Christmas is coming. Me and the geese are getting fat.
And that, readers, is my only preparation thus far for the festive season now a ‘mere’ seven weeks away.
If the adverts tell the real Nativity story, everyone but me must be rushing off to So-near, Sofa (if no one’s coined that name, I’ll eat my beret) to bag a new settee - one of them fancy corner units with bits that recline dead-flat so you can lie supine and make room for another bacon-wrapped chipolata. (The absolute best bit of the Christmas dinner. Sod your Nigella and Delia recipes. Just buy loads more little porkies and you’re hostess with the mostest, guaranteed).
In addition, families the length and breadth of Britain (except mine, course) are out there as I write, searching for the perfect flatscreen telly.
It has to be catwalk supermodel size - bigger and thinner than the one they bought last year, which will have to go to the tip as no one wants a piddly secondhand plasma 52-incher these days. (A thought: this obsession with TVs of cinematic proportions; is it to save on wallpaper?)
Meanwhile, millions of house-proud folk are midway through a total redesign of the spare bedroom. They are flocking for a new bed to match the new bedding they had to buy to go with the new emulsion. That’s not forgetting, woe begladtide them, the all essential fold-up-put-me-up no hospitable homeowner should be without.
And then there’s Christmas savings stamps. In the supermarket on Saturday the woman in front of me at the till handed the checkout lady an extra 30 quid. A festive bonus for the supermarket. You give them £49 of your money to ‘look after’ and big wooo, they give it back to you Christmas week with a quid on top. What’s that all about? Why can’t you trust yourself to leave it in your own bank account, separate from the sofa and the telly money?
I’ve always been a devout non-believer in festive forward-planning, an Ebenezer when it comes to all that ridiculous fuss and palaver for the sake of 48 hours. The writing was on the wall when I quit the Brownies because I hated having to be prepared and refused to accept that the doily had a place in modern society.
But I’m feeling a frisson of fear now. Maybe the rellies will refuse to dine at mine as the Queen’s head cannot be viewed four-times its real size and the sofa is as saggy as its owner. I think I’d quite like a cheery red tablecloth. And I’m planning to dust.