Hello dear reader and before you go on I know I have been laying low.
Christmas is a grisly time of year. Dedicated to the duty of 'family' and in the seeing of people you choose not to do over the whole year one finds the horror is magnified in the fact that not only is one supposed to be nice to them, but nice to others.
It is in the clear blue water of the New Year that one can make the observations such as this without the unoriginal amongst the world branding one with unoriginal titles like 'Grinch' or 'Scrooge'.
My advice to those who spent this year going 'bah humbug' to me when I expounded the virtues of a minimalist Christmas is twofold.
One: go and learn another cliché with which to hassle right-thinking individuals. You sound like a nine year old.
Two: Look about your parlour. Is it now not stuffed to the gunwhales with unusable tat you never wanted? Books you will never read? A pile of clothes destined for the returns queue at Messrs Marks and Sparkies?
Do you not feel nauseous following the chronic overeating? Do your arteries not feel cloggéd following the cheese and roast tatties?
I tend to avoid the cliché that is Christmas such as I tend to avoid all clichés like the plague. (Thank you CJ).
However, a sequence of well lubricated drinking opportunities presented themselves and the good fortune of being able to upgrade an acquaintance to the status of associate with the minimum of dinners out and sufficient alcohol to allow her to succumb to my more dubious charms yet retaining wit and wisdom so as not to awake the next day wracked with guilt - ensured that even now the distension of my liver is felt still and a feeling that something must be done.
After all I am skiing soon and Johnny Foreigner won't show himself, will he.
Now, dear reader, you will recall I have always maintained that the Body Beautiful is bought in sweat or abstemiousness and one must endure the former lest you face the latter.
I have thrown this to the wind and actually given up the juice of the grape and the malt of the grain for January at least.
Cynics among you will insist that I feared (as this is my fortieth year) that this is due to concern for the lead in my pencil least not the liver in my guts, but that that I declare fie! Stuff!
For starters I am skiing with a bunch of chaps who take their PE rather too seriously for comfort. I have been pounding away at the torture machines at the S+M club (gym) for a while, but the less blubber I carry, the better I shall be at defending my position plus out-skiing them in the necessary dogfighting and challenges to my authority which shall come from the pups.
If I can stay off the ale for a month (exceptions to follow) then I shall be like a greyhound of the slopes (steely gaze to match).
Exceptions being the boat show - where once I have schmoozed my way through the champagne troughs of the boat brokers and charter chaps I shall be found propping up the Guinness tent. Exception two being the 'impromptu' champagne breakfast for associate. Hailing as she does from the Antipodes she does have hollow legs for diverse booze - but champagne in bed in the morning, combined with a caviar niblet and smidge of the smoked trout ever fails to loosen the knicker elastic I find. Personally I see such hardships as an occupational hazard.
Nevertheless. She is suitably impressed by my abstemiousness and for that matter my buffing waistline. (Told you my charms were dubious)
If all else fails, there is always the Norovirus. Shit yourself thin.