Well autumn really came up on us quickly this year; the early hot spring meant that the harvest was early. September seems to have consisted of nothing but wind and rain making the dark nights seem even earlier and the holiday makers have stayed cuddled up on comfy sofas leaving the streets and sights quieter than normal. All this early hibernation inevitably makes me think of winter and like so many of us I want to get the house looking nice for Christmas. Why Christmas, so many no longer celebrate it as a religious festival and yet it is still incredibly important. This is because it is still a festival and has been for centuries before Christianity. It’s around the shortest days of the year and it’s the start of a new year. We get to pause, swop gifts, get together, eat well and so the dormice amongst us want to make sure that our little bolt holes are warm and snug for the celebrations.
It must be a maddening time of year for the trades and furniture suppliers with a sudden avalanche of orders all to be delivered, fitted and installed by Christmas. Part of the urgency is of course down to the fact that we know if it isn’t in by Christmas we won’t see hind nor hare of a fitter or delivery van until well into the second week of January. I imagine that I’m in a similar position to lots of folk in Cornwall, I make my money in Summer and I only have the time to spend it in autumn and of course if I’m buying a new sofa then I want it by Christmas so that I can loaf in front of my fire watching rubbish on TV, drinking something excellent and generally indulging myself. I don’t want to be sat on my sofa that has given gallant service over the past 13 years but is now beyond repair.
The problem is finding a sofa that beats or matches the old one and one that we can all agree on. The last sofa we bought was a stunner, we spent a lot of money on it and it was worth every penny. This of course was before the children had arrived and we had money. Over the decades it has been a bed, a castle, a trampoline, a submarine and the most comfortable sofa ever, very deep with huge thick feather cushions. Replacing it has proved hopeless, in the first place it’s not something you can buy on the internet, you have to try it out and you have to try it out together. What I think is comfy, Steve thinks is ugly, what Steve thinks is perfect, I know won’t fit. We wander around furniture showrooms with their gorgeous lounging sofas that would look great in a warehouse apartment but honestly how many of those are there around here. It’s ridiculous, we have a nice large front room but I think a sofa longer than two meters will dwarf it. I wonder how many people get their sofas home only to realise that they can no longer close the door? So far the only ones we can agree on are the ones where we also agree cost too much. Well the cost is relative isn’t it. It’s worth the money but we don’t want to spend the money, so there we are. Maybe when the children have left home and we know it will no longer be used as a rugby touch down, a diving platform or a balance beam then we will indulge. For now though I think it’s going to have to be something that will do and be in by Christmas. Maybe I’ll buy a nice rug to throw over the fake leatherette and cuddle down into that instead. Or maybe the sun will come out again and I’ll forget all about winter and leave it until the last minute.