Usually the pirate bauble hangs from the window. I use the popper from the window blind to hold it in place. The fishing Santa hangs from the other blind popper. This means we have Christmas decorations hanging all year round.
People do comment. ‘You’ve got your Christmas decorations up already?’ they’ll ask in the middle of June.
We nod. We explain it’s the only way to ensure they don’t break. It’s one of the only fragile things we have on Quest. Our crockery – plastic and bamboo. Nice plastic, but plastic. Rubber-bottomed plates to stop from moving around. Same with our cups.
Although we do have a set of ceramic and porcelain mugs. We had five, but one actually broke today. The Madame cup. It just shot out of the cupboard this morning like it was on fire and smashed all over the floor. We were gutted. Great cup. We’ll have to source a new one now.
Last year, we had to source a new Christmas tree for Quest. The one my mum bought for us in Las Palmas four years before, had come out from under Lu’s berth looking it had a fight – and lost.
We rushed around Fort de France in Martinique. We had to get north to Antigua, and it was our last day for shopping. In the end, we found quite a nice home store in the middle of the city’s mall, Cour Perrinon. Great mall. They had a Benetton. It was an excellent flashback. And the mall had good shoe stores. An amazing bookstore too – even if it was mostly French. And a large Carrefour on the ground floor. You know when you suddenly realise you could probably do all your shopping in one place? It wasn’t even in the fancy end of town. I was sold.
We got the tree off the home store’s display. The ladies gave us a discount too because it was the last one they had. We had a quick scoot around for decorations. I didn’t go further than red and white mushroom baubles. These are the Polish decorations of my childhood. In Martinique. It felt like a sign.
Lu wasn’t satisfied though. She persuaded us to get some frosted fir cones – but for some reason, I insisted on minimalist. After putting the tree together now, I don’t know why. At only one-foot tall, the tree is a little bare. Even the lights we left on the tree and just re-ignited with new batteries; why are there so few?
‘And why are they strange colours?’ Delph pointed out. ‘Who has a green light on a tree?’
‘They should be white lights.’ Lu chimed in.
I scratched my head. I’d actually bought some white fairy lights from the drogist some weeks ago. I went looking for them. Hmm. Eventually I found them under the nav desk chair.
So now, two days before Christmas, the decorations came out. The pirate and fishing Santa were both present. We released them from the window blind poppers.
You could hear their little sighs of relief. ‘It’s finally Christmas!’