The Old Bag rang me up to say that she and her slobbering side kick were in festive mood and would I like a drink? I said I would and that she should come round to my house for a mince pie and a real fire. She left the slobbering side kick at home, which upset me. I left the cork in the bottle and gave her a cup of tea. She drank it anyway.

“My dear girl, I have read your last blog post. I have to take issue with you. I think a candle is a wonderful thing. If it smells of something floral even better.”

I explained that I was not ready to retract my views on the eye piercing pain of the candle, even those gifted or re-gifted with love.

“I’d be delighted if someone gave me a really nice candle.”

“Would you?” I wondered in all innocence.

“I really would,” She said.

I let the silence linger for a moment.

“I’ve got a drawer full of them,” I said.

“I know,” she sighed.

The slobbering side kick would have just got on with the begging at this point. “Would you like a candle?” I asked with a throw away flick of the wrist.

“That would be lovely, if you feel you could spare one.”

I could, and I did. I wonder who the lucky recipient was. Not anyone with cataracts I hope. I should not want the Old Bag to have a waxy looking stain on her generosity.

Having drawn a line under the ocular discomfort of candles, with what I will admit is an uncharacteristic outburst of rudeness, I have opened an unforeseen new theme for re-gifting.

It’s no secret that I am a lover of the Dachshund. Having lived half a life without one, I have been thinking about getting one of my very own. In fact, I am beginning to hanker. Is it, I wonder, compatible with increasing use of the cane? Opinion is divided.  Those that trust in my abilities are for it. Those that have baser concerns do not. “But how will you know if it’s done a poo? That’s so unfair on other people. It would be extremely selfish of you.”  “You will trip over it.” “You might crush it.” ” It’s better if you get a guide dog?”

The dachshund conundrum is ongoing and has opened up a gifting theme that has run through a large selection of cushion covers with dachshunds on them, dachshund  broaches, dachshunds to hang on the Christmas tree, dachshund shaped biscuit cutters, Dachshund mugs, and, this Christmas, multiples of the dachshund draft excluder. I suspect that all of this is born of well laid plans, to dampen my desire for the real thing. It has failed.

The logic is flawed:  No dachshund in its right might would immobilise itself in a draft, in a doorway, a place through which people pass, often distracted, with cups of tea in hand. It would not lie there waiting to be “tripped” over. The dachshund would be sitting on the sofa, having rearranged the cousins for its own comfort. Should it be met with my looming posterior, hound instincts would take over and I would be immediately rebuked and told to find another seat. The opportunity for “crushing” would be seen off.

Even the very best of faux dachshunds can’t offer the beauty of a really fine dachshund overbite and attitude. So much for the observational powers of those who claim their vision is unimpaired. It’s the real thing for me.

In more good news, concerned citizens will be free to pick up the poo I may not spot.