I was asked to be Santa at a party for “older people” at Snapewood Community Centre at which Sue was helping out. I was very up for this and had been preparing for the role for some months by growing my beard and saying “Ho Ho Ho” a lot. Sue also made me a fabulous Santa suit replete with silver braid and very soft fur.
I already had a Santa suit that we bought from Ebay last year, but Sue’s creation along with a real beard makes me look far more like the real thing than a cotton wool beard will ever manage.
In my Volunteering Development work, I always stress the importance of identifying the benefits to the volunteer of his or her role. No-one told me that one of the key benefits would be to collect a kiss from every woman in the place as I distributed the presents. In this picture, one of party goers posed with me for a hug, just as she was leaving to go home.
Anyway, back to the tale. I was heading for Snapewood Community Centre aboard my trusty Yamaha YBR125, in plenty of time for my appearance at the party, when the clutch cable snapped and I was left at the side of the road with no transport. After a couple of increasingly desperate phone calls and the help of the indefatigable folks at 118 118, I finally got through to Sue at the centre and like Scott Tracey from Thunderbirds, she appeared a few minutes later to whisk me to Snapewood, leaving the bike chained to a lamp post in Basford.
I arrived just in time to get changed and with my bell in full cry, made my grand entrance to much applause. One of the party organisers helped me to distribute chocolates to the ladies and wine to the gentlemen. I had quite a lot of photos taken of me in action, but I am sufficiently modest to post just two here.
After doing my bit, the party wound down as the guests headed for home, leaving the helper team to sit down for their own Christmas dinner. I was delighted to be invited to join them and after a quick change back to “civvies”, sat down to a delicious turkey dinner. To cap it all, I was even given a bottle of wine as well, which at the time of writing is the only present underneath our Christmas tree.
As this was my third volunteering stint within the neighbourhood covered by Sue’s job, I also became a success for her project.
I think this means that I can’t be counted again, but that won’t stop me. No-one volunteers simply to meet their wife or partners’ work targets, I did it because it was great fun. If they’ll have me back, I’ll be very happy to volunteer there again next year.
But wasn’t, by any means, my only public appearance as Santa, as I hope to reveal here soon.
As for the bike, don’t worry, it’ s not still chained to that lamp post. After the party, Sue dropped me off in Basford and I pushed the bike home. It only took about 45 minutes.
A long way. Thank heaven that it was the (comparatively light) YBR125 and not the Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail.
It was collected from our house next morning by CMC bikes and mended, along with an overdue service and is once again back to it’s normal reliable self.