The Twelve Days of Christmas

38.-The-Twelve-Days-ofHello everyone! Happy Friday! I wanted to share a Miranda Loves post with you all before my regular Gratitude List goes live tonight. At this time of year, I always think of John Julius Norwich’s The Twelve Days of Christmas, based on the classic carol. In his book, Norwich hilariously imagines the correspondence from the young lady who is the unhappy recipient of her lover’s misguided generosity. All starts well with the romantic gift of a partridge in a pear tree, for which Emily is ecstatically grateful, but she (and her mother) soon tire of all the birds….

quentinblake2I think this is my favourite extract from the book:

30th December

Dear Edward – Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door this morning, it certainly wasn’t six socking great geese laying eggs all over the doorstep. Frankly, I rather hoped you had stopped sending me birds – we have no room for them and they have already ruined the croquet lawn. I know you meant well, but – let’s call a halt, shall we?

Love, Emily

And the excerpt relevant to today’s date is:

2nd January

Look here Edward, this has gone far enough. You say you’re sending me nine ladies dancing; all I can say is judging from the way they dance, they’re certainly not ladies. The village just isn’t accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless hussies with nothing on but their lipstick cavorting round the green – and it’s Mummy and I who get blamed. If you value our friendship – which I do less and less – kindly stop this ridiculous behaviour at once.


quentinblake1Quentin Blake’s illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to the witty prose, and I love to read this little book year after year – it never ceases to make me laugh. If you haven’t read it, I’d urge you to seek it out. You won’t regret it!