On Monday night I went to the pub. Its not unusual you might say. Although hopefully not as part of a Tom Jones impersonation. Any old shoes, I had, for once, a good reason to go to this pub. There was free beer. And it was even good free beer. You see Toc's brewery has created a winter ale. Specially designed to keep out the cold and the damp of this time of year it is a dark, creamy, chocolaty beer. And it is dangerous. I had three free halves followed by another two fully paid for pints before the pub threw us out. And I could easily have drunk more. Which, when the beer is 5.2% by volume is not normally a good idea. It was nearly immediately a bad idea but we did just make the last train back home. And this is where the true miracle of this beer comes through. I got up this morning with absolutely no sign of a hang over at all. I felt fresh as a daisy and ready to punch out a Bishop.
So, should you be Scottish demand that your local buys Ca' Canny from the Kelburn brewery. If you be not, then lament and wail unto the highest.
And so we come to the time of year. The Season of Goodwill. The Time of Retail Madness. Also known as December by the chronologically minded. I have been a very good boy over the last while and have made no mention of Christmas. Mostly because I have been eking out my holidays in a gratuitous manner. But also because I would rant. As part of that rant is about Christmas arriving too early me ranting about it in October would only have been hypocritical. Or perhaps predictable. I am after all, a bloke. And one who is used to living on his own and treating Chrimbo on his own terms. That is; all the shopping done in one morning, if possible in one shop. Then home to my parents on Christmas Eve. A few light gins. Some food. Back home on Boxing Day, or maybe the day after. Festivities over.
But now I have Toc to consider. Lovely girl, wouldn't do without her. But her family lives in Portsmouth, at the other end of the country. So now there are logistics involved in the whole thing. Travel to be planned. Dates and places to be considered. And from way back. No longer can I ignore all things Chrimboid until after the 20th of December. Way back in October some time we had to plan on flights and other stuff. It was scary and confusing for poor old set-in-his-ways me. Still I took my medicine and things were done and I settled down to forget it all again.
But my sister wouldn't let me. Due to her gallivanting round the planet as a holiday rep she will not be in the country come the end of December. She will be up a mountain in Austria having the time of her life. But this didn't stop her wanting to have a family Christmas do. So she made us have one. In November. With paper hats and everything. It was all I could do not to fall asleep on the sofa. I even had to go shopping for her pressie before this, totally breaking all my rules.
And then of course folk at work all start going on about what should we do for a Christmas do and I just can't get away from it. I have well had enough already. 'Humbug' I say. 'Humbug, and thrice Humbug!'
Roll on Hogmanay!
Next time – Munchkin shows off his bruises after Toc is finished with him.