Getting ready for festivities


Yesterday I had a minor baptism of fire regarding Christmas trees. On Friday, Angie and I were outside our local supermarket discussing buying a tree for Christmas. Angie was fretting about one shedding needles all over the place, and I was just letting her concerns just bounce off me. One of the locals noticed our dilemma, stopped by and was pretty disparaging about the quality of Supermarket trees. “Go see Mike’s place.” He advised, referring to Mike Gogo’s sawmill and Christmas tree farm on Nanaimo Lakes Road.
“Sure, I know where that is.” I said naively. So off we went.

Drove round to the sawmill to be greeted with a “Looking for a Christmas tree?” from the man himself, followed by “Follow me.” As he drove his car out of the Sawmill yard. So we followed to the sign where it says ‘Office’.
“Okay. How does it work?” We asked after the usual British Columbian small talk was exchanged.
“Take this saw. Go pick your tree. Twenty five dollars.” Said one of Mike’s girls, handing me a yellow twenty four inch bow saw. I left Angie at the office to pay our twenty five bucks while I went hunting the twenty plus acre site for a suitable sized tree.

After about twenty five minutes and several false alarm, plus a lot of tripping and muted anglo-saxon over frosty ground, I found a tree that would serve our purpose. At a gnats over eight feet high, it looked just the ticket. Trimming away enough of the straggly lower boughs, I took ten minutes to fell the nine year old fir with the little hand saw. Then fifteen minutes carrying my sixty pound plus trophy back to our car, where my wife announced that she hadn’t been able to pay as Mike only took cash, and she hadn’t brought any. After a moments chagrin and embarrassment, we asked if we could put the tree aside and pick it up when we paid on Saturday. “No problem.” Was the reply.

On Saturday morning, Joanna, my younger Stepdaughter drove us over to the Christmas tree farm, where the tree was christened ‘Douglas’ (Don’t ask) and cargo strapped onto her cars roof rack for transport home. No prizes for guessing who was given the task of clearing most of the bugs off the tree and erecting said item. So, here it is. with me smiling. Sorry about the smile. I’m not very good at them. Always think I look like a grinning idiot.

Will catch up with Twitter and Facebook too in a while. Providing I’m not running Christmas errands. At present all my major projects are on hold as the ‘important’ things like the festive season take precedence. Although ‘The Odd Machine’ should be accepted for Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the iBookstore fairly shortly if my latest ‘fix’ for the project works (See previous post). Once that’s done, I can pitch back into working on the promised ‘Cerberus’ Novellas and final volume of the Stars trilogy.

In addition, my issues with online readings have been resolved. My cameras data card required reformatting, as the little tinker was throwing up memory controller data errors when downloading onto my venerable desktop. This little frustration was probably down to memory fragments from repeated downloads clogging up my SD card. After formatting, all is functional again.

As soon as I can finish a reading without too many fluffs and interruptions, I’ll post a couple on Youtube and embed them on a blog page.

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Martyn K Jones

A writer who first trained as an Electrical Engineer, then fulfilled various roles within the computing industry. First published in 'SuperBike' magazine, 1978 under the pseudonym Harry Matthews. Since then has written and had published a wide variety of work; from PR copy in trade magazines to supernatural short stories and the occasional satirical article. Emigrated to Canada in 2007. Became a Canadian Citizen December 2014. Now branching out as a serious science fiction novelist.

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