Yesterday I was thinking that this is possibly the least Christmassy I have ever felt.
That sense of magic, expectation, wonder etc – waning since I was about six anyway – had almost totally evaporated.
But that all changed last night.
Cycling home, I saw a dark object up ahead on the bike path.
A few cyclists ahead of me just skirted round it but as I arrived I saw it was a girl’s bag.
I picked it up, looked around and then got off my bike and waited.
I wandered up and down that stretch of the road but no-one came back so I cycled home.
I got in and Anne and I had a look though the bag.
It belonged to a girl called Tina and there was pretty much everything in there you’d expect to find in a girl’s bag, as well as a gift for someone that she had bought from Illum.
I had hoped for a phone or an ID card – something concrete which would help us track her down. But Anne knew what to do.
She simply typed the girl’s name into Krak, a kind of online Yellow Pages which also offers personal information, and up popped Tina’s phone number.
I called her. She answered instantly and with so much hope in her voice that I couldn’t help but smile.
I explained that I’d found her bag and she seemed lost for words. But maybe she just couldn’t find the right words in English.
I passed the phone to Anne and she did the rest.
A quarter of an hour later, Anne and I were outside our building waiting for Tina. A fog had fallen and the temperature had dropped.
Throughout the street, people’s Christmas lights twinkled dimly in their windows, faint beacons in the darkness.
Tina arrived with her brother who had been helping her search for the bag. She was so grateful and happy that it nearly bought a tear to my eye.
She said in Danish that it was the best Christmas present that she could ever get.
Tina’s brother, who seemed a shy sort of lad, then pulled out two big bottles of Jacobsen’s Ale which he gave to us.
Merry Christmases all round and that was it. Anne and I went back inside and Tina and her brother set off through the fog for home.