Once upon a time a very pretty lady was preparing for Christmas. She had been busy in the kitchen making puddings and pies and her thoughts now turned to decorating the finca

She had brought some well loved decorations with her from her home country and acquired more from the local Chinese shop which unlike the Spanish ones had been open last Christmas day- must be a special bye-law. All she needed to make everything complete was a Christmas tree. Not for her the sparkly silver tinsel trees with built in lights that burst into “Jingle Bells” every time the cat brushed past it- that bloody cat never did have an ear for music. No she wanted a real one that would fill the finca with a rich aroma of pine

“Oh hubby darling” she said in that voice that her husband had found so enchanting when they first met but he now knew to be the precursor of a request that he wanted to deny but couldn’t unless he wanted to be eating cat food for the next fortnight. “Can we go out to look for a Christmas tree?” “Yes dear” he replied knowing that there could be no other response, so he dragged the car out of the garage and they set off on their arboreal search

The tree farmers

Pedro had masses of trees, freshly dug up from who knows where as Pedro had only ever grown oranges and lemons. The pretty lady looked them all over whilst hubby tried to feign interest but she eventually said “no- sorry Pedro, but these are not what I am looking for”

Antonio, Miguel and Jose were subsequently called upon, all of whom had a large range of pine trees despite only ever having grown maize, potatoes and olives. At each visit the pretty lady was dewy eyed and excited whilst hubby started to tut and click as no purchase was made. “What are you looking for dearest?” He said in his most patient manner whilst inside he was thinking “all of these trees look the flaming same- what is the matter with her?” “I am looking for a very tall tree so that it will reach the ceiling” she exclaimed “I thought you knew that?” So the search continued until several hours later she found just what she wanted from Ivan the Russian who had been growing Christmas trees all his life

Hubby opened the tailgate of the car but no matter how hard he and Ivan tried, the tree just would not fit. “No” said Ivan “I do not deliver as I daren’t leave the trees and my Trabant is not up to the job.”

“You’ll have to buy a smaller tree” hubby demanded in despair, but the pretty lady was having none of it, so as an alternative to living on “Whiskas” he had to come up with a solution


They drove home, the pretty lady in high excitement and hubby wracking his brains as to how to collect the huge prickly tree whilst wondering if he could do this before the football started. Suddenly the lady had a flash of inspiration. “Bill who lives in the next finca has a trailer, why not ask if you can borrow that?”

Bill was questioned. He had brought the trailer over from England and hadn’t used it much, but was happy to oblige when advised of the situation. He too wanted to watch the football and was just finishing some chores that his lady had found him to do before he was allowed near the telly- Bill also had an aversion to cat food

Hubby made up a number plate for the trailer from some cardboard and set off to re-visit Ivan. The Russian was in a rush as Moscow Spartak were due on the telly and he was tidying up in preparation. He didn’t mind cat food, but Olga his wife kept the TV remote in her pinny. The tree was eventually mounted on the trailer but was so large it was also draped on the roof and overhung the rear of the trailer itself. By now it was dark and hubby was getting frantic that he would miss the footy, so set off at a hasty pace

The unhappy Guardia

Jorge the Guardia was in a foul mood. Carmen his wife had made him sardine sandwiches, which he hated, out of spite for not remembering that this was her mother’s birthday; his sergeant had denied him an hour off to watch Barca play Madrid so someone was in for it. “Oh joy” he thought, “who is this prat?” as round the corner appeared what seemed to be a tree on wheels, travelling faster than a tree is supposed to do even with blinking lights on it

Jorge pulled hubby over and grunted “papers”. The fine toothed comb saw nothing amiss with the car documents, so attention was turned to the trailer. Oh dear it was English and not registered for use in Spain, furthermore the tree was intermittently obscuring the lights so it seemed that the vehicle was using its indicators which as Jorge knew only too well does not happen in Spain. Hubby’s driving licence was not Spanish and as he had been resident for some time it should have been changed

Jorge felt a whole lot better after watching hubby unhitch the trailer with accompanying tree, issuing a denuncia for multiple offences and giving him an on the spot fine of €1000 which he trousered on the basis that the fine would be more otherwise. He was however sufficiently benevolent to call a grua so that the trailer and tree would get home. As hubby, Bill the neighbour and Paco the grua driver all wanted to watch the football; they got the tree erected in record time. This was however after the pretty lady had asked “where would you like me to put the tree hubby darling?”

It was difficult to tell if she was grinning or grimacing as with wand in hand and wearing a sparkly dress she sat atop the costly pine