Last Tree Standing #7: Spiny the elder

O crispy tree, O crispy tree…

Bonné année you brave little soldiers! And good riddance to a properly merdique 2020. Let’s hope 2021 can offer a more positive…. oh.

It’s been a while since the words have hit blank blog paper, but being safely tucked up in Meaux with Christmas biting at my trouser legs like an excitable puppy has meant that time has far too efficiently slipped through my fingers of late. But here we are for a new year with an ideas folder stuffed to bursting hoping to bring you more of Paris’ simplest delights, and given my current location I’ll be spreading the net a little bit wider this year. Not that we’ll really be in a position to be going anywhere in the near future I would think. Sigh.

I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing Christmas and New Year break, understandably much quieter than usual. The Beau and I stayed in Meaux and I secured my role for another 12 months with my stunning triumph of an English Christmas dinner, cooked to perfection. It took him a while to understand what I meant when I kept referring to pigzin-blankiss but we got there in the end, and my performance has secured my place at his side for Christmasses to come (and he at mine with his quite stupendous washing-up skills).

Now my Mum’s amazing hand-knitted crèche de noël has been safely tucked in its box and the galettes de roi have again taken centre stage, we can begin to gaze again in puzzlement at one of Paris’ strangest customs (but is it just Paris dear readers??) and focus on another year of Last Tree Standing; that addictive and unique activity of sorry, brown Christmas tree spotting, taking time to ponder exactly what would possess someone to abandon their festive fir on the street in the middle of October (the legend began here).

Last year’s competition was truly a nail-biter, with spots thin on the ground but consistent throughout the year. Repeat confinements perhaps upset the balance but with peeled eyes working hard we went all the way through to autumn yet again, and tree-spotting champ Max Legeais takes this year’s crispy pine trophy with his 6th October spot on Rue de Bièvre (pictured top left). Congrats! An honourable mention goes to second place Marjorie’s early September spot in the 5th. This year’s clash look set to be a classic, with the possibility that if 2021 promises to be half as bleak as 2020 (signs pas trés bons) then perhaps no-one will let go of their trees AT ALL. Peepers polished and at the ready all the same, please.

Seeing as we’ve passed the 6th and thus the deadline for acceptable tree custody, the games can once again begin for another year, with all entries invited on the Last Tree Standing Facebook page. The Christmas tree crumbs wherever you look, not to mention mountains of spent firs at dedicated recycling posts, point to a January full of green. But anyone worth their dead tree-spotting salt knows the game really begins in the spring.

For newcomers, a quick recap of the rules….

1. Photographic evidence required.
2. No artificial trees. Or conifers.
3. No planted specimens.
4. No repeat claims.
5. Trees must be obviously abandoned, put out for, and accessible by the binmen, though all submissions will be considered and are subjected to jury approval.
6. Honesty prevails. If you want to keep a dead Christmas tree in your apartment until September just so you can win, you need to get out more.

Bon Chance!