Windfall-Tree With Chilli Dressing

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There’s not much leeway for Christmas trees in our cottage. This is mostly because the two main living rooms have multiple doorways. We ummed and ah-ed about getting a small one, and then one morning as we were walking home from a spot of shopping, there beside the old railway line at the junction with Sheinton Street was a crashed Wellingtonia branch, the result of high wind events in early December. So that solved the problem. For one thing it was flat. Two dimensional dressing only, which meant it would fit in the corner of the kitchen.

The branch was hauled home, trimmed and propped with rocks inside a coconut sellers’ basket that had come back with us from Kenya twenty odd years ago. It  was then sited in the chosen position where it did indeed fit. Just. Lights and decorations were unearthed, and it was then that certain limitations were encountered. When it came to suspending decorations, the individual small stems along the branch were neither robust nor numerous. They were also more vertical than horizontal. What to do? The in-house stock of lightweight knick-knackery was soon exhausted, leaving us, I felt, with a rather sparse effort, festively speaking. More red was needed, and that’s how a trip to the allotment polytunnel resolved matters. Chillis, large and small, were duly harvested. And the whole effort topped with a red ribbon. So there we have it; our make-do ‘tree’.

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Wishing Everyone A Happy Problem-Solving New Year