Sunday. December 2nd

Christmas has arrived at Strangely Park! A little early but at least we waited for the right month, which is more than most have.

On instructions from Beloved I wrestled with the basement store room yesterday and brought up all the Christmas stuff. A couple of boxes of assorted nick-nacks, things like; a Christmas decorated china house with a candle inside to light it up, assorted angels, a decoration for the dining table, a Christmassy bowl for nuts that we don’t eat, all the decorations for the tree (when it arrives), Christmas garlands to hang outside the door and in the apartment and some lights for outside. We have similar boxes for Easter as well as a couple of large illuminated pumpkins for All Saints AKA Halloween.

Good job the store room is a decent size because it has to store all this as well as summer/winter tyres for Beloved’s car, terrace furniture, tools and a plethora of other junk. We had a bit of a tidy a while back and sold lots of stuff on Allegro (Polish eBay) but it made just a small dent in the collection.

Tree decorations aside, the rest has been installed including the outside lights that now illuminate the end of the balcony facing the street. I see Mr & Mrs Fitness, back from their holiday, have followed our lead and strung some LEDs up one of their smaller trees. A little pathetic but good for them. We now await the penthouse up near the gate to unleash their usual Christmas light extravaganza and we’re all ready for the carp!

Beloved spotted Hagrid on our way back from hospital and agrees she is a dead-ringer for the Harry Potter star. She was without bucket for a change.

I can report that General Patton is alive and well. He’s been missing for a while, presumably off on a mission to quash the ambitions of a despotic African lunatic. His granite-chiseled face was spotted earlier today striding up the street, Nordic Walking poles in hand fresh from an all-night yomp in the park. No sign of Mrs Patton though, who usually accompanies him nor of his red jeep.

The jeep is one of those only normally found in Alaska or perhaps parts of the Rockies. A rugged, end of the world surviving jeep that looks better with an assortment of dead animals in the back. The General has a look that says “I’d like to rip your throat out and feed your heart to the birds!” and he gives the impression he might well be able to do that bare-handed in about five seconds flat. Without question, a retired paratrooper who is missing the action. Certainly the kind of guy who has a “circle of trust” that does not currently include us.

Talking about military stuff , the security company seem to be slipping into the same slump as all their predecessors. Every company we have had starts out very well. People everywhere, lots of activity, gates opened and closed in quick order and generally the model of an efficient and friendly security company with energetic and enthusiastic staff. After a while though all the good people vanish and Sleepy, Dopey, Bashful and Grumpy arrive to take their place.

They all have names like “Soldiers”, “Scorpion” or “Panzer”. This crowd is called “Magnum” but looking at the team we have now I suspect this is after the ice-cream bar rather than the gun! I wonder how well a security firm called “Rose Blossom” would get on?

Still, can’t complain too much as at least most of the staff are still ambulatory and not as far as I can see visually challenged, which in itself is an improvement on the ones they replaced.

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