"All my little plans and schemesAh, Christmas time. Band Aid, mistletoe and wine. And a new tear-jerker advert from John Lewis. This year, perhaps inspired by Oliver Jeffers' wonderful book Lost And Found, the advert shows its regular model boy child (Can such a kid exist? One who helps, sleeps and never moans?) passing on his dreams of things on a higher plane to his cute pet penguin.
Lost like some forgotten dreams
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for you..."
For cute pet penguin is looking for love. He's not interested in snow, trampolines, footballs or fish fingers any more. He just wants to watch couples kissing - on Oxford Street, in the park, on It's A Wonderful Life. Penguins do, after all, mate for life. And unlike in this image of suburban bliss, they face impossible odds to find their mate and propagate their species. For the South Pole generally doesn't come equipped with central heating and a freezer full of Birds Eye.
The model boy child, as well as being impossibly well behaved and jolly good fun to be around, has an awful lot of nice furniture in his house. It must all come from John Lewis. Just as well the penguin turns out to be only a cuddly toy, otherwise it would shit all over the family's lovely taste in haberdashery.
Don't get me wrong, I love John Lewis. The greatest day of my life was when I was let loose with a barcode zapper in the store on Oxford Street to compile our wedding list. Theoretically, you see, I could choose anything I liked in the Kitchenware department. It didn't mean anyone would buy any of it for me, but it was still - briefly - like a dream come true. I was out of control with excitement. My fiance had to take me to the cafe for a croissant and a cup of tea to calm down.
And then we moved to York, which didn't have a John Lewis. I missed it. I wanted it. A more religious version of me would have prayed for it. Our nearest store was in Sheffield. And I have just written a blog post explaining why I couldn't go there.
|The Christmas present everyone in York was dreaming of|
But alas now that John Lewis is here, because I haven't been in paid employment for over four years, I can't afford to buy anything. I can't stay away though. I can still dream. But I am probably only really going for my monthly free tea and cake in the cafe. Only now the bastards have stopped this offer for Christmas. Because they only want to give it to rich people who will spend thousands of pounds in their Gift Department while they are there.
Which is why I think their Christmas advert is a load of poo. Ner-ner-ner-ner-ner. Stamps foot petulently.
But we do love our penguins in this house. (We don't actually have any penguins in this house.) One year for his birthday I adopted my husband his very own penguin in the Falkland Islands. The penguin was called Sausage. Sausage was a part of our lives for quite a few years. But we let the subscription lapse when we realised that the man running the protection programme was possibly insane. Anyway, to celebrate the original adoption, we spent a day at London Zoo watching penguin feeding time, before going to see March Of The Penguins at the Screen on the Green in Islington.
|Resident at Harewood House|
John Lewis tells us to "give someone the Christmas they've been dreaming of". Easier said that done when your daughter has requested Tinkerbell shoes with pom-poms on and hand-made clothes for her toy monkey Stripey. (She must have been watching some darn advert that turns cuddly toys into pets!) And she will no doubt moan about whatever present Santa gets her as an alternative, like the ungrateful four-year-old she is. Maybe I should send her off to work in a soup kitchen for the day instead. "Please, sir, can I have some more?" Or I could make her learn to knit (she'd have to teach herself, mind) so that she can make all the lovely Christmassy things on my friend's blog. Which is what the model boy child would do.
Bah humbug. Good luck getting through December, folks. May the wine be plentiful and the television full of things I can write about.