Taking Stock - November 30, 2015

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It’s clear winter is well on the way when the tickets arrive for the school nativity play.

There are other clues – including the fact I’ve had to stuff the letter box with a pair of old football socks to keep out the draught.

Of course, the chaps at the Met Office have decided it isn’t good enough to just have winter, so now every cough splutter and sneeze from the weather has a name – not that I can take a storm named Barney entirely seriously.

I wonder if it was named after the Blue Peter presenter who, as a matter of fact, performed alongside yours truly on the nativity stage back in what seems like the dark ages.

Name drop out of the way, I’ll admit I’m always proud to see the children taking to the stage, even if there’s no need for mums to raid the tea towel drawer or invest in cheap gold wrapping paper.

For the twins it’ll be the first taste of the limelight and arguments are bound to ensure, especially when one discovers the other has more lines – never mind standing in each others light, we’ll be lucky if there’s not violence and tears.

Words have been a source of hilarity in recent weeks – one of the dynamic duo getting the idea that words are made of letters but taking a bit of a lottery approach to their formation.

“Daddy, is this a word?” has been a fairly common question.

Most of them have been tragically wide of the target but one, four letters long and unrepeatable in print, did hit the mark – causing repeated guffaws and a swift introdution of paper to bin.

Not that it’s necessary to be able to read to take part in the reception nativity.

The aim of the game it memorising your five words and shouting them as loud and fast as you possibly can, something both twin have proved they can do... for sustained periods. Of course, on the day they’ll most likely forget, but never fear, because parents and teachers alike will be there to prompt – as long as that four letter word doesn’t make another appearance first.