I'm sitting in the garden. I can feel the hot sun on my back as I jangle the ice cubes in my glass. A light wind is rustling the leaves. Swallows/house martins/swifts/whatever swoop in the blue sky and the dogs lay flaked out, panting in the shade.
I walk towards the house and press my nose to the glass in the kitchen doors. Through into the living room I see the fires are lit and a hundred candles flicker. I can make out three, fully-decorated Christmas trees surrounded by piles of presents. Swags of ivy and artificial berries are draped across the mantelpiece. There's a roast turkey and all the trimmings on the table. Places are laid, wine glasses are filled and a couple of stylists in shorts and flip-flops are teetering at the top of ladders fixing some fairy lights to the chandeliers. Out here it's May 25th. In there it's December 25th. I want to take a photo and show you but the High Street Christmas is a confidential affair. If I'm caught spying and divulge their hush-hush bauble and tinsel colour theme for Xmas 2011 there'll be trouble. Sorry. You could interrogate the boys but the secret's safe with them too. Last summer we came home from Greece in August and had to tip-toe with our suitcases around a tree that touched the ceiling, covered in twinkling lights. When we went out for a pizza that night I said
'Isn't it funny to come home from holiday to find a giant Christmas tree in your front room!' They said
'Is there? - didn't notice.'
Here's two pics from Christmas past - taken at the house, probably around June.