Glacé cherries and Christmas decorations have something in common apart from looking cheap and cheerful. Their communion is that they both offer much more than they can ever deliver in that they depend on a thin veneer of cosmetic attraction behind which lies nothing. Perfect for the zeitgeist, so I immediately bought some – glacé cherry that is, as buying new Christmas decorations after one has a reached a certain seniority of years is beyond the pale. In the dark recesses of garages, lofts and wardrobes lie hidden, for eleven months of each year, troves of silver and gold tinsel, cracked baubles and fallen angels that are bound together with strings of coloured “fairy” lights that will have the veins throbbing in foreheads as each bulb is removed and replaced in the vain hope of the circuit being completed before Grandpa decides to mend them with a hammer. Back to the glacé cherries and my disappointment in myself for buying them. I had planned to make a Bakewell tart which is a demanding tart in that it demands tawdry decoration as is the wont of many tarts. I was not in the mood to trample on tradition however embarrassing it might be if an acquaintance was to catch me in the act of buying them. The utterance of the frail excuse “They’re for a friend” would confirm a friendless state. The member of the trio of Wise Men who brought Myrrh as a gift had earlier turned down the option of Glacé cherries which decision confirmed his wisdom as Gold, Frankincense and Glacé cherries would not have cut it. It’s well known that Mary hated them but was keen on Angelica.
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