her ideas of what to get me.  It’s a cheaper guitar, and it’ll be even cheaper if she buys it second hand (or cheaper again if it’s knock off!).. so I’m sure she could afford it.

Please God… make me ma get us the guitar for Chrimbo (Knock off will do!)  and I won’t ask for any birthday or Chrimbo prezzies for the next ten years!

I’ve decided I’m going to pick up a Christmas tree and put it in our living room, and decorate it with fancy lights.  I’m going to go out this afternoon and see where I can get one!  It might even get me ma in the Chrimbo spirit, and she might think I deserve a guitar!