Monday, 17 December 2007

How Come ... ?

How come Christmas sneaks up on me every year ? It's not as if they've changed the date and brought it forward. When I last looked , it was still scheduled for the 25th December and yet every year I get to about this time and feel that rising well of panic inside me. It's not as if we're all going to wake up on Christmas Day to find that I've forgotten to buy anyone presents or that I haven't thought about what to have for lunch. It's all been planned with military precision as usual with the help of a million 'To Do' lists. I've resigned myself to the likelihood of getting another kitchen utensil from the husband ( teapot, bread bin , salad servers in the last 3 years ... I won't go back any further but if I did it would include pen knife and car jack) and it will come as no surprise if both the children change their Santa lists about an hour after the shops have shut on Christmas Eve. But given that all these things are almost certain to happen , the sheer terror of the prospect of forgetting the Brussels sprouts ( like as if anyone would even care) fills me with dread . It's like having one of those dreams about sitting an exam when you haven't been to any of the lessons and you've forgotten to bring a pen and you're only wearing your pants.
One of these years I'm going to do what men do. Go to every drinks party I'm invited to, come home drunk, in a cab, smelling of curry. Buy no presents whatsoever but maybe just pop to the shops ( Homebase /Halfords/garage round the corner) on Christmas Eve and buy whatever crap is left on the shelf. I'll have to claim not to be able to cook, down half a bottle of gin by midday then fall asleep on the sofa about 4 O Clock and snore through the clearing up and dish washing. If only.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Oh Joy

Salmon battle upstream against raging torrents, lemmings leap off cliffs and there's bound to be some weird breed of species that perform some other ritualistic suicidal stunt .. and we wonder why. And yet every year we do the same thing. We 'celebrate' Christmas. In it's simplest form this involves endless lists, chores and obligations. In it's more complicated form it usually ends in divorce. Most men just turn up for Christmas day. The presents are wrapped, contents usually unknown but the price always questioned , especially if it's been bought with 'their' money. Endless supplies of food fill the shelves,fridges and cupboards , every meal, whim and indulgence catered for. Tress are decorated , carol concerts attended , mindless drinks parties attended and all in the name of what ?Tthe birth of Christ ? I don't think so. Think I'd prefer the life of a lemming.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

How to have the perfect christmas

I've cracked it after nearly 30 years of Christmases. Don't read any articles or buy any magazines that contain the words Perfect Christmas. Who the hell do these magazine editors think they are telling us how have the perfect Christmas. If there's only benefit to getting old , it's the certain knowledge that no magazine article can dictate what a perfect Christmas is.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

'tis the season to be jolly

I met an arsehole today. He was driving a car that undertook me as I slowed to let a bus out of the bus station ahead of me. He deftly swerved broadside of the bus nearly taking out a hapless pedestrian in the process and sped off into the distance. It was only the actions a fireman standing outside the fire station ( next to the bus station) with a loud-hailer , beckoning passing motorists into the fire station for a charity car wash, that decided me on my next course of action. Having witnessed the whole event he lifted his loud-hailer to his mouth and hollered 'ARSEHOLE" into it , directed at the idiot driver , then turned, grinned at me and gave me a thumbs up . I loved his spontaneity. It made me smile and gave me the courage to give chase if you can call 30mph a chase.
I managed to catch up with the idiot driver within about a mile although he tried his best to evade me by veering down side-roads without indicating, hoping to give me the slip. I pulled alongside, expecting to find some spotty boy racer with a foul line in swearing but instead saw a middle aged man with small children in the back. He sat defiantly refusing to acknowledge my presence , arms folded defiantly and pathetically in front of him.
Fortunately I came out with a belter of a line having had time to think about it whilst tailing him. I can thank the fireman for inspiration ... 'Just wanted to see what an arsehole looks like' I shouted across to him then drove off. Pathetic I know but at least it gave me a small smug crumb of satisfaction . But it also made me wonder why a grown man would put the lives of his children at risk by driving so dangerously. Astonishing really.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Is it any wonder ?

In a country where the headline 'Omaha Mall Massacre Leaves Nine Dead' receives equal top billing with a story about whether Scarlet Celebrity Somebody has had a nose job or not ... is it any wonder that the world finds it difficult to take America seriously?

Monday, 3 December 2007


The words 'men' and 'Christmas shopping' don't belong in the same sentence let alone the same universe. It was therefore with trepidation that I awoke this morning to remember that the annual ( or seeminly pent-annual or whatever means once every five years) Christmas shopping with the husband event loomed ahead of me.
As it happened we didn't brave Oxford Street or even the local shopping centre. Instead we set the Sat Nav to Reading and traipsed down the M4 to Costco. No Tiffany baubles for me this year then but at least I can be grateful that this year's stocking won't be bulging with the tell-tale shapes of a teapot , a bread-bin or a pair of salad servers ( there's a theme emerging here ). After cruising around the male heaven TV aisles , a quick diversion through the tools and heavy industrial machinery section, finishing with a slow peruse around the beer and booze emporium, we finally made it to the till. I left him to pay unable to face the 'How Much ???' look of astonishment on his face. Two hot dogs later ( in lieu of a more expensive lunch) which cost the princely sum of £3 and we were back on the motorway heading for home. I could tell he was feeling as pleased as punch having executed his duty within a record 3 hours . Next stop Argos on the way home where I'd reserved a couple of video games for the boys for Christmas. He threatened to wait in the car until he realised that he would come in for some major stick here if he didn't enter into the Christmas Shopping spirit and actually get out of the car. I suppose we could call the day a sort of success and he's off the hook for another 5 years.