santa prints 3

I implied last time that miracles, of a sort, were a possibility ….You know, that if politics can be suspended for Christmas and our world keeps right on spinning, then anything is possible.
Yes, I believe some kinds of miracles can and do occur all the time.Maybe not the kind of miracles you might wish for , or the kind of things you might regard as miracles in the first place , unlike raising a man from the dead, or miraculously{!} being cured from a previously incurable cancer…or regrowing a lost limb, overnight ,against all the odds , rules of reason and plain common-sense. Some kinds of miracles are surely possible, I’d imagine , just as long as you are not too ambitious and live in the hope of raising some poor “crature” from the dead .
For example I was hoking about in the shed on Christmas Eve for a few rolls of sellotape I knew I’d stashed there from the days of my “Ebay Empire”. I knew that they ‘d be useful some day again and here we are years later and Daughter Number Three has blown in from London and has a last -minute need to gift-wrap some Christmas presents that should have been wrapped long ago . Anyway I noticed that close by on a shelf there were several packets of birdseed and some of those little fatballs our avian friends seem to enjoy.I’d forgotten about them entirely, lost somewhere in a recess of my raddled memory .I had n’t put much food out for a month or two because the last time I did my garden turned into a kind of warzone of the warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates fraternity. Just as “SALE” sign sends humanity adrift from its rational moorings, so too, free food brings the very worst out in our cute little garden birds. It turns them right back into little theropod dinosaurs from the Mesozoic period right in front of your eyes. The competition begins and the larger ones will scare off the smaller ones. The sparrows fight with the tits and then the pigeons arrive to be followed by the crows and the magpies to chase off the sparrows.The miraculous part of the deal is how word of the free food spreads so quickly. Within hours the spies will have reported back to all and sundry that some fool is giving away free food just a few doors down and suddenly they will all arrive en masse and they’ll not stop until not a scrap remains.Now …that is communication.
Did you know , for example, that during the worst of the freezing winter days, small birds like some of the tits can spend almost eighty five per cent of their time feeding throughout the day. That’s just to keep spinning their tiny ,internal wheels ; staying alive and maintaining their body-heat.. Another wonderfully miraculous thing is that the great tits change the shape of their beaks according to the feeding season? In summertime they will feast on soft insects like my poor, sweet honeybees which they can swallow down in one easy gulp, but during winter when the table -fare is much harder, such as nuts and seeds left by summer’s passing, their beak thickens up, becoming a shorter and stronger more viable nutcracking tool. now , I’d call that somewhat miraculous. Anyway , Christmastime brings out the old sentimentality in all of us and even thought the little beggars would peck out my eyes and eat them like juicy grapes if given half a chance, they were about to benefit from my seasonal generosity.
That’s only one miraculous thing I’ve noticed recently . There are others.The good wife has photographic proof of another on her phone. It was sent by Daughter Number One by the miracle of modern technology .I haven’t a notion how that works either , but I have to admit that for an old science-fiction fool like myself , it is nothing short of a miracle. I saw the photographic evidence before it was swallowed up into some bottomless “virtual” file that she might never be able to locate again .
The scene was of a front -room in a semi-detached home in a Liverpool suburban cul-de-sac. My Golden Grandchild, aged two and a half years, had woken on Christmas morning to discover snowy footprints leading from the hearth across the floor.Given that no snow had actually fallen that night , outside ,it has to be concluded that the snow had arrived from a destination further afield. Someone had very obviously and unfeasably , entered the room by virtue of the narrow chimney and spent several hours , unnoticed and unheard ,assembling a large wooden toy kitchen in one corner of the room . There were other pieces of evidence of a miraculous break-in too .There was a small mountain of toys and books too and the carrots and glass of milk that her mummy and daddy had left at one side of the fireplace were nowhere to be seen. They were gone as if by some faerie magic. I couldn’t begin to explain it . It must have taken an entire team of very skilled elves many hours , completing a job of such skill.Thankfully the details of the break-in didn’t seem to upset her or her mummy or daddy , although mummy was a little perturbed that the snowy footprints were not easily removed from the floor.She was soon rustling through the kitchen cupboards for a cleaning product which would forever remove any remaining scraps of the evidence.The police were not called.
As a preamble to the other miraculous event that I’ve witnessed recently , allow me to set the scene….
About a week before Christmas my wife and I had descended on a nearby shopping centre to pick up a few potential gifts for friends and family . We later arrived home emburdened with many packages and a sense of completion, to discover that somehow during our time away she’d lost her prescription reading spectacles. She had no idea which shop this event might have occured in ,so it was a sense of a comedown at the end of the adventure. The cheap little throwaway spectacles weren’t cutting the mustard on the crossword front so it looked as though she’d have to invest another couple of hundred pounds and purchase another pair of “proper” spectacles as soon as Christmas was over.That was an expensive shopping trip alright , I thought , with a built-in £200.00 surcharge !
Anyway , it wasn’t the end of the world and some things have just to be accepted .Life goes on and so on…
Nothing strange or wondrous was apparent until Christmas morning when we all went to blearily gather around the Christmas tree in the sunroom , to ritually open the assorted presents lying below it, as we did every year ,as far back as family history stretched. The good wife first flipped the sunblinds to allow in a little morning light and bent over to switch the tree-lights on. She then let a shriek out of her that blew away any remaining cobwebs of sleep and immediately focused our attention. There in her hand were the missing spectacles. If it had been a Fritz Frelang cartoon , we’d all have done an exaggerated double-take of astonishment , but in reality we all laughed at the daft absurdity of it.”Santa’s , obviously been keeping an eye on the situation, then”, I piped up. There may have been better and even more rational explanations of this small miracle, and we rapidly pantomimed through a series of viable scenarios , but I prefer to think that, what with the perfectly-timed intervention , right on Christmas morning , at that very unique moment, the only serious conclusion to be made was that Santa Claus had actually delivered …..right on time.
Something of a minor miracle, I thought


  1. Patricia Rooney December 31, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    Keep them coming, Harry!! x

    • paddykool January 1, 2016 at 9:50 am #

      Don’t encourage me , Patricia! …but thanks all the same ..