The husband, who is still battling a life threatening mild cold, took himself off to daughter number one's building site to do more work yesterday. This is all very positive, as I am sure that deep down she really can't wait to move in. She always says that she'd rather stay here (I offer a very high level of board here) and who can blame her, but being in your own first home is probably the most exciting thing ever, so we'll just enjoy having her here a little longer before she moves out.
While the husband was laying floors, I decided that I would be extremely helpful and take the tree down. This would be the 16' monster which has been residing in my hall for the last three weeks, costing me more in electricity than London's firework display last night. I roped in the services of daughter number two and the LSB, and we started the long process of removing the decorations first. This is no mean feat - I once counted them as I removed them (must have been doing it on my own that year) and got to 897. There have been more purchased since then, so we must be looking at around 1000 now, all to be fitted into the equivalent of two suitcases. With all the tugging and pulling, the needles started falling, and it wasn't long before we were walking on what I fondly like to call my 'Narnia Carpet'.
It was then my favourite bit. Sawing off the branches. I love doing this, mainly because I know that if the husband was here, I wouldn't be allowed anywhere near something as dangerous as a saw. Oh no, I would have been relegated to carrying the balding boughs out to the trailer. So I really enjoyed myself for the next hour or so, happily singing Monty Python's 'I'm a Lumberjack' under my breath as the branches fell to the floor and my hair started resembling a pin cushion.
Once that was done, all that remained was a 16' stick in a bucket. It was at this point that I very sensibly called on the help of the LSB again. I have to confess, considering he was of a similar build to the remaining stick in a bucket, I wasn't sure whether he'd be up to breaking the trunk into three bits so that we could get it out of the door, but he surprised me with his hidden strengths, and pushed and pulled my rusty saw through the tree like a hot knife through butter.
Once everything was out of the house, I started clearing up the needles. Unfortunately, my vacuum is not made of such strong stuff as me, and it gave up after five minutes. This is now in the garage, waiting for the husband's healing hands and screwdriver. So everything was done with brush, pan and bucket, and eventually, my hall was restored. Why does any room which has once housed a Christmas tree always look so big when the tree goes? One of life's mysteries...
I was quite excited about how the husband would react when he got back. I expected him to be on his knees with gratitude, sobbing into my hands about how wonderful a wife I was. When he got back, he looked at the wide, open space in the hall, and asked me how I'd cut all the branches off. When I told him that I'd used a saw, his eyes narrowed.
'Where did you find that?' he asked.
Now I know my husband very well. He only wants to know where I hide it so that if he needs it some day in the future, he can 'borrow' it. Such was the way with four screwdrivers, an electric drill, a very handy key ring of Allen keys, my hammer and a useful plastic box filled with screws and picture hooks.
So I didn't tell him...