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Forums Other Housekeeping Very, very off topic. Froggee gets a Christmas tree by Froggee, Paterfamilias

  • Froggee 837 posts

    Our Christmas tree arrived yesterday. Things did not go well. It is by far the heaviest tree we have ever had. It is a nine footer which is our usual size from the usual firm. £99 delivered after a 10% discount for ordering it back in September. It came nowhere near fitting in our usual Christmas tree stand though. Its trunk had a 17 centimetre diameter whereas our stand only fits a maximum of 12 centimetres despite being for trees of up to three metres in height. The trees have always fitted in the past.

    This was a problem.

    I figured I could use my saw to cut the trunk down to size.

    I could not.

    Obviously a wobbly saw that only cost £5.99 from Homebase in 2014 and my weak arm did not have a chance against a 15 year old (yes, Freddo counted the rings) Nordmann Fir hardened by Scottish winters.

    Then I remembered that a mystery axe lives in our shed. It isn’t the gardener’s. And he says it wasn’t the prior gardener’s. But then the prior gardener is the current gardener’s girlfriend so she might be playing it coy by not admitting to having an axe. I certainly would have been reticent to propose marriage to Mrs Froggee if she had owned an axe. But, on balance, it probably belonged to the prior, prior gardener. He moved on to greater things and now lectures at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden. Because kids are soft nowadays, they do not let lecturers use axes on students so he must have left it behind when he moved to his new job. Anyway, the axe’s head was a bit rusty and the blade not that sharp but I thought I would give it a go. I also had a 16 ounce mallet which I bought for £1.60 because I thought it might be handy to have such a thing. And it seemed like a bargain at the time.

    So I started at about 11am. First I sawed a bit off the bottom to help the tree drink water (also because the tree’s base was squint and I wanted to even it up). Then I sawed a circle round the outside about 15 centimetres up, one inch deep or so. Sorry for mixing and matching metric and imperial but that’s the kind of Crazy Frog I am. Then I started swinging the axe. This was in our drawing room. The axe kind of worked but it was painfully slow. I had to be accurate i.e. not hit myself, so could only do little nibbles and then once the axe was embedded, hit it with the mallet to chisel away up the grain. A bigger mallet would have helped but they had not been deeply discounted. A sharper axe might have helped but equally would have been perilous. I considered asking Alexa to play Pink Floyd’s ‘Careful with that Axe, Eugene’ on repeat but decided this would not be constructive.

    Finally I was done. 

    Except I was not done as I had mis-measured and I needed to take 20 centimetres off, not 15 centimetres as the grips on the tree stand were much higher than when I measured them as they had to be fully open to accommodate 12 centimetres of tree trunk. I am an idiot. So I sawed another circle. Then axe and mallet again. Finally done. 

    Yay.

    Freddo, who was off school sick having been sent home by matron on Wednesday, was now allowed back in the drawing room. He was annoyingly healthy having finished burning his fever off on Thursday. He had questions. Many questions. His main concern appeared to be that we had been scammed by the “Christmas Tree Place” for supplying a tree with a thick trunk.

    Then Freddo was re-banished and I got Mrs Froggee to help hold the base steady while I put the tree up.

    Problem #2.

    I literally wasn’t strong enough to put the tree up. At least not in a safe way. So Mrs Froggee had to help me. Success! I then wanted to adjust the stand on the waterproof mat the tree sits on, as the mat was all bunched up. So I tilted the tree while Mrs Froggee attempted to fix the mat.

    Uh oh.

    The tree kind of rolled, and kind of slipped as I was tipping it. And came tumbling down.

    On me.

    Luckily I was by the window so the window stopped it half-ways. But it knocked my glasses off and barrelled me over, pinning me against the window seat. I had to suffer the indignity of crawling out through Mrs Froggee’s legs to escape. Our tree clearly had strong views that it was now the alpha in our household. I could not argue with it on physicality as it had already thoroughly asserted its dominance. But things could have been worse.

    I outwitted the tree the second time. The tree might be stronger but I am cleverer. Hah – take that tree. I am the paterfamilias.

    Tree secured and mat un-puckered, I then cleaned up the mess. Sawdust and wood chippings were everywhere. Including in my hair. And my slippers.

    I had my lunch.

    At 3pm.

    After lunch I took the stringy plastic stuff off the tree and put the lights on it which is a blue task. Thankfully decorating the tree is a pink task. Then I got dinner ready. Mrs Froggee was out for dinner and off to see Wicked, deserting the boys and me, yet again. I cannot say I blame her.

    Freddo loves the tree and stands staring at it. I don’t think Kermit has even noticed it yet. #notbothered.

    I was absolutely wrecked. My back was knackered from bending over and axing away. It really was hard work. Very different to sitting at a desk and wiggling a mouse. I read stories to both boys but my bedtime was before Kermit’s. I did not even hear Mrs Froggee come home and she returns home of an evening much in the style of a migrating wildebeest.

    The end.

    PS I did not know where to put this (I imagine most would say NOT ANYWHERE ON HEADFORPOINTS but this is my therapy) so concluded on “Housekeeping” as this is clearly a domestic matter to do with the keeping of the Froggee house.

    BJ 648 posts

    May sound strange but who (courier) delivered your tree?

    strickers 684 posts

    I am impressed by your doggedness @Froggee.

    We have an arrangement at chez Strickers, I don’t complain about just how many boxes of decorations there are and am rewarded by not having to decorate the house. I do help get the many boxes from the loft, usually just before I got away for a few days, on my return the house has transformed into a Christmas ‘Wonderland’.

    Froggee 837 posts

    May sound strange but who (courier) delivered your tree?

    Not that strange!

    I have no clue. Two men in a white van. One of whom, I am embarrassed to admit, carried the tree from the van by himself while wearing a Santa hat at a jaunty angle albeit with a modicum of effort. Normally they make it look easy but he lifted from the knees.

    It came from this place:

    https://edinburghxmastrees.com/

    We started getting it from there because our neighbour had a nicer tree than ours and that is where they got theirs from. They still have a nicer tree than ours so we might need to ask them to decorate our tree for us. With their decorations, obviously.

    MF176 145 posts

    An excellent account of your trials and tribulations, as always. Thank you.

    JDB 4,124 posts

    @Froggee – a wonderfully told tragic tale with a fortunately happy ending. At the risk of repeating myself, Gerald Durrell, whose books I greatly enjoyed, is rather upstaged.

    I was very fortunate this year in that the pink team not only gave me a pink ticket to go to Belgrade last weekend but also used that time to procure and wonderfully decorate a magnificent tree. Only problem has been some yoofs who have suggested that the thing on the top of the tree can’t be called a fairy…

    I’m not sure whether the pink team takeover was due to a past fail where I apparently bought a wrongly proportioned tree. My (not accepted) excuse was that I was distracted by meeting our future King and aunt who were the only other people at the tree place who insisted on chatting although I had no idea who they were until the chap who carried my tree to the car told me.

    ExpatInBerlin 185 posts

    @Froggee given that you clearly have an excellent array of horticultural experience at your disposal, could your gardener not grow you your own tree to precise specifications so that you don’t have have same problem again next year?! 😅

    BJ 648 posts

    May sound strange but who (courier) delivered your tree?

    Not that strange!

    I have no clue. Two men in a white van. One of whom, I am embarrassed to admit, carried the tree from the van by himself while wearing a Santa hat at a jaunty angle albeit with a modicum of effort. Normally they make it look easy but he lifted from the knees.

    It came from this place:

    https://edinburghxmastrees.com/

    We started getting it from there because our neighbour had a nicer tree than ours and that is where they got theirs from. They still have a nicer tree than ours so we might need to ask them to decorate our tree for us. With their decorations, obviously.

    For a moment I thought we may almost have got caught up in your latest drama 🙂 Friday afternoon we were held up behind a Christmas tree delivery. Two guys wrestled a large Christmas tree from a white van. I estimated that tree about 9 feet so alarm bells started ringing when I read your tale. One guy wobbled with it over his shoulder and for a moment my partner worried it would fall over on his car. Courier company was DX though and no Santa hats sight so it sounds like them next door are not your only competition this year 🙂

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