Festive spirit

Tang Soo Do last night was disappointing. I’m really concerned that my instructor doesn’t seem to like, or encourage sparring. He was talking about entering a tournament in February but that he would only be competing in the forms and self defence sections because the sparring was too dangerous! There has been no attempt to practice sparring since I’ve been going to classes and in fact we never actually practice anything on each other. We just do kicks up and down the room, or use a dummy target. It’s quite disconcerting. I know I shouldn’t but I keep comparing classes to the Manchester TKD club and I’m just not finding it as fulfilling. Poop. Anyhow, I think I’ll give it a bit longer before I start looking elsewhere and see if it picks up. What is also worrying though is that the instructor is soon to be moving to Houston and leaving one of his highest ranked students in charge. That would be fine, but to be quite honest I don’t rate the guy as a teacher. Last time he taught a session he didn’t inspire confidence when he said he’d just seen something cool on TV and wanted us to try it.

Anyway, I got home from TSD pretty grumpy because I’d felt today’s TSD had been a flop. Whereas TKD usually perks me up, I’ve been feeling like it could be so much more and that we never really get started in lessons. I was also pretty damn sleepy. I had a nice soak in the bath and used up some of my special bath oil while Bill was a treasure and fixed dinner. At least he fixed dinner until he realised we’d run out of food in the fridge and got as far as browning some meat before finding we were out of anything to accompany it. As a result we fell back on Grant Central Pizza and he ran out to pick it up while I collapsed on the sofa in my jammies.

I’d just zonked out and was drifting off to snooze when the phone rang. Took me a little while to register that the phone was actually ringing I was so sleepy. Bill was on the other end laughing and telling me to grab my coat and shoes and he was on his way back to pick me up. There was something out there he wanted me to see.

So I raced around the house and did as I was told, hauled my long coat over my pyjamas and forced my feet back into my TSD sneakers. Sure enough Bill arrived home and took Quince and I out on an adventure around the neighbourhood.

We drove up the street and he circled around the block to gain the best perspective, ordered me to close my eyes and then rounded the corner. I opened my eyes and OH MY GOSH! There in front of us was a full scale neighbourhood Christmas Decoration war! It’s insane!!

Bill had been telling me that every year this end of the area goes Christmas Crazy and decks out their houses with lights and yard ornaments, and last night we’d driven around to see if the first shots in the annual showdown had been fired. Yesterday there was one house in particular that had bedecked their yard in stunningly tacky Crimble glory and that had been impressive enough. Tonight however it seemed as if the elves had been hard at work and literally overnight full scale battle plans had been brought into play. There was simply a visual feast of several houses all trying to outdo the others in lighting up the frosty winter sky with Christmas cheer. It’s simply crazy and couldn’t help but make me grin and get into the Crimble mood. Splendid.

Back at our little cottage we decided to give up on the idea of having a Rankin Bass night and cracked open some of Bill’s sweetest childhood Christmas memories. We watched “The Year Without a Santa Claus”, a fantastic 1974 stop motion animation (starring Mickey Rooney and Shirley Booth .o0(who? who?)) that holds a treasured place in Bill’s appreciation of Christmas. It was great, far better than stupid Christmas movies like Elf. I’m a complete sucker for good stop action cinema at the best of times (I simply love James and the Giant Peach) and this was just fabulous and so cute. The part where the elves turn Vixen the littlest reindeer into a dog by putting socks over her pointy ears because they think the policeman has a problem with reindeer as he just gave them a ticket made me giggle. And…now I understand what Bill was on about when he wanted to create a Mr Heat Miser costume for Halloween.

Snuggling up on the sofa with Bill and watching that together was just a great end to the day. Getting more excited about the prospect of a Christmas Wedding now too!

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