The Ambler

Amble's Community Newspaper: News & events from Amble in Northumberland – The Kindliest Port.

Whither And Why: An Advent Adventure

Seasoned greetings from HH and Honk
Photo (c) Magic If

From the journal of Sir Hilary Harrison-Nairn, fragments recovered on Dec27, 2011

December 1: What a day! My esteemed associate Gerald Honk has put together a magnificent pre-festive treat for me! An advent calendar, by which I can track the days remaining before Christmas itself is upon me like an eiderdown at bedtime! What’s more, the 1st of the month being today, I may open the first door! …
Well I never did. A single, intricately-wrapped confectionery. I gobbled it with relish – regrettably, not a combination I can recommend – only to discover an additional item… a note! From Honk!

H.H., it read,
This is the last sweetie you will receive…
I was aghast. After briefly wondering what a ‘ghast’ could be, I determined to confirm Honk’s warning. Doors 2 to 8 yielded no sweeties. Drying my eyes, I read on;
… but many friends have contributed to this calendar, with gifts and mementos unique to you. An Advantageous Advent to you!

December 9: Mrs. Clutterbutt’s gift! An invitation to attend late night shopping in our fair village! I was wondering why she has been standing by the porch in her finest hat and coat all day. I don’t have the heart to tell her the shopping evening was last month… I shall contact some local shopkeepers and see what I can arrange. I’ll not mention to provide free sherry or she’ll be swinging from the decorations!
Checked doors 10 to 12. No sweeties to be found. Dash.

December 13:
Another Honken envelope! Within, a pair of tickets for Warkworth Drama Group’s latest pantomime, Mother Goose! Splendid! I shall prepare my voice by bellowing “IT’S BEHIND YOU” at every opportunity.   …
Perhaps should have informed Mrs C of my bellowing intentions in advance, may have to replace a whole set of dinner plates. Poor woman.

December 14:
The message, ‘Think on your life.’ Thank you, Mother Nairn…

December 15:
A present from Lillian? Lillianus, Lilliana, Lillton Keynes?
A bus ticket to Newcastle, and written on the reverse, For the Fenwick’s window.
Capital! However, the ticket appears to only be one-way. Odd; she must know I’m legally bound to depart the town within one hour of arrival!?
December 16-19: Something from Bismarck! A substantial something, as it has taken up four days’ doors…
How kind… The cravat lost to me last April! Returned in tatters, but returned nonetheless.
One final check behind doors 20 to 23…
Alas, no sweeties.

December 24: For the final door, something from Uncle George, owner of Bismarck…
A long-awaited letter! I reproduce it in full:
Nephew,
The long wait is over, I can relieve you of the uncertainty…. you can have Bismarck on a permanent basis. He’s all yours, thank God. Look after him well.
A sublime Christmas surprise! I shall have to tell Honk…
Ah! My gift to Honk! Still unwrapped!  …
Double ah! No wrapping paper. I knew attempting to create a Nairn Christmas tapestry to hang from the banister was foolish. I shall use these pages in lieu of suitably seasonal paper…
A Merry Christmas to you, Honk!
I would have appreciated some blasted Skittles, though…

H.H. and Honk recommend ‘Mother Goose’, which will be performed from December 13-15 in Warkworth.
They also recommend you peer wide-eyed and open-jawed at this year’s Fenwick’s window display.
Finally, they remind you that, delectable as Skittles may be, other confectionery is available.

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