Recycled Santa

It's a bit of a family tradition for me to belt round to the grandchildren on Christmas eve with small presents. In the early years they thought it was the real Santa paying them a special visit, but that didn't last too long. Just couldn't disguise myself or the voice well enough. So now the Dummy Santa pays a visit.

In my glory days I had a proper audience... used to do a gig for the local playschool. That didn't always go too smoothly, as you can read at Santa's desperate sprint to safety. With the passage of time the outfit is starting to look a bit moth eaten, but I've decided I'm going to stick with it. It'll add more fun if I turn up each year looking a bit worse than the previous visit.

This year saw a new variation on the theme. The family spent the afternoon at The Dolphin, part of which involved me and Barry seeing how far we could get through the alphabetically arranged single malt whiskys. So no chance of using the car, and going on foot was out since a half way stop for a cup of tea on the way home meant I was short of time. The sausages would be eager to get to bed and let the real Santa work his magic! It was time for a new innovation... the cycling Santa!

So St Ives was treated to the spectacle of a rather bedraggled (no time to put a crease in the trousers) and somewhat inebriated Father Christmas on a traditional sit up and beg Pashley bike pedalling for all he was worth. Quite a few comments along the way, particularly as customers outside The Haywain were treated to a flash of red hurtling by. And quite a few puzzled looks from children. You can just imagine the conversation...

Child: 'Why is Santa on a bike?'

Parent: 'His sledge must have broken down.'

Child: 'How's he going to deliver all the presents on time then?'

Parent: 'He'll just pedal really quickly.'

Child: 'He doesn't look like he could pedal quickly. He's wobbling all over the place.'

Parent: 'He can go a lot faster than that'

Child: 'He must be trying too hard now, he's just fallen off.'

The trip was completed successfully, and I fully expect it to become a feature of every St Ives Christmas Eve. For next year I'm thinking of introducing a papier mache reindeer head on the front of the bike. Well, you've got to make an effort to keep things fresh, haven't you? Nothing less will do than crowds of well wishers blocking the pathways, being pushed back by Police, to encourage me along the way.

Merry Christmas to all Allotment Heaven readers, and thanks for sticking with the posts in 2011.

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