Oh bloody hell, it’s Christmas and I have yet to go shopping for presents for my nearest and dearest. Why do I leave it so late each year? It’s probably because I dislike the traditions associated with this time of year: my family nagging me to send cards to relatives I don’t see from one year to the next, pushing a trolley around a supermarket that is more chaotic and frantic than New Orleans on a damp day as the great unwashed stock-up for the coming glutton-fest, trying to buy presents when I haven’t the faintest idea what the intended recipients want, the forced bonhomie I have to assume to avoid being labelled a humbug, the crap television programmes etc. The list goes on and on and on.
The only saving grace is the bottle of ten-year-old tawny port I allow myself at this time of year, opened in the run-up to Christmas; a medicinal glass imbibed, late at night when all else are asleep, to settle the nerves and fortify the constitution — I’ve started early this year. Tomorrow I have to go shopping for the presents that nobody really wants. Me? I’m hoping for a lump of coal.