Topm woke me on Tuesday morning.
“I had a lovely dream Mum!” he shouted “I could see the snow!”
I clambered out of bed and stomped into his room, looked out of the window and saw that he hadn’t been dreaming – our tiny yard and the allotments behind were indeed covered in snow. I got him all wrapped up for nursery then went into the yard and brought my olive tree in from the cold. I put it on some old towels in the dining room to let it thaw while I was at work.
I love that tree. It was delivered in May and I plonked it in the yard in its packaging while I came inside the house and got on with some work. I tried to have a phone conversation with my friend but my tatty old mobile kept cutting out and she remarked that it was time I bought a new one. In the afternoon, I went into the yard and decided to unpack the tree. There was a plastic package flapping around, attached to the pot at the bottom. I thought it was a delivery slip or something but when I opened it, I found a shiny new mobile phone. It had somehow attached itself to sticky label on the plant pot inside the delivery van and sat in my yard all day. I had a real moral dilemma on my hands about what to do, but people convinced me that the only losers were the big mobile phone shop it had come from and perhaps the courier company and that I should keep it. I kept it hidden away for a week while I decided what to do. I then realised that the person who was supposed to be sent a new phone would have surely recieved a replacement by now. The same day my old phone died completely so, uneasily, I decided it was meant to be. My little olive tree had come with a free mobile phone. A couple of months later, it too broke beyond repair and I felt the sharp sting and the shame of karma.
I walked through the park with Tom and he saw his first proper snow. It snowed in the middle of the night in March but Tom was in bed. It snowed just a few days before he was born, when I was cold and frightened and wondering whether we would make it down the slippery roads to Ormskirk in time for his birth. Yesterday was magical but I think I was more excited than him.
On the way home from work, I stopped at the precinct to buy a string of fairy lights and some plastic icicles. They were building the ice rink in front of the town hall and I began to feel quite festive. Thank goodness for the snow, as without it I would have never begun preparing for Christmas at all. I got home and decorated the olive tree. I hate fake trees and have nowhere to store one year-round. I have no one to help me get a full-size pine tree in and out of my house and it will probably still be there, wilting and sprinkling the floor with needles in March. The olive tree has come to the rescue once again and I have rescued it. Hopefully next summer, it will finally bear some olives.