I’m starting to reach the conclusion that up is in fact not the only way. For every up there must be a down and vice-versa. Celestial balance, the circle of life etc. Up is not a great place to be if the only way is down and being down can be great if the prospect is upwards. You get the picture.
And so it came to pass that I went out to get my Christmas tree last weekend and as I wandered round the forest of little spruces it crossed my mind that these trees had a pretty miserable existence. Battery-farmed with a four to eight year life expectancy, each one quietly crossing its little needles that it won’t be chosen. The reason they don’t move much is they don’t want to be noticed. But they saw me, making mental notes of the location and relative bushiness of those that I passed and doing my Ant and Dec thing muttering “It might be you…”
My victim was a stout three-year old, shorter than most I’ve bought over the years with a view to it sitting up on an old trunk that had occupied the space which last year saw a fulsome seven-footer. The felling of a Christmas tree is not a fair fight. A man with a saw versus an unarmed, immobile object, rooted in mud with limbs outstretched as if in surrender. It takes a few short seconds to introduce it to the concept of being horizontal amid cries of “shame!” from its neighbours whereupon the enemy is bundled into a truck, trussed in mesh and stowed in the boot of my car.
On the upside, like the arrival of the season of goodwill after a long and arduous year, Christmas trees are eventually transported from a cold muddy field to a short life of ecstasy; central heating, baubles, lights, worship and a fairy on top.
Happy Christmas everybody.