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  • James Glover

Story 25: Christmas the Camberdoodle way

‘If it’s going to rain like this tomorrow I think I’ll stay home’ said Lily-Poo ‘what with the traffic, the cost of parking and the price of petrol, visiting Camber has become quite an expensive day out’.

It was the second day that week they’d spent the afternoon huddled around the fire in the cafe. Each time they poked their noses out the door, they’d been met with horizontal wind and rain that discombobulated all the fur on their faces. There was nothing to do but snooze and eat biscuits until the weather changed.

In between naps they did their best to keep the conversation light, but what with the country being in such a mess, it was difficult to steer clear of sensitive subjects such as climate change or how much nurses should be paid.

Dante and Harley hogged most of the conversation and there’s a limit to how much analysis of the country’s social care services or the energy price gap the others could stand. They all knew the country was ‘going to the cats’.

Fortunately there was a lull in the conversation when Dante couldn’t answer Harley’s question about why the Bank of England urgently needed to apply quantitive easing, so Phoebe jumped in to change the subject.

‘What is everyone doing for Christmas’ she chirped

‘We’re having Christmas at home, said DeDe, we went away last year and quite frankly I didn’t enjoy it. You can’t do exactly what you want in someone else’s house, and I never sleep well in a strange bed. Everyone is very welcome at our house if they’d like to come.’

Phoebe knew exactly what she was doing for Christmas, she’d heard her furless-two-legs say that every relative they’d ever known was coming to their house. The thought of so many furless-two-legs in one house made even listening to Dante and Harley discuss politics an attractive proposition.

Harley didn’t know what he was doing, if previous years were anything to go by, he’d be at home. As much as he liked eating the big dinner, he much preferred opening the presents because it was always a surprise to see what was wrapped inside.

‘I’d like to come for Christmas’ said Lily-Poo

DeDe, who becomes reflective at Christmas time, thought she’d like to invite any doodle that would be on their own this Christmas.

On realising she was talking her thoughts out loud she continued ‘Jangles, the crooner, won’t be able to come, he’s booked to sing in the lounge bar of the Grand Hotel. He’s singing solo this year because the venue can’t afford his Doodlettes backing group.’

Oh that’s sad we’ll have to ask Bella, Nellie and Lily to join us’ said Harley

‘You won’t need to ask Bella, said Phoebe, she’s booked for the winter season in Benidorm. It’s not the most exclusive of venues, but at least she’ll be working in the sunshine.’

‘We’ll ask Nellie and Lily then, because they must be feeling left out’ said Harley with a tear in his eye.

‘I met a new doodle in the car park the other day, said Lily-Poo, he’s called Ziggy. He’s looking for a holiday home near the beach and wondered if I knew of anything. He doesn’t know anyone yet, so I think we should ask him’

Remembering Christmas is a time for fun and conviviality

By the end of the day everything was settled. They’d celebrate Christmas together at Dante & DeDe’s house and Nellie, Lily and Ziggy would be invited too.

We won’t bore you with the practical details dear reader, only to say that plenty of Winton’s liver cake was delivered along with everything else needed for a delicious Christmas dinner. The elves decorated the tree and Santa delivered presents for everyone. When they arrived on Christmas morning the smell of roasting turkey and sizzling bacon was wafting throughout the house.

There’s something about Christmas morning that makes those of an excitable nature even more excitable. Nobody was quite sure how it happened but all of a sudden Nellie and Phoebe were doodle dashing up and down the Christmas tree. Remembering Christmas is a time for fun and conviviality nobody said a word.

Ziggy was keen to meet new doodles. He’s what you call a sporty type and normally hangs out with his mates at parties. But when he saw Lily sitting in the corner he strutted straight over to talk to her. Ziggy is shy around girls but he found Lily easy to talk to, and when she laughed at his jokes, he felt a frog jumping around in his tummy.

DeDe called them to the table when everything was ready. As they sat down she proudly admired the spread she’d prepared. Dante scanned his plate to check he hadn’t missed anything before realising something was missing. DeDe had forgotten the sausages. In a theatrical and over the top tone he cried,

‘Where are my SAUSAGES?’

Like every perfectionist DeDe is happy to receive feedback, but on Christmas Day of all days she didn’t appreciate Dante’s dramatics. Couldn’t he appreciate what he did have, rather than what he was missing?

When they’d licked the last bit of gravy from their plates Harley tapped the table for quiet. He rose to his feet and puffed out his chest.

‘I’d like to say a few words on this special day, Dante and DeDe I know I speak for everyone when I say thank you for having us all here today.’……

Like Dante, Harley enjoys the sound of his own voice and his speeches can go on a bit, and after such a big dinner everyone found it hard to stay awake. They remembered something about how Christmas is a time for family and friends and how lucky they were to have each other. All of a sudden they were brought to their senses when Harley finishing with a flourish said ‘Please raise your glasses to the Camberdoodles!’

They were worried Dante would want to reply, but fortunately there wasn’t time. The new King was about to deliver his first Christmas message, an historic event none of them wanted to miss.

Two speeches in one day was quite enough, and by the time ‘God save the King’ was played at the end of the speech, everyone was ready to head to the beach before home time.

Happy Christmas everyone!

© The camberdoodles

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