Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Flat pack New Year

Have you ever tried to unflat pack a flat packed Chinese New Year decoration?

Up until last night my answer would have been a definite "no". But in the true spirit of you-have-to-try-everything-legal/moral-once last night I found myself battling with a beautiful, red, tasselled Chinese lantern.

It was one of those times in my life I needed either one more hand or just a few more fingers. No sooner had part A slotted into part C than tab B parted company with hole D which only seemed to encourage part E losing complete interest in J. The whole affair may not have been helped by a small glass or two of red wine but the whole incident brought back memories of me, aged 7, battling with an airfix models with little success.

Obviously I wasn't drinking wine aged 7.

I've never been that good with my hand/eye/finger coordination. Perhaps it's due to the fact I gave up piano prior to Grade 1. If I'd kept up my scales and arpeggios currently I'd be surrounded by perfectly symmetrical Chinese lanterns swaying slightly in the breeze. If I'd stuck with Chopsticks and London's Burning I'd have spent a childhood surrounded by squadrons of Lancaster bombers with both wings standing more than a fighting chance of staying put.

As it happens I didn't - and so my Chinese New Year lantern hangs from my desk at somewhat of a jaunty angle, tab A still parted from slot G and with one tassel looking like the Rat has already been.

Happy New Year.
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Jon Cuthill is a presenter on BBC Radio Solent. You can listen to him every weekday from 9am-12.30pm, or listen again online at his website.

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