Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (23) Another Highfinch Curate (Part 06)
Nick and Jenna had a lovely meal in Purplemere and found that the Runcible Spoon certainly didn’t disappoint and they would both have agreed that neither did the company.
The next day Jenna was in a wonderful mood and it didn’t take an expert to know why and Brian was very pleased to see she was looking much more like her old self again and seemed to have fully recovered from the malady of despondency that had afflicted her.
Jenna was also on very good form in the pulpit and delivered a very inspiring and enlightening sermon and afterwards back at the Vicarage she turned her attention on Brian.
“Brother Dearest” she said
“What?” he responded suspiciously?
“I have a task for you”
“And what’s that?” Brian asked
“I need you to help out at the Christmas Bazaar” she said
“Oh ok yes I can do that” Brian said a little relieved to get off so lightly
“Excellent” she said “We just need to get the ladies to alter the costume”
“Hold on what costume?” Brian said “I don’t remember agreeing to a costume”
“The Santa costume obviously” Jenna said
“I am not going to dress up and Santa” he said adamantly
“But you have to, you can’t sit in Santa’s grotto in your ordinary clothes” Jenna insisted
“What grotto?” he asked
“You’ll make a wonderful Santa” Rosie added
“That’s not fair, you’re ganging up” he said indignantly “ganging up isn’t fair”
“I’ll let you know when you’re needed for the first fitting” Jenna said as she left the room
“But Jenna?” he called
“Can’t talk, I’m going to lunch with my boyfriend”
A moment later her head appeared around the door and she added
“I rather like the way that sounds”
Brian spent the next five minutes trying to fathom how she had managed to rope him into playing Santa at the St Martin’s School Christmas Bazaar without him even realising what he had agreed to and in fact he was left with the impression that he actually volunteered.
A local man called Henry Gold normally played Santa and had done for many years but since his sad demise earlier that year it had proved difficult to replace him.
“You really will make a marvellous Santa” Rosie said and went out to make lunch.
Later that week his sister volunteered him for something else but on this occasion he offered no resistance.
As the winter was beginning to bite there had been a call out to church groups in the area for volunteers for the soup kitchens in Purplemere or Finchbottom.
As soon as the request came through Rosie signed up without a seconds hesitation which prompted Jenna to suggest Brian do the same to look after her.
But what began as a simple babysitting exercise turned out to be one of the most rewarding things he had ever done, a real eye-opening experience plus he got to spend time with Rosie which was becoming more of a pleasure every time they went out.
Brian was replacing Henry Gold as Santa at St Martin’s School Christmas Bazaar due to the latter’s sad demise earlier in the year and as Henry was a much bigger man than Brian was so some significant adjustments to the suit and the padding were necessary.
So on the Monday morning before the Bazaar in the church Hall the Vicar and a small team of ladies were on hand to affect alterations, well the team of ladies obviously did all the work and Jenna looked on, but Brian noticed she was wearing a worried frown.