Friday, 11 December 2009

TREE TROUBLE !!!! ..........

Well, we decided that it would be Monday that would be T-Day. The dreaded getting of the Christmas tree. Mr. Home arrived back from work in what was possibly the worst downpour of the century and it didn't look as if there would be any let up soon. Mr. Home's car was in for a service so, off we went in mine.
It was tipping it down and, for someone who likes to drive fast, I was going at a snails pace as, even though the windscreen wipers were on mega-speed, I could hardly see but, we finally arrived at the garden centre without any mishaps. We beat the Olympic time for the 100 yards to get to the entrance and were finally in the dry. Our garden centre is pretty brilliant. I couldn't take any photos of the outside because of the hurricane that was raging outside but, take it from me, it looked beautiful, even through a sheet of water !!We sauntered round, having a look at each section. About 10 years ago, they had someone who was brilliant at display but , she obviously left because, although it looks good, it never looks AS good as it used to.

Baubles .............

wreaths, pine cones ..........

.......... artificial trees ..........

.......... polar bears ..........

.......... topiary ..........

.......... displays ( I thought that Laura @ 52 Flea and Carole @ Maynard Greenhouse would like this one)

Oh, and then I see the sign to the ice rink. Dragging Mr. Home we head outside where, luckily, the rain has nearly stopped.................

.......... passing the displays again (that was my way round the fact that I loaded the same photo and haven't got time to fiddle about getting rid of it !!!! ) ..........

...... and there it was. Bigger than last year and, worryingly, rather empty.

Usually, it's packed and because it is so popular, most people book online. It gets so busy that you can't skate unless you've booked...... very strange........ Oh well. We were just sauntering over to the Christmas trees when there was a Tannoy announcement, ' Ladies and Gentleman, We would like to thank you for visiting Van Hages Garden Centre and would like to inform you that we will be closing in 5 minutes' !!!! Oh my God. I can't choose a tree in 5 hours let alone 5 minutes. We ran to the trees. The man who's there every year look fed up, cold and disinterested and was obviously thinking about being home, in the warm and having his dinner. He was not very helpful, to say the least and said wouldn't it be better if we came back in the daytime. The 7 footers didn't look all that good. They were a bit bare at the top and didn't pass the 'Jackie' test in any way............ and when he said that they were £95, we both nearly knocked over another display !! I think that we paid £60 last year. I know they said they might be more expensive this year but ............... We decided to leave and try somewhere else. Well, after sorting through quite a few trees, as is our wont, at another nursery, we finally settled on one. They netted it up and it was paid for (under £50) but , all of a sudden there was a stirring in the grey matter and I realised that we had my car. An Audi TT, which isn't quite the mode of transport for getting a 7 foot Christmas tree home !! We asked about delivery---- £30. We only live 10 minutes up the road , so Mr Home bought some rope and..............

Ta Da 7 foot tree in an Audi TT and a very slow drive home. Goodness knows what will happen next year on the search for our Christmas Tree.



  1. j'adore ta voiture avec l'arbre!!


  2. Hahahaha, Jackie what a are just amazing!hahhaha...I did´n get a christmas tree yet ...but soon...but 7 wouldn´t be any spearroom for us in our house, so smaller it will be.
    Magdalena/Color Sepia

  3. Oh Jackie,
    i enjoyed your wonderful story - it could have been me ;)))))! We will buy our Christmas Tree tomorrow...........hope we find one and we can put him into the car!!! I´ll be thinking of you and Mr. Home ;)!

    Have a wonderful Advent weekeng, Hugs Jade

  4. Oh Jackie, I have missed you and your quirkiness so much while I have been away.
    It's so lovely to be up and running again and to catch up with such wonderful friends.
    Speaking of us being friends! what the chances of you dropping by my place and creating some Christmas magic in my house, seems that it's December already and I'm not all ready, just call me "she who runs around like a headless chook"
    As always you have brighten my day.
    Much Love

  5. Oh my...well done Jackie! Least you got your tree.

    I love the look/sound of your garden centre, what a place, wow!

    I adore the photo of the mannequin all decorated, just fabulous.

  6. Hi Jackie!
    What an adventure! Have fun decorating your 7 foot tree....I bet it will be spectacular! I am off on my trip.....will be back Sunday to catch up on all!
    Take care, Laura

  7. Don't ya just love it? Getting a tree is NOT like in the movies. At least your hubby will help. I just go by myself anymore. My 3 girls don't care. I'm happy!

  8. Perhaps Audi would be interested in your fabulous photos for a marketing campaign - I'm sure it's not everyday that a very large Christmas tree is squeezed into a two door sports car. Well done you for getting it in. Photos of the decorated tree please! Leigh

  9. Hi Jacqueline

    Just love your garden center and the pretty manequin.. fabulous!!

    Christmas is so boring in Australia.. nothing quite as lovely as this.. and of course it is hot.. so just not the same...the snow decorations just don't quite cut it here.

    Well I come from a long line of Tree Fussiness so can fully understand your dilemma of 5 minutes to pick out perfection. Hope your Audi didn't get scratched by the tree.

    Look forward to seeing it all decorated Jackie style [the tree.. not the car] .. Take care and have fun xxx Julie

  10. LOL :-)

    I'm sure your cute little TT is saying I'm supposed to be a stylish coupe, not an SUV.

    Whatever works! Enjoy your weekend and the holidays. :-)


  11. You can sure tell a story ~ this was so funny and I know what you mean about picking out a tree as I am the same way. I would never be able to do it under pressure like that! The price knocked me over ~ can I say holy crap!! We paid $45.00 and that hurt.... The lights go on ours tomorrow and we will decorate it on Sunday ~ have fun with yours and I will toast you when we do ours. Happy week-end Jackie. xo

  12. That's quite an adventure, and I love how you passed a display twice.... I think you should leave that tree squashed in the car and decorate it in situ, sparkling lights (powered from the cigarette-lighter) and all, and then drive slowly round to bring people joy and a sense of confused disbelief. Have fun decorating and post again soon!

  13. Oh you are funny Jackie!!! I cannot BELIEVE that you managed to fit a tree in an Audi TT, that is some doing.....I can imagine my husband's response if I had suggested we did that!! And that is why I let him and my daughter choose the tree, I prefer to keep well away from him as he transports it home!

    That garden centre looks and sounds wonderful, definitely worth the trip - altho not when you only have 5 mins to choose the tree!!

    We buy ours locally and then we will decorate on Sunday - I think it is my son's turn to switch the lights on this year, altho I might have to bribe my daughter to let him do it!! It's a special job LOL!

    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....:)

    Simone xo

    And yes, £95 for a tree.....did it have diamonds on it or something?! ;) Yikes!

  14. such pretty photos!

  15. hahaha..thanks for the laugh this morning. YOU are as determined as I am when it comes to getting what I want home in a small car. ;) Love your blog!
    Kathi @ traybella

  16. haha great story... I ended up choosing between two trees as I decidec to get the first imperfect tree I could find as I think we always look for the straitest one ... so I decided to do it all different ... at home I throw out all the sant and replanted the whole thing Hurrah ;) I hope we are gonna see a real picture of your tree made in your home ;)

  17. Bonjour Jackie! What a fabulous storyteller you are. Your adventures are hilarious and your Mr Home a real gem! It looks like a lovely place - the empty ice rink was a bit strange. Glad you both arrived home in one piece and cannot wait to see the final product!
    Have a great weekend and enjoy decorating that 7 footer!

  18. Hello Jackie. I found you through Blue Notes and am so glad I did! Love your lovely blog. Oh, the garden center is ever so pretty and your tree story is to be cherished forever!

  19. What a glorious place to look for a Christmas tree (eventhough you wound up going somewhere else)!!! I could spend hours in there!

    It might've been an adventure, but at least you finally got your tree...can't wait to see it all dressed up!

    Happy weekend Jackie!

    :) T

  20. Hi Jackie,

    What a story :)! We bought our Christmas tree in pouring rain as well and were the only ones too. The tree is still outstide. Unfortunately my mr. Home hasn't found time yet to put a cross under it and I am not too handy with hammer and nails myself. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to decorate it!! I look forward to seeing your tree!

    Have a happy weekend!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  21. Well, Jackie... I must say, trees are quite expensive in the U.K... but of course , a 7 feet , hmmm. And how in earth did you manage getting it in the car?? Hahaha, I would love to be there.

    It´s a wonderful place , with many beautiful things , in your posts. Too bad the man couldn´t give you a better service. They lost a good costumer...

    Wish you a great evening.


  22. Always an adventure with you, Jacki! Love it! It's amazing what we do for a Christmas tree isn't it? Mr. Home is a very good sport.
    Bet the TT smells fresh and festive after housing such a large tree inside, ha!

  23. I really like you pictures they made my day today. The tree in your TT great!!!!
    Happy weekend!

  24. Oh my goodness! That's probably the best tree-hunting story I'll hear all year. I can't believe you managed to squeeze it into your cute little car. Have fun decorating your great find!

  25. Oh I loved that story I guess that is why I have mine delivered, Mind you it hasn't stopped us sending unsatisfactory trees back. And indeed unsatisfactory includes height, colour, tightness you name it. We have a new supplier this year - the tree smells amazing but it drops everywhere. I have to say I agree with Julie Christmas is not the same in Australia. xoxo

  26. thats a great story ! hope the car is ok... mine usually gets so many needles in it,.. i would love to use someone elses car !
    im sure it will be a beauty

  27. WOw Jackie your garden center is awesome. I love the pics of it. It is definitely the next best thing to being there!
    The tree saga has been so fun to follow. I laughed when I read that you are already dreading the experience for next year. Have a great time trimming your tree!

  28. Job well done Jac! I hope you sat Mr. Home down in front of the fire with his favourite tipple & a big kiss. You are lucky he joined in, MOTH wouldn't do this task with me if his life depended on it!
    Millie ^_^

  29. Very cute story! I am sure "Top Gear" would love to hear about your Audi TT and the 7ft tree! ~Kristine in South Carolina

  30. I am so loving this story of yours. Another tree adventure. Hope it is happy to be in your home and shining brightly right now. Have a great weekend and hope you are not toooooo busy and can sit back and enjoy your 7ft. tree. xoxoxo

  31. Oh this sounds so familiar!! No way on earth I could choose a Christmas tree in five minutes. I have to commune with them for a while to see which one "speaks" to me. The boys at the tree lot know us well and leave us alone. They are so sweet, we've been going to the same place for years. This year I sent my husband back with a big plate of Coconut Cake as the weather was so dreadful for them. I do love picking out the tree!!

    Oh, you should contact Audi and do an ad for them!!

  32. The tree in your fabulous car is a classic - wait till i show my husband! x

  33. Thanks for sharing, Jackie -- one of the very best Christmas write-ups I've come across. (Great visuals!)
    Have a great weekend,

  34. Jackie, you are hilarious. The blow-by-blow was perfect. I would have loved to have been a witness to every moment of what will surely become a Christmas anecdote for years to come.

    Do you have any idea what danielpagano is saying to you?

    Your humor, good taste and fashion flair is obviously reaching every corner of this earth.


  35. jackie, i just loved this post... i was riveted from the first word. what a great storyteller you are... happy tree decorating... x pam

  36. Oh, the tree saga continues! I love Mise's idea about leaving it in the car and decorating it right there! Then you can go Christmas "car"-oling. Sorry, that's a horrible, horrible pun. But seriously, I'm sure it was worth all the fuss, and I can't wait to see how it looks decorated. I know that any tree you decorate will be fabulous.

    By the way, you, my friend, are a born storyteller.

    Big hugs,

  37. Hi Jackie..I found you through Gigi...and was it ever my LUCKY DAY ! What a wonderful blog you have I LOVE everything here so much..and your tree saga was adorable..

    I'll be following you along the way...

    Can't wait to come back and visit again soon..

    Happy Decorating....


  38. Wow! wonder you were distracted, how amazing is that garden you think they would let me move in for a short weekend, I would need that to truly appreciate everything. Well done with the tree, I have noticed that they are a bit pricey this year but £30.. delivery gulp....

    Yes I just love the J'darc mag and I am so thrilled to be able to buy it locally especially as there will be 8 a year and I couldn't stand to miss one of them ha ha.
    Enjoy decorating your lovely tree.
    Lots of hugs Lynn xxxx

  39. Dear Jackie - this made me son has the same car as you & I start to panic if he even suggests going to pick up a few things at the supermarket that I won't be able to get everything I need because it won't fit in the car!!! The idea of going with him in THAT car to pick out a Christmas tree would give me an apoplexy!!!! did it!!! And now you can spend a lovely weekend trimming and fixing!! Happy decorating, Love Susie x

  40. Fabulous post!!!! I have quite a bit to catch up here on your blog...was a bit "offline" the last 2 weeks...

  41. hilarious Jackie....that story had me laughing...sooo funny....

    i like that door display as well as that manequin....

    have a great rest of your weekend..can't wait to see pictures of your tree all done....

  42. Sooooo beautiful pictures,so lovely!!!!!!!

  43. You crack my up. I can just see you in the rain trying to find your perfect tree.....but that's half the fun. The quest! It rained like crazy all afternoon today and though we were not as busy we still had some die hards out there.
    Those prices were pretty steep! I'll have to do my conversion to see really how much they were. OK I just figured it out. $175... HOLY CRAP! I think I'm coming over to the UK and sell trees!!! Even the $95 you paid is steep for a 7 ft tree!
    On a good note I loved the displays....the blue one with the birch trees I just love and seeing the skating rick with no one on it was magical I thought....though I can see why it would look sad if you've seen it with happy skaters in the past. I can't wait to go to NYC and take pictures of the skaters at Bryant Park....much nicer and bigger then Rockerfeller Plaza...but that will have to wait til after Christmas.
    Ok I've written you a book!!! I have Bloggers withdrawl!!!
    Pizza's here so I'll end here!
    Thanks for sharing your Christmas tree adventure. I loved it!

  44. You & the Mr. are a 'hoot'! I am cracking up as I get to the photo of your tree in your TT. I have drove one & I am still not sure how you got it in there Jackie dearest? I am flabbergasted by the size & beauty of the ice rink. You have no idea how I'd love to give that a twirl. I think I still have my skates! Someday Jackie...someday. Hope your weekend was tremendous just as you? xoxo

  45. Great story Jackie! Was there still room in the car for Mr Home? I am worried that he had to walk! (And did you have your stilettos on??) xx

  46. Hahahahah great story! Happy new week!

  47. Wonderful story and photos, Jackie! We actually had a downpour for a few days here in Southern California and when I went to get the tree, I had to slosh thru mud - but it was fun, it felt like Christmas. I found the perfect tree (and noticed that the prices were lower than last year, which was nice!)the nice man placed it on top of my car and tied it down and I was off - 5 minutes down the road to home. Now it's all decorated and very pretty, decorations are up, gifts are almost done buying and I am doing alot of Baileys and Coffee, cookies and watching Christmas movies! Have a beautiful day! xxoo

  48. Woo hoo! You made it. What an incredible place to snag a tree. Your photos are gorgeous!

  49. Bonjour Jackie! Just wanted to say a big thank you for giving me the correct words to the son 'A Few of my Favorite Things'. What a goof I am! I know, I'll blame it on the busy Christmas season...thanks again!!

  50. Thank you for your sweet words.
    It goes well with our girl.
    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
    Greeting Hetty

  51. Bonjour once again Jackie! No you are not interfering, thank you so much for your help. Now I don't have to have that sitting there for all the world to see. I taught that particular,uh version, with all my neices and nephews. Oh well!

    Like you, I can laugh at myself and all my silly and very frequent mess-ups. I hope I did not offend you by crediting you with the correct words - I thought it was great fun, really!!

    You were one of my first special blogger friends and think we have alot in common - ie: madcap adventures! I love to see your name in my comments, your kindness and fabulous sense of humour always makes me smile!

    Please stop by as often as you like Jackie, it is a great pleasure to have you!!

    Wishing you a wonderful evening, and try to keep warm - it has turned cold here in Paris...brrr!

  52. Oooooh FABULOUS looking at all those displays!!! The car is perfect for transporting trees... LOL!!!

  53. Great story and pics, Jackie! What a nifty garden center. Have a great week. xo

  54. sounds as if
    you had quite an christmas adventure!

  55. Thanks so much for your kind comment. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know your thoughts.

  56. Just had to pop by and thank you so so much my friend for your sweet caring comments you left on my blog...we so miss our Rosie..but your love is being felt in my heart really has helped me to carry on. You are such a sweet friend. xoxoxo

  57. Ha!! What an experience. I cannot believe you fit that into the car...Ax

  58. he ! he! the car thing always gets me too!!!...Cate:)

    p.s can you believe all the wonderful comments you have !!!

  59. What a great story! and such a beautiful place to but your tree! Have fun decorating it! Have a sweet day!

  60. Hope you are having a nice week :)

  61. Hi Jackie, I would like to wish you a very, very happy christmas to you and your family,and may next year be of much happiness to you all.
    Muchos cariños
    maria cecilia

  62. Oh My! What appalling prices for Christmas trees! Our local fruit and veg stand is offering all sizes for CDN $15.99, which i think works out around 12 Euros, but then one of our major exports is Christmas trees here in Nova Scotia. Cheers though, at least your temps are better than ours, and the displays at the garden centre are ravishing!!
    Merry Christmas

  63. It's me again, Jackie...just wanted to stop by and tell you how much I enjoyed your last minute cadeaux ideas on Tish's blog. The vintage corkscrews and the Princess and the Pea - fabulous!
    Wishing you and your family a very wonderful Christmas Jackie!

  64. Love to see all of the wonderful places you go!
    Merry Christmas!
    ~Angela Harris