An interview with a Santa
Santa is preparing to make an appearance at the village school Christmas fair this Saturday. If he can sort out his transport, that is. The reindeer are obviously resting before the big day, Celebrity Farmer's quad bike is being serviced and the horses are all gearing themselves up for Boxing Day hunt meets.
He dismissed a suggestion that he could ride to the fair on the back of one of the village's most attractive women. (No names here, but cast your eyes over my cast list and you can probably work it out).
'There'll be a queue for that, with bloody Celebrity Farmer at the front,' grumbled Santa, as he tried squeezing into his suit, which strangely shrinks every year just before Christmas.
So while the transport negotiations went on in the background, I managed to get an exclusive interview with this very busy chap. I have close links to the man himself. I shall say no more.
What do you like about the area?
I go all over the world but, even for me, there is something magical about this part of Dorset. When you see it from up high on the sleigh it's like fairyland, and believe me, I know what that's like. There are lots of chimneys here, with great big fireplaces for me to squeeze down into. The children are usually good and quite generous, too, leaving me nice mince pies, Christmas cake, sometimes a bit of port or sherry - I do like port - carrots for the reindeer and sometimes a yummy mummy to squeeze.
What don't you like about the area?
Hmm, that's difficult. Well, I don't mind those places that haven't got chimneys, because I can use my special key to get in. But I don't like it when mums and dads bank up the fire just before going to bed because it's blooming hot when I come down the chimney. Last year in Bridport I nearly singed my bottom. So I wasn't best pleased about that. I'm also not very happy about the amount of shop-bought mince pies that are put out for me - kids, get your parents to make them, they taste so much better. Oh, yes, the other thing that really gets my goat is the number of children who stay up far too late. Get in bed you buggers.
What would you change?
Requests for computer-related stuff for Christmas. I went to one fair recently and only two children said they wanted a football, although one did want a teddy, which was very sweet. Most of them wanted the latest computer Wee or whatever it's called. Young children are spending far to much time on their own in their rooms on a computer or watching television. I'd also ban the use of the word 'X-mas'. Is everyone illiterate or was Christ anonymous?
You said you were asked for a football. Do you like sport? If so, what team do you support?
I'm really sports-mad and was very much into ice hockey when I was younger. I like anything really - rugby, horseracing, boxing, even leapfrog, especially with Mrs Claus. I support Lapland Wanderers FC, and I've been a fan since I was a boy. I had to stand on a box when I was small so I could see all the action. Mrs Claus likes some of the Latin and Mediterranean sides - something to do with their rugged, swarthy looks and she says the players look particularly good in shorts. It's funny because she's not remotely interested in football when I try to explain the offside rule.
If you had three guests at a dinner party, who would they be?
My first choice would be that author Raymond Briggs, who did a lovely book about Father Christmas with some great illustrations but depicted me as some grumpy old man who resented having to go out on Christmas Eve. I was a bit put out with one of the drawings showing me on the lavatory with my trousers round my ankles. Mrs Claus laughed at that and put it up in my workshop. She says every time I look at it I'll remember not to be quite so pompous.
My second guest would be Dudley Moore, who played an elf in some awfully corny Christmas movie. It was a dreadful film but I've always liked Dudley Moore - his piano playing was absolutely fabulous, it really was. And he was ever so funny with Peter Cook, although they were a bit rude. I never understood the line about Jayne Mansfield and lobsters.
The last guest would have to be Jesus, because it's his birthday! I'm not particularly religious but without him, I wouldn't exist.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Give up the day job! No, seriously, I might enlist some help to make the job easier. If I won enough I could just sprinkle it around when I'm on my sleigh but I'm not sure if it would do any good. There are some people in this world with far too much money and others who have hardly anything. In a previous life, I think I was Robin Hood. Although Mrs Claus says more like Friar Tuck.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
That's a joke! I don't get any spare time. Once I've delivered presents to all the boys and girls of the world, I might put my feet up over Christmas, if Mrs Claus lets me. But then it's back to work again shouting orders at all those stupid little elves in the workshop.
How would you like to be remembered?
I hope grown-ups will remember me with affection, so much so that they make sure their children put out a nice glass of sloe gin for me this Christmas Eve - and, yes, some nice mince pies. Made by their mums preferably, or failing that, by Jessica's Farmhouse Cakes. And maybe a nice yummy mummy to squeeze. Yum, yum.
At that point, Santa cut our interview short when the 'stupid' elf assembly line decided to stage a go-slow.
Let's hope he makes it to our Christmas fair on Saturday. I'll keep you posted.
That's about it
Love Maddie x