I will admit I've been a little bit worried about how to keep two boisterous and overexcited anteaters occupied between now and Xmas, which is still over two weeks away.

After just a few days, I'm beginning to understand why their Mum, Mrs V, is such a great Gin Enthusiast...

Then I had an idea – I'll take them to see Father Xmas! 

They'll get to see the elves making the presents, meet the Great Man himself and come away with a small toy each to play with – problem solved!

*Santa Claus



Uncle Z has now switched to playing Dylan's strangely wavering rendition of I'll Be Home For Xmas (it sounds as though it's being sung by someone who has never heard the tune and is making it up as he goes along) on Continuous Repeat.

Wilson has escaped the racket by going out with 'Biro' to stick up some Xmas Posters.

Xmas at the zoo is a very low-key affair, so for Byron everything is new and magical – Wilson has even had to explain Father Xmas [Santa Claus] to him…



Byron, while chatting to the sTone Brothers in the garden, heard a terrible asthmatic wheezing noise coming from the bee hive.

He rushed inside to fetch Wilson who, on investigation, found it was Uncle Zoltan – not, as the evidence suggested, having a terminal asthma attack but playing Bob Dylan's Here Comes Santa Claus on his BoomBox.

Shouting to be heard over the din, W asked him what he was doing, and Uncle Z replied that he was 'Getting into the Xmas Spirit' by playing this track. 

Very Loudly. 

On Continuous Repeat. 

'Because I know it's your favourite, Dear Boy!'

Wilson, who (as Uncle Z well knows) hates this song above any other, pointed out that so-called 'Music Torture' had been outlawed by The United Nations, the European Court of Human Rights, and possibly the Geneva Convention

Uncle Zoltan has an uncanny ability to press Wilson's buttons. 

As W later remarked wryly, Uncle Z is going to LOVE his Xmas present…



Byron has just given Wilson a load of Xmas Cards from his family at the Zoo.

In keeping with tradition, they are all identical as Wilson's Mum, Mrs V, tries to discourage arguments among her ever-growing family about who's got the 'best' Xmas card.

Also, to be fair, there's not a lot of choice at the Zoo Gift And Souvenir Shop.

Many of the cards are from people Wilson has never heard of, and Byron has had to explain about his many new 'Uncles' and siblings…



Once Wilson had arrived home with Byron, although it was already quite late, they retired to the Library together to have a catch-up.

Wilson then got out his Advent Calendar, and between them they opened the first door.

When I was a child, Advent Calendars didn't even have chocolate inside – just a picture of, say, a star, a shepherd or an angel etc, building up to a crescendo of excitement and anticipation on Xmas Eve when you'd open the final, double door, to reveal a picture of Baby Jesus in a manger!

They were simple days.

Wilson's Advent Calendar, however, has little bottles of Gin behind each door!

Really, whatever will they think of next?



Once Wilson had phoned Byron at the zoo, neither of them could wait for the visit to begin, so B jumped on the first train to Uckfield.

Wilson waited anxiously on the platform for the train to arrive, and eventually it pulled into the station and 'Biro' emerged from a First Class carriage, suitcase in paw.

After a brief hug they fist-bumped (well, paw-bumped, really) each other, then began some complicated paw-slapping routine while they both chanted:

Wilson! Wilson! Bo-bil-son
Bo-na-na fanna, fo-fil-son
Fee fi mo-mil-son,
Biro! Biro! Bo-bir-ro,
Bo-na-na fanna, fo-fi-ro,
Fee fi mo-mir-ro,

When their initial greeting was finally completed, they climbed into the car together to be driven home.
*Older readers might get this reference…



Hello, we are Polly and Billi The Bees, and this is our Guest Blog!

Our elderly relative, Uncle Zoltan, is always very difficult to buy gifts for at Xmas – usually we give everyone a bottle of Royal Jelly and a jar of Honey, but Uncle Z always complains, whatever we give him.

Yesterday, though, Wilson showed us this cutting from New Scientist magazine, and it's given us a brilliant idea!

Wilson is going to help us using Amazon (he's very good at that, because he gets so much practice) and we'll order up a surprise for Uncle Z that he's sure to love!

We know he'll love it, because he loves to annoy people, and we think this gift could be well annoying, especially at night!

Anyway, we've been The Bees and we'll see you again next month. 

Until then, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEE GOOD, and have a Fantastic Winter Solstice, Xmas or whatever!



After about an hour of heavy snoring, Wilson stirred.

'Is it Xmas Eve yet?' he asked, testily.

'Not quite,' I replied, but as he reached for the gin bottle I continued, 'How would you like your brother Byron to come over for Xmas?'

W immediately brightened, asking, 'Could he stay for Xmas Day, and have Father Xmas bring him presents and everything?'

I nodded.

'That,' he replied, 'would be totes Ace – can I phone him now and invite him?'

I think hibernation has been successfully deferred for another year…



There may be only about 27 Sleeps 'til Xmas, but for a Frequent Napper like Wilson that equates to about 108 sleeps – which is a long time if you're a young anteater eagerly anticipating the Big Day!

Consequently, it's usually around this time of year he starts to think about hibernating, so that he can wake up, refreshed, on Xmas Eve.

Hibernation is not a natural activity for anteaters, so W's attempts usually involve prodigious amounts of Gin, followed by a crippling hangover the following day.

A hungover Wilson is not nice to be around, so I am anxious to distract him before he goes too far down this road. 

This year, I think I have the perfect solution…



While Nërp is recharging his batteries (both literally and figuratively) after his recent sojourn at the railway station, Wilson has popped back to where he posted Nerp's posters to add a couple more of his own…

As he left, he told me that disposing of Xmas Trees is a major contributor to Global Warming [actually, it's not] and in any case everyone hates taking the decorations off in January, so his Xmas Tree Hire business was a Dead Cert to make him both rich and famous. 

But mostly, rich.

'After all,' he explained, 'why buy when you can hire? The tree will come already decorated, and after Xmas, before twelfth night, I'll collect it and take it away!'

Actually, I have to admit that sounds like a pretty good service.

I enquired how he intended to finance the initial purchase of his xmas trees and decorations, and where he proposed storing them for the eleven months they weren't in use, but he brushed my objections aside.

As usual…



Nërp has designed a Logotype for himself. 

It's a very good logo, and I know Wilson agrees because he's quite put out that he didn't think of something similar for himself…

However, Nërp still thinks his profile is insufficiently high, so W has printed some promo posters, pop-star style, and they're out sticking them up now.

I don't approve of fly-posting, but I'm relying on Nërp – sorry, I mean The N-Man – to keep Wilson out of trouble…



Late last night, or more accurately, very early this morning – long after everyone had retired to bed – there was a knock at the door.

Wilson answered it, and found Nërp standing in the porch.

Wilson asked what had happened his Xmas Tree, and Nërp told him that a commuter had admired it, so he had sold it to him for £50.

This deeply impressed Wilson, who announced that it had given him an idea… which is never a good sign. 

Before he turned in for the night, Nërp said he had been thinking, and he didn't want to be called Nërp any more. 

In future, he wants to be known as Nërp-Man, or possibly just The N-Man, which he thinks is a more suitable name for a high-profile SuperStar



Wilson has now returned home and is telephoning local News Outlets – The Uckfield Examiner, Uckfield FM, the Brighton Evening Argus, Mid-Sussex Times and so on.

He's even Googled the email address for I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here in case there's still time for Nërp to be entered as a Late Runner – he figures that if Noel Edmonds can do it, Nërp can do it too!



Last night Wilson went round to the Railway Station to check up on Nërp, and to give him a PowerPack in case he's running low on energy or 'Getting hungry'.

Nërp told Wilson that a Guard had said he was blocking the platform – he gave him a 'Laser-Eyes' look, said 'Exterminate! Exterminate!' and hasn't been troubled by authority since.

W was surprised to find Nërp was wearing his Leonard Cohen hat, and enquired whether he was cold.

'No,' Nërp replied, 'it's just that, when it was where you left it, people kept throwing money into it and I found that a bit, well, demeaning!'

'Was there a lot of money?' W asked anxiously.

'Oh quite a bit! I thought about it, then I gave it to a Homeless Person, because I knew that was what you would have done.'

Wilson sighed deeply but, showing admirable restraint, said nothing...



Before leaving, Wilson told Nërp that he was now Uckfield's Official Xmas Robot, and wished him good luck.

Then he placed his Leonard Cohen hat in front of Nërp 'just in case'. 

In case of what, he did not specify, but I think I can guess…

In order for Nërp to get maximum exposure and fame, Wilson asks that you invite all your friends to join the Wonderful World of Wilson Vermilingua group: 

or at least to read the Blog at: https://antwars2.blogspot.co.uk/



Having set Nërp and his Xmas tree up on the platform at Uckfield Station, Wilson hung some decorations on the tree while explaining to Nërp that, while Uckfield Station was a bit smaller than London St Pancras, London had many railway stations while Uckfield has but one – thus giving him a 'total monopoly' on rail commuters.

The London St Pancras Xmas Tree and Robot periodically dispense a puff of Chanel Perfume to distract the passing wage-slaves from their daily grind. 

Wilson told Nërp that Chanel was an unnecessary extravagance, so he's bought an AirWick Air Freshener which Nërp will intermittently squirt at people as they pass by. 

I wonder how that's going to be received by an unsuspecting public, particularly after the recent Novichok poisonings…



Wilson has promised Nërp that he will make him more famous then 2001's HAL and more popular than Robbie the Robot and WALL•E.

I have no idea how he proposes to achieve this, but they have bought an Xmas Tree in the Village and are now heading towards Uckfield Railway Station with it.

This has Trouble written all over it…



Nërp, having seen a giant robot on tv in the Lord Mayor's Show, and another at St Pancras Station, is feeling a bit… inadequate.

He says that he feels 'left behind' – as if life is passing him by. While other robots have become famous, done things and made something of their lives, he is idling his time away in a suburban backwater…

Unfortunately he has made the mistake of consulting Wilson about the best way to raise his profile.

Wilson's first thought was: Sponsorship – some way he could monetise Nërp's activities…

After coffee and a Belgian Bun, he announced that he had the 'Perfect solution' which would elevate Nërp's reputation and popularity!  

The two of them have gone in to the Village to implement this enigmatic and currently undefined Plan…



Last night the sTone Brothers were waiting patiently in the living room for someone to carry them out into the garden.

Nërp went in to oblige, but got caught up watching the Late News.

In the past I have always discouraged him from watching the news because… well, Donald Trump, really – I don't want N getting the wrong idea about humans – but now I've found another reason to discourage any interest in Current Affairs.

The news showed the unveiling of the London St Pancras [a major UK railway station] Xmas Tree, and… a 17ft Robot!

What with the Lord Mayor's Show featuring a huge robot and now this, Nërp has decided that he is not realising his true potential – Life is Passing Him By and he needs to Raise His Profile.

Honestly, I dread to think what this will entail, but I fear I shall find out in the fulness of time…



Saturday morning everyone gathered in the living room to watch the London Lord Mayor's Show, a traditional expression of Pride, Pomp and Ceremony that has been taking place annually since the year 1189.

Wilson was very excited to see a Tweet he'd sent to #LordMayorsShow scroll across the bottom of the screen, but this was rather over shadowed by Nërp suddenly shouting,'I know him! I know him! That's my relative!'

He had spotted a massive robot trundling down the street, apparently sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office.

Nërp's joy soon turned to dismay, though, as he noticed the size of his robotic relation.

'He looks about six metres tall!' he said, 'whereas I'm just… tiny. Perhaps I should start going to the gym.'

Wilson was quick to dismiss this plan, saying, 'Gyms are absolutely useless! I went to a gym once – it was the worst ten minutes of my life!'