Thursday, 19 December 2019

Rain's Thursday art date

Hi Everybody!

We've had 2 good days here in a row. It was cold and sunny today, wonderful walking weather, and I really enjoyed being out and walking along the Rhine and through our little town.

Today Rain's theme is holiday stories, carols and lore, so I decided to write a little story for you. Here it is!

Sarah's Dream

Sarah always likes to have a cosy reading hour each night before she goes to bed. She sits in her favourite armchair, drinks cocoa and reads a good book on her Kindle. 

One Christmas Eve as she sat there, the screen started  to get blurry and then a red spot appeared in the middle of it. The red spot grew larger and larger, and she saw a red-clothed figure there - Santa Claus! And he looked so woebegone! His eyes were red and puffy, his nose dripping and he was soaking his feet in a huge tub of steaming-hot, sudsy water.
'Can you see what a state I'm in?' an irate voice shouted. It's time to get the presents delivered and I'm sick. I've got a cold, chilblains, and my hemorrhoids are playing me up. I need help'
'I'm sorry to hear it', said Sarah, 'I wish I could help you!'
'Of course you can help me. Did you think this was a social call in the middle of the flaming night?'
'I - I- I really don't know how I can help you', Sarah stuttered.
'Well I do', said Santa, 'so just listen up! You went to a good school back in the day, and learned to be resourceful and solve problems, and now's the time to show what you can do!'
'That was a long time ago', said Sarah. 'How do you think I can help? I can't do any magic tricks.'
'But you learned to play hockey and lacrosse at school. It's well known that people who play these games can tackle all problems in life. You need to believe in yourself. Just take your stick, go onto the balcony, and wait for my sleigh to pick you up. But you need to hurry, girl!'

Sarah was just starting to say that she had no idea if she still had her old sticks from school, when she noticed them standing in front of the table. 
'Okay' she said, 'But I need to get dressed first. It's cold'
'No you don't! Hurry! Take your stick and get outside, Rudolph's coming. Don't exasperate me more or I'll burst. This is so bad for my blood pressure!'

Sarah reluctantly picked up her hockey stick and went outside. She heard a faint tickling of bells, which seemed to be coming nearer, and then Rudolph and the sleigh hove into sight. She held out the hockey stick, and he stopped in front of the balcony.
'Well get in!' he said. Do you think we've got all night? Sit down and fasten the seat belt, and we're off!'
With a mighty jerk and a rush of wind they were soon speeding off into the cold, black  night.
'I-I-I-I'm freezing' she said.
'Pull on the third carrot from the left. It activates the seat heating. The old man needs it all the time because of his piles. And STOP complaining, girl, we're nearly there' grunted Rudolph.

Seconds later the sleigh landed with a bump on the snow.

'Go on, get out! Go into the house - he's waiting and he's bad tempered' said Rudolph.
Sarah sighed and went in, still clutching her old hockey stick.

'There you are!' rasped Santa. 'It's taken you long enough! Put the clothes on and then get going. The kids are all waiting for their presents. Don't let them down, and don't let ME down', he shouted.  You're me tonight!
Sarah suddenly realised that she was already dressed as Santa, complete with a long and tickly white beard, full of bread crumbs and egg-yolk.
'Okay sir!' she said, 'I'll be off!'

She went outside where Rudolph and his team were ready and waiting for her. The sleigh was full of presents, and all were numbered consecutively. 
'We've got a new system'  shouted Rudolph. When a number lights up, you pull the second carrot on the right, and it automatically gets beamed to the recipient. We're better than Amazon, we are! We stopped the chimney deliveries years ago. Too much pollution. But people still like to believe it!'

'Can people see us while we're flying?' she asked.
'Of course not, you silly girl!' snorted Rudolph. 'Most people are so blinded by their own misconceptions and prejudices that they don't see anything. Small kids would be able to see us, but they're all tucked up in bed just now!'
While they flew through the dark sky, over snowy valleys and mountains, deserts, towns and villages, Sarah concentrated on pulling the second carrot on the right again and again to get the presents out.

At last there was only one present left. Rudolph slowed down and turned to Sarah. 'You didn't do too badly for a girl!' he said. That last present is for you. Hold it tight! It's full of dreams, and they always break very easily. Pull the first carrot on the left and you will get back home.  Bye for now and thanks for helping!'

Then Sarah felt herself falling through the cold air, down, down, down with the wind rushing in her ears, and then she landed with a soft thump. She felt around her and realised she had landed in her bed. She looked at the clock, and saw that it was 7 o'clock.
'Wow!' thought Sarah. 'It's time to get up already! What a dream I had!'
As she threw back the bed-covers she felt something strange under her hand.
It was a cold and frosty carrot.

The images in the story are all from Pexels.

I am also linking to Paint Party Friday

And now, back to reality. I have a few seasonal views I took here and in Düsseldorf:

Have a great day, take care,
and thanks a lot for coming by!


  1. Oh Valerie, I was just checking my blog roll before I made dinner and I saw you had an update! My Thursday post will be ready by midnight EST! I LOVE your story though yeesh, Santa and the reindeer really do have some candy canes up their butts cranky, all business ha ha ha! Sarah was a good sport and I love the ending!!! Your town looks so festive! I love the coffee with the windmill cookies!!! :) Thanks for joining in this week!! I loved reading this post! :)

    1. Thanks Rain, I had fun preparing it and writing the story!

  2. Hi Valerie thankyou my friend for your lovely story,you are very talented and i enjoyed your xmas pics,Merry Xmas Valerie xx

  3. awww what a lovely post, stories, food and fab pics.xx

  4. Your town looks like a fairy tale, wonderful, as is your lovely story. I like all the high tech additions such as the kindle and the carrot levers. You are so talented Valerie.

    1. Thanks Christine! We have to move with the times!

  5. Eine superschöne, intelligente Geschichte, dankeschön! So sollte jeder Tag beginnen.
    Wunderschöne Fotos, so schade, dass diese bunte Zeit bald vorbei ist. Ich versuche heute ganz früh auf den Weihnachtsmarkt zu gehen, gestern war die Hölle los - und ich war relativ früh...
    Dir einen schönen Tag und GlG, Iris

    1. Ja, wir müssen alles geniessen so lange es geht! Dir einen schönen Tag und viel Spaß!

  6. Hi Val, this is a wonderful story, and for me the best one ever, with that cranky Santa and his bossy Rudolph, loved it. Great ending, too. The pics are all wonderful, the Christmas windows and the market stalls so splendid, just lovely. Hope you have a lovley day, and that you get good weather for walking again. Hugs, Sarah

  7. Liebe Valerie,
    eine wunderbare Weihnachtsgeschichte, ich liebe solche! Die Fotos von Düsseldorf herrlich da gibt es immer noch den Engelmarkt. Wunderschön diese Eindrücke!
    Herrlich dein Posting zum Thema und ich freue michimmer so dass du mit machst
    Ich wünsche dir schönen Tag!
    Lieben Gruss Elke

  8. wow those Christmas decorations are amazing!

  9. Your beloved coffee with a cookie looks delicious and the town is decorated in the festive spirit everywhere. Not long for the children to wait now.

  10. Valerie,

    Sarah did alright indeed for a girl. lol What a cute story you composed!! I love all the Christmas decorations in your city! We managed to get out to take in some of the beautiful lights at night while on vacation. It was a much needed break for DH & me . I hope you're enjoying this CHRISTmas season. I can barely believe the big day is next week! Merry Christmas and have a happy new year, my friend!

  11. I just stopped by to read your story and wow! Are there no ends to your talents!!!
    We all get out of sorts when we aren't feeling our best...even Santa 🎅
    Your photos are so festive and gorgeous.
    See you in January 2020...Happy Holidays 🎄

    1. Yes, having a cold and feeling bad and being old and cranky really rob people of their good moods!

  12. Cute story. The store window photos would make great Christmas card images. I like the cookie you had. It reminds me of the ginger spice cookies my auntie used to buy. They were in the shapes of a Dutch Boy, Girl, and a windmill. My favorites.

    1. They are traditionally eaten here at Christmas, but taste good at other times, too!

  13. HI valerie, I really loved and enjoyed your Christmas story! and I enjoyed all the Christmas photos too-especially since we don't get out to big cities any more-hugs Kathy

  14. Hi Val! Loved all these photos! And the story was great too! Girl Power! The weathe ris horrible over here. Rivers are floading and strong winds are causing lots of trouble. Iu will be like that until next saturday...

  15. (Sorry for mistakes. I am writting on my phone and not very easy!)

    1. I know all about things like that, don't worry!

  16. What a great Christmas story. I enjoyed reading it. I love all the Christmas decorations in your town photos. Merry Christmas season!

  17. What a fun seasonal tale :) And your magical store windows and decorations and treats!

  18. What a fun story! And festive pics:) You are a woman of many talents.

  19. I was incredibly impressed by your adorable story. I loved the photos and how poor cranky Santa found the perfect replacement. The ending was perfect, too. What an amazing dream. Or was it? Only Sarah knows for sure.

    Your photos have put me in the mood for Christmas. I loved the carousel and the storefronts. Everything is SO festive, too.

  20. Wonderful story, than you for sharing, you are a talented woman!! Great seasonal photos, there are lots of great decorations.

  21. I love this story! You were so inspired and it is just delightful! Now, for next year, let's see it printed in book form with your beautiful art as illustrations. It's delightful. And it shows how remarkably multitalented you are too -- with words as well as art!

    The photos of Dusseldorf are simply wonderful. I want to jump in each and every one!

  22. A fabulous story Valerie, you found super illustrations as well Sarah did have an exciting story to tell, I liked the carrots being used as part of the delivery service. This story made me think about your posts from a while ago that involved Jason and I think his aunt.
    Fabulous photos of your town as well, I do love seeing whats in the shop windows.
    Yvonne xx

  23. I just love this story, I did enjoy reading it.
    Your words and the images are amazing.

    ,,, and then there was more with your fabulous selection of photographs.
    As my old Headmistress used to say "A Gold Star" for this …

    Fabulous :)

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

    All the best Jan

  24. I really enjoyed your story and poor Sarah waking up with her cold carrot. I hope her night wasn't as cold as it is here! But maybe since that carrot was still cold. And I love your photos from Dusseldorf. It so festive. Hope you have perfect walking weather tomorrow, or should I say today. Hugs-Erika

  25. Wonderful seasonal photos, the town definitely looks ready for Christmas, and I loved your story Valerie! xx

  26. My goodness, that story brought tears to my eyes, and I really enjoyed it so much, Valerie, and I'm bookmarking this post because seeing Christmas designs from other places is just so wonderful. I really love your pics! Hugs, RO

  27. What a touching and beautiful story. As always your posts, art and your talent bring joy to all who read.

  28. I had so much fun reading your story!! Fabulous photos of this holiday season!

  29. Well my goodness ... you should put this story down on paper with a delightfully Grumpy Santa cover and disperse it amongst all of the non-believers ... because this story (at least the grumpy part) is truly believable and fun. You have modernized the Christmas story in a way that is both funny and sad in it's truth. And, your pictures are a delight. I live in the Chicago area where we used to have a store called Marshall Fields and every year they would have Christmas themed windows that were so fun that people came from all over the world to see them. Your post reminded me of those wonderful windows and memories that went with them. Just beautiful, Valerie and you are indeed a talented writer as well as an artist :)

    Andrea @ From the Sol

  30. fun story and photos, but what I love the most today is the festive and wonderful visit to the beautiful Dusseldorf!! Happy PPF!

  31. Nice story and photos. Merry Christmas Valerie


  32. I love the story! Thanks for making me smile!!! Gorgeous Christmas images!! All the decorations are so beautiful! Big Hugs!


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