Christmas Club

A Christmas Tail

A one act play set in the bedroom and bathroom of a house in Staffordshire in the early nineties.
Cast of Characters
Just Her and Him and the Narrator who is also Props.

Narrator: It is Saturday December 3rd 1993 at around four am.
Our couple are cosy and warm in bed under a huge thick winter duvet.
The weather has turned icy cold; there was a heavy frost last night.

Props: small sound, maybe soft scraping
Narrator: There is a small unfamiliar sound from somewhere in the distance: Something has woken her, she turns to face him, keeping her nose under the covers, she thought it was him snoring so she watches him for a while. No, there is no sound, she closes her eyes, it is so warm in the bed, go back to sleep, but she is sure she heard it again

Props: Again we hear a small unfamiliar sound from somewhere distant:

Narrator: Yes, there is a sound, an unfamiliar sound, not the usual house at night sound like creaking boards, central heating pipes or the wind at the windows.
She looks at him again, definitely not the poor tired soul lying beside her. He is working so hard lately; he is so looking forward to the weekend and the lovely day planned for their little boy. Don’t wake him. It’s nothing, just the house in the night.
She snuggles in to his back and thinks about the day ahead.

Narrator in her soft sleepy voice: We are taking our little four-year-old son to see Father Christmas in the morning. We are going to a heritage railway station about an hours drive away to see Father Christmas arriving on a steam train. The forecast of heavy frost will add beautifully to the drama of the morning.

Narrator: She remembers steam trains of course, that is what trains were when she was a girl. The boy has no idea what she has been talking about this past week. He will just enjoy his daddy being home.

Narrator in her soft sleepy voice: After the train pulls into the station we will all climb on board and begin our journey that will take us a few miles along the track. There will be warm mince pies and sherry for us and then Father Christmas will call by our carriage. He will stay a while and ask our little chap what he is hoping for this Christmas, he will leave a special gift for the boy before he goes on his way to say hello to the other children on the train. It is going to be a perfect start to Christmas.

She whispers to herself “What is that noise?”

Narrator: She pushes the duvet from her face.

She listens hard but can’t make it out.
She sits up in bed and really concentrates her mind.

She: whispers to herself : Is there someone in the house?

Narrator: She is sure there is no one there but she just can’t work it out. She will have to get out of bed.

Reaching for her dressing gown and slippers she softly leaves the bedroom to walk into the quiet, dark and chilly house; the heating hasn’t switched on yet, she shivers and pulls the dressing gown tight around her.

Narrator: She doesn’t want to wake her son, as good as he is in the mornings, four am is a little early for the start of his funny but non-stop chatter. As she passes the bathroom the noise seems to be coming from there, she can hear her heart beating as she pushes the door open but the room is empty and the noise has stopped.
She leaves and walks into the other rooms in the house, nothing, no sound, no person.
She goes back to her bed.

He disturbs now as a slightly cooler body slips in beside him.

Him: “What’s the matter? Can’t Sleep?”
Her: “I thought I heard a noise and I got up to investigate, but I think it’s gone now.”
Her: “Yes I checked him” he didn’t need to ask the question. “He is sound asleep.
Cuddle me? I am cold now”.

She tries to settle back into her safe and warm place.

Narrator in her soft sleepy voice: Where was I? Oh yes, on the train we  have just seen Father Christmas, the mince pie is warm and spicy and so delicious.

Narrator: There it is again, the noise is back.

Props: very quietly in the distance  Splish splish splash splish

Her: shaking him: “Wake up I hear the noise again, I am sure it is coming from the bathroom but I have been in there and there is nothing!”
“Please, come with me this time.”

Narrator: They get to the bathroom, together this time and yes there is a noise, a kind of splish splash noise.
Her: “It is water, something to do with water, but where? There is nothing here.”
Splish splash splish splash,
Her: “Oh my life, it is coming from the toilet bowl”.

Narrator: She feels giddy and sick with fear and returns quickly to the safety of the bed.

Narrator: She is listening, thinking. What is he doing? Nothing is happening, he is quiet, too quiet, she has to go and look. From the safety of the bedroom she sees him. He is standing, very still, naked, in front of the toilet; chin in hand, just staring, staring down at the toilet.
She is terrified now.
She watches as he very carefully lifts the lid of the toilet and in an instant it is back down again.
He returns to her in the bedroom, finds his dressing gown, sits on the edge of the bed.
Him: “There is a rat swimming around in our toilet bowl! Fetch me something to put down the toilet to block it.”


Yes we did still go to see Father Christmas, He arrived on his train at the Foxfield Railway musuem at Stoke on Trent and it was every bit as wonderful as I had hoped. In the afternoon we all went to a little friends birthday party where we took it in turns to tell our friends, ever so quietly, so as not to upset the children, what we had been up to in the early hours.
And yes it is possible and it did happen. The very cold weather had brought the rat along the drains and up in to the house via the u bend in the toilet, hoping to find some warmth. The rodent inspector called regularly over the following weeks to lay poison and eventually we felt happy that it (and any family) had vacated our loo and our drains. Christmas 1993

I have just read The Ramblings of a Little Old Lady and was reminded of this post that I published in November 2010.

Thank you Sian for this lovely series of Christmas Stories.

Fancy a cocktail at the Christmas club?

Missing Story Telling Sunday and it’s older sister A Christmas story, Sian suggested we might like to join her for three Sundays before Christmas to read one of her wonderful stories and maybe post one of our own.
Now mine is in no way amazing, in fact it’s not even a story, but one of Sian’s suggestions for starting the grey matter churning was
“At Christmas we…”

Well, at Christmas in our house we make this beautiful cocktail, in fact I have learnt that three other households around here also make Miriam’s Christmas in a glass.

Christmas story 2014

1 measure vodka
1 measure Disaronno
3 measures cranberry juice
2 measures orange juice
mix all together
shake over ice
and, if you like them, serve with maraschino cherries threaded on a small skewer.

Merry Christmas!

Thank you Sian

December and Me

December and me 2014

Faith, Hope and Love

So it’s arrived then? December I mean. There was I thinking it was ages away and in the twinkling of a Christmas light it’s here.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 09.24.49

Yes of course I complain:
“Where has all the time gone?
The last year I mean, twelve months, just gone!
What on earth am I going to get you?
Where am I going to store all the food?
The fridge isn’t big enough”.

Then you join in:
“What on earth have you ordered? How many have you invited?”
And back to me like a tennis ball. “Yes we do need all that wine
and the port and if you think I can cope with ½ a bottle of Amaretto left over from last Christmas you’ll be cooking your own Christmas lunch!”

But I love it, love December, all the prep, the carols, the friends dropping in, the drinks parties, the lunches, the family coming over.
Bringing the stuff down from the loft, (Yes, all of it please) forgetting it’s all still on our bed when we head up to bed.
The photos I take, the notes that I make, the lists, the cards and the sparkling lights.
The Christmas china, the table linen and the jolly napkins I like before the day. But, white linen napkins on the day.
The red-stemmed wine glasses, sugared almonds in the red cocktail glass and the chocolates in the little wicker hamper.
The twiggy tree, the beautiful welsh black crib figures with the little bail of straw that has survived another year in the loft. We had that at our old house and we’ve been here fourteen years!
All go on the big windowsill please.
The wrapping paper, ribbons and Washi tape. Yes that’s new but red of course.
Oh! Scented candles and the wreaths and the bells and the holly leaves.
The fairy lights, unravelled all around the room. Fingers crossed and breath held. Will they work? Will they work? Will they work?
Do you remember our dad checking all the beautiful big bulbs, giving them a little twist to see if they were just loose or ‘dud’
These days it’s all LED lights and no such thing as spares.
Oh! Mums golden reindeer! I know it looses its gold bits everywhere and every day, but she loved it and now I do too.
Mums *‘Flight out of Egypt’ that we bought her, she loved it so much and the remaining four figures from the crib we had as children, I like that on my kitchen windowsill. I expect you know the story of the babe wrapped in a bandage?
I’ll find it and post it in a few days.
The shopping, the deliveries, the crush and the rush
The films and the music, the cards and the love.
And the tree, the most beautiful, most perfect tree I can find to decorate with love and memories and maybe a glass of mulled wine while I think of you and the Christmases we’ve shared.

December and me, smiling, happy, singing along with Christmas carols, writing to my blog friends, spending time with ‘here’ friends
Sending love.
Feeling loved.

Faith makes all things possible. Hope makes all things work. Love makes all things beautiful.

December and me, like November and me is Sian’s lovely idea.

*The Flight out of Egypt is a black Welsh Slate figurine depicting this scene

The School Term is Almost Over

I can’t resist posting this Christmas Story received tonight from my brother, a teacher.

A Christmas story from the school where my brother teaches

A Colleague was teaching a year 9 class and was asking them about Christmas and what their plans were.

They each told their stories of being with family and friends and looking forward to all the nice things that Christmas will bring.

He then asked them whether they knew the story of the three wise men visiting the baby Jesus. They knew the story or had least have heard about it. He then asked them do you know what gifts they brought the baby Jesus? One began with G one began with F and the last one M.

They soon guessed that the G was gold but they were a little unsure about the F one suggested Fudge and the other one suggested Frog because she had a pet Frog and enjoys poking it with a stick.

Roll on the end if term, can’t wait to see you.

Bubbles 2

Better get something chilled ready for him, perhaps something with bubbles which is what my photo is; bubbles from a bubble machine.

Journal Your Christmas 11th December.

I had some time to myself on Sunday which is just as well because my journal entry for 11th has taken on a life of it’s own. I seem to have so much to say about Shimelle’s prompt for wrapping and then there was the story of the reindeer to tell. If only she hadn’t mentioned that this could be a really quick page to do!
My pages are quite small (5×7), so one page has turned into 5!….and the 11th wasn’t wrapping…
That’s the joy of this project though, no rules!

If you would like to read my journalling click on the page, it should open large enough to read in a new window.