Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Advent Day 18

'Have a hug!' I shout, arriving home and skipping into the kitchen where Primrose and Daisy are making Christmas biscuits for the decoration of their Christmas tree. I would quite like Christmas biscuits for our Christmas tree only Pandora is on a one kitten mission to denude the aforesaid Christmas tree as often and as quickly as possible. Give her the temptation on biscuits hanging from the branches and we'd be reduced to a Christmas Twig quicker than you can say, 'Get out of that flippin' tree, you flippin' kitten.'

Anyway, I hug Primrose, who is a very tactile chicken and rather enjoys a good squeeze, and then I make a bee-line for Daisy.

'Stand back!' she says, brandishing her nutmeg grater at me. 'I do not do hugging.'

'Oh, go on,' I say. 'It's from the Advent Box.'
'A hug in a box?' says Daisy. 'Don't be so ridiculous.'
'It's true!' I say. 'A hug from an Advent Box is a very special Christmas hug and you shall have one, you grumpy crabstick of a chicken, you!'
And although she is quick on her feet and makes a dash for the back door, I rugby tackle her before she reaches the cooker and hug her until she squeaks.
'There,' I say, releasing her. 'That wasn't so bad, was it?'
'It was hideous,' grumps Daisy. 'I'm going for a bath.' And off she huffs, leaving Primrose to finish the biscuit baking.

'Where are the cats?' I say. 'They need a hug, too. Tybalt loves hugs, don't you Tybalt?' I shout.
'No!' comes a Tybalt-like voice from inside the cupboard under the stairs.
'I'll have a hug,' says Phoebe, who would quite happily be strapped into a baby sling and carried about all day long.

I hug Phoebe. Several times. Eventually I have to prise her from the front of my jumper and deposit her on a chair as we go into hug over-drive.

'What's with all the hugging then?' says Primrose.
'I'll tell you what's with all the hugging,' I say, giving Primrose another hug. 'Today I said goodbye to my Year 8 class. I told them yesterday that I was leaving, and they were in uproar.'
'Hysterical 12 year olds, eh?' says Primrose.
'Indeed,' I say. 'Anyway, today they presented me with a card and some chocolate truffles. And some very overdue, very guilt-ridden homework. And at the end of the lesson, when we were all Dickensed out with Oliver Twist, they descended upon me and demanded a group hug.'
'Oooh, scary or very scary?' says Primrose, knowing I am marginally allergic to being prodded by small children unless they are my granddaughter.
'Very scary,' I say. 'I tried to put them off by screaming and yelling about claustrophobia, but they weren't to be deterred, and thus I found myself squished like a bug in the middle of a bunch of emotional pre-teens. Actually,' I continued, 'it was okay.'
'Touching, I imagine,' says Primrose.
'Indeed,' I say. 'And so I am contained of a surfeit of huggage, which I feel duty-bound to share amongst the masses, that is you, Daisy and the cats. And Andy. Andy is very huggy.'

'Hug away,' says Primrose. 'We don't want you bursting with your surfeit, do we?'
'No,' I say. 'For a hug isn't just for Christmas, and teachers leaving their schools. A hug is...
'For any time!' says Primrose.

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