`Tis the season (again? So soon?! Yeesss…)

Chipmunks roasting on an open fire,
Frostbite lopping off your toes…

Ahh, that time of year again – a time when we can snuggle up on the sofa and imagine that outside it’s a winter wonderland, where children harmlessly lob lumps of ice at each other and lovers snog under mistletoe (or even within a ten-mile radius of somewhere that there *might* be mistletoe), carol singers brave the cold to warm the night with their Christmas cheer.

And a time to watch It’s a Wonderful Life for the nth time… 🙂

And as usual, I’m all bah humbug about it. It’s a time of year when we all eat and drink waaay too much and pay for it with rotting livers and clogged arteries – not a good thing to have when you have the coronary-inducing stress of negotiating Christmas shopping crowds and queuing up for an hour at the Sainsbury’s checkout for a pint of milk, behind all the panic-shoppers stocking up…

Now there’s a thing. When I was a lad in the old country, we used to have a phenomenon that vanished a few years ago – the seasonal shop closure, where good Catholic shopkeepers would close up for a few *days* over Christmas, out of fear of thundering reprisals from the pulpit among other things… Then, we’d have mild panic-buying, where you’d have to get the milk and the bread in because it had to last you a few days. Now, we have *one* day where the supermarkets are closed, and thanks to the wonderful cultural melting pot that is London, all the corner shops are still open! Panic-buy? I can’t see why.

The other aspect of this time of year is my old friend, the chest infection, who dropped in to visit and overstayed his welcome, as usual. Not nice – but this time I went straight to the quack demanding antibiotics, and put the dreaded infection in his place. And that’s part of the reason I’ve not been updating – sorry! After this message, I’ll likely not be posting till New Year, so get used to it… 🙂

Christmas Day plans went a little awry since my last post – the bar in Camden is not an option. Bummer! But no matter – we’ll make a day of it nonetheless. Oh yes, we will…!

And of course then it’s off to Ireland for the usual shenanigans and a few more besides. Now that’s going to be a whole lotta fun. I’ve even gone to the lengths of acquiring an Irish pay-as-you-go SIM card for my mobile, so that I can keep in touch without it costing me the usual fortune. Family, friends, booze, food, music, chat, parties, dancin’, boozin’, dashing about from pillar to post, drinkin’, etc. The usual good ‘clean’ fun – can’t wait!

There’s talk of spending next Christmas in France – mates John & Gwyneth are moving lock, stock and baby to Normandy, to run a hotel over there – and it’s looking very likely that they’ll have a legendary Yuletide gathering next year! Let’s face it, London gets pretty bloody boring after a while, especially New Year, so the change of scene will be most welcome. Can’t wait for that either!! 🙂

Well, that’s about it. If I don’t speak to y’all in the meantime, have a damn fine festive season/Christmas/Hannukah/whatever it is you do at this time, and an excellent New Year.