Putting the pieces together

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It was reported with incredulity last week that 13 people filed for divorce on Christmas Day.

The only thing shocking about that is the number didn’t have three or four zeros after it.

It is the most highly pressurised time of the year and there are many different coping strategies to deal with being in close proximity, for extended periods, to people who know just how to rub you up the wrong way.

You can drink your way through it (not recommended), watch heroic amounts of football (there’s a reason teams play four games in 10 days over Christmas), or do like we do and create a temporary diversion in a quiet room. Which is how the Christmas jigsaw became a tradition. An unwieldy 1,000-piece, chocolate box scene laid out on a table so that whoever wants a bit of a time-out can add a few pieces when it all gets a bit much. I tell you, it’s keeping families together.

The jigsaws are always wholesome with everything above the waist. This year it was a behemoth called Grandma’s Attic, which stored everything from a dartboard to an old Santa outfit - and not dearly departed grandpa’s extensive collection of carefully hidden VHS tapes and DVDs discovered by his appalled widow in the days after his death.

One year yours truly made the schoolboy error of ordering a specially made jigsaw of an aerial shot of where we live. Your House On A Jigsaw kind of thing. A nice idea but the boss walks to work so all through Christmas there it was, staring back at her.

Then one time she assembled daughter #2’s Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle in Lego. Then, while carrying it from the kitchen table to daughter #2’s bedroom, accidentally dropped it on the floor where it scattered into 6,000 pieces. There were a few words used you won’t hear in one of Harry’s spells. Still, she did it all again and superglued every last brick.

Anyway, back to Grandma’s Attic, which by New Year’s Day was complete - minus two missing pieces. The first of which turned up in our sighthound Walter’s bed. We’re guessing he had the other missing piece too, but there’s no way I’m carrying out a fingertip search of his bagged-up poos to find it.