Every year we do a family Christmas jigsaw. Well, it’s not really a family jigsaw. Rich hates em. Owen, Tom and I have always been at the puzzle frontier. The others used to drift in towards the end when the bulk of the work had been done. The puzzle late-comers. After the glory.
Last year, we were up against it because we started the puzzle later than usual and only had a short window before the table was needed. It was the year of extreme puzzling. Heads together, the three of us puzzled until gone midnight, stopping only for toilet and drink breaks. Divvying up different areas to work on. Whooping with joy as piece after piece was slotted together. I developed puzzle neck-ache and puzzle googly eyes. But you can’t over-estimate the satisfaction of a completed 1000 piecer.
This year it was a slow start. We’d barely got the edges together when Tom was lured away to snuggle with the dogs in front of the TV. Owen was out at football. There was a rumour he’d started extreme puzzling when he got back, after we’d gone to bed. But he was watching Match of the Day on plus one. He didn’t puzzle this year.
So Tom and I did it. Some of it late last night, with a bit of ‘help’ from LB. Around 8am this morning I woke to the sound of sifting puzzle pieces. Tom had the puzzle power. We puzzled through the morning, eating brekkie on the job. William appeared when we were down to about 20 pieces, but I banned him from helping.
“You gotta be in for the long haul, sonny Jim” I said, seriously. “Not turn up when the fun starts.”
“Nah, you’re alright,” replied Will, chuckling. “I’ve just come to make a coffee.”
We carried on. Feverishly fitting the last few pieces. There was a bit of a blip as the sky edges were wrong and we had to re-do a section. But by midday it was finished.
“Ahh,” we both said, stepping back to admire the puzzle.
Then put it back in the box.