In which I stroll around Tunbridge Wells at night looking for the magic of Christmas displayed in the shop windows of Independent Retailers.
M. Saltmarsh in Monson Road Tunbridge Wells.
This is my wild card, my mad moment. Saltmarsh's has been around since 1835 supplying art materials to Tunbridge Wells and as such this emporium will have seen many Christmas's in whichever premises it happens to be occupying in the town. This window struck such a chord with me, I have been back to look at it on several occasions. Other more beautiful windows will appear in the next few days and this project will finish on Christmas day itself.
For me, this is a reality check.This window celebrates the fairy on top of the Christmas tree but also that mad demented woman behind the annual event. That day that happens every year, but always creeps up quickly. As in pantomime a little voice keeps calling 'its behind you', and when you turn around time has just disappeared again and is popping up in another area of the house to remind you that something else needs attending to. Our house is busy as most homes are, visitors flying in from all over the world and a few birthdays thrown in just to spice things up a little. The cards are still waiting to be finished before the last posting date, presents still waiting to be wrapped and the missing items bought well ahead are now lost in that safe place made in August when I was well ahead.
Throw in a few extra activities all of my own choosing, a few deadlines to meet and a few self imposed expectations, shopping, parties and socialising and this window represents me as I feel right now.
So not the feisty fairy on the Christmas tree but the demented woman with the internal check list. So please excuse me if I look as if I dressed in the dark of an early morning, as if I have sellotape in my hair and the odd piece of bubble wrap attached to my skirt. My head is full of ideas and plans and I know that Christmas will arrive what ever happens and everything will be fine in the end. Tomorrow normal service will resume and the windows will present a perfect picture and we can celebrate Christmas in all its glory. But for now I am feeling a little frazzled.