A walk in Crow Nest Wood with Rosie the reluctant cocker spaniel in search of holly. Like last year, I went equipped with hidden secateurs. This time, I was determined to find a tree still bearing berries.
I spotted one eventually, high on a steep, muddy slope. I couldn’t trust Rosie off the lead, as I knew she would immediately make a bolt for home, so I struggled manfully to collect berry-laden sprigs with one hand while fighting against a fully extended dog-lead with the other. I slipped and slided, got pricked and cursed, ending up ankle-deep in mud. I like to think I did great service to the word fiasco. But I ended up with a delightfully seasonal twig-arrangement.