Mascara or underwear, which could you do without?

Twixmas is a funny time. The days between Christmas and New Year where most people have no idea what day of the week it is and don’t very much care. Unfortunately, the pressure of commercialism has meant that many shops now open on the days in between.

You might think flowers are a commodity people can do without for a few days but imagine funerals without flowers and New Year’s eve dinners and celebrations with somewhat droopy or wilted floral displays.

New Year’s Eve at Amberley Castle

We were officially back open on Friday, December 28th (although /i may have sneaked down on the 27th to prepare for a funeral) and we were back open again on Monday, New year’s eve. We were hoping to shut early so I could doll myself up for a night on the town (which translates as taking my apron off, refreshing my lipstick and nipping across the road to the Oddfellow’s Arms).

We had a really busy Monday morning, I had a fresh delivery of flowers first thing and by that time we already had several customers in the shop and a string of orders waiting to go out. The wholesaler asked if I needed more flower as he could drop some off on his way back, but no, I had plenty to last me through to Wednesday Jan 2nd.

David (the wholesaler) phoned again in the afternoon to check whether I was sure I didn’t need any more stock. “No, I’m fine” I said again!

He called once more just as we were closing up to say he’d sold pretty much everything but had a few stems left. “No, no honestly, I’m fine, see you Wednesday!

Wednesday??? he replied. No, there are no flowers on Wednesday. Nothing comes over on NewYears Day, so the earliest we can get flower is Thursday morning. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you all day!!!!!!

Oh bejeezus, bejeezus what are we going to do I cried while running around the shop looking hopefully inside umpteen empty buckets, searching for a miracle. There was no miracle to be found and I was forced to close the shop and have the day off!!!

So what does a florist with no flowers do on a day off? Well I managed to fill the morning by emptying and cleaning cupboards and the afternoon lounging on the sofa, watching films, drinking any left over Christmas liqueur and hoovering up all the chocolates.

I woke in the early hours of Thursday morning, even the birds were still asleep. My mind was whirring with all the things I had to do that day and how much I hadn’t done the day before. I glanced at the clock and it was quarter past four, John was snoring quietly as I slipped out of bed and crept like a baby elephant down the rickety stairs. As I passed the bathroom I picked up a clean pair of pants and some clothes which were hanging on the banister and went downstairs to make a cup of coffee. If John woke I still had my dressing gown on and could easily say I was on my way back up. I dressed the bottom half before realising I didn’t have a bra.

Bras are kept in the underwear drawer next to the bed. There was little chance I was going to be able to sneak back upstairs, dangle over the bed like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible and grab a bra out of the drawer, without waking John. So, I decided not to chance it, popped on a baggy top, applied plenty of mascara in the hope that David (the wholesaler) was too mesmerised by my gorgeous eyes to notice the lack of support below and slipped of down to the shop.

It wasn’t too long before John marched down the lane in his PJ’s, threw the door open and said “OUT!”

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