The removal of Christmas isn’t my most treasured job of the year, although it will be a relief not to tread on another Christmas themed Smiggle rubber. They appear to have been breeding since 25th December. My cutlery drawer does not have room for 4 x novelty straws with Father Christmas/snowman/reindeer/elf tops. (Possibly my cutlery drawer would have space if I throw away the 325 used Calpol spoons, but surely they will come in handy one day? Ooh, and I’ve just noticed one of my presents from last year, the corn-on-the-cob knobs, which haven’t made an outing in 12 months). Things 1-4 seemed to disappear when I needed assistance with the removal of decorations. Can’t say I blame them, as I shriek extraordinarily loudly when the glass baubles are not placed in the correct storage box, with the bubble wrap as well as the tissue, and I shriek at an even higher octave when Thing 4 pulls at the bauble and leaves the hanger and cap still attached to the tree. It’s a nightmare trying to insert it back in the bauble, don’t you find? So I started to dream about all the things I might be doing instead.
Godfather of Thing 2 is a doctor and he has many interesting tales about his patients (not their medical histories you understand). Recently, a 96 year old lady he encountered on his ward round explained to him that she was getting divorced. When he gently asked why she had waited so long, she replied that she had to wait until her children were no longer alive until she could issue proceedings. She said the element which pushed her buttons the most was the excruciating way that the (ex) husband ate his meals; always methodically working his way around the plate, meat first, followed by potato followed by vegetables, but he could never put all three items together on his fork. Such torture to endure every day! To think that – however long or short was left in her own life – she could wake up by herself and not have to worry about anyone else, no need to share a bathroom or a urine stained toilet, no need to pack away Christmas a day early, indeed no need to have Christmas at all if that floats your boat, no urgency to attend to the laundry, to prepare a meal (or watch the consuming thereof) or sit in front of a TV programme you aren’t interested in watching, to be able to read a book in bed, to idle away hours with a jigsaw, to go out, to stay in, indeed to be wholly selfish for the rest of ones life. It’s a beautiful dream.