A successful operation to remove the tinsel

THE tree, pondered over, walked round and picked in a Christmas tree beauty parade, is outside in the rain; its needles are inside the vacuum cleaner.

The cards, thin in number these days, are waiting to be cut into labels for another year. The decorations and baubles are back in the loft, the fairy lights have been dimmed, apart from those that defy the season.

The wreath blew off the door the other day. Much of the cake remains but soon will be dissected and divided, and stored in the freezer for occasional treats, defrosted little parcels of Christmas.

A fair bit of seasonal booze waits to be drunk over coming weekends; only one of us puts in the effort, with the usual suspect slacking (and the other suspect over-compensating).

The Christmas CDs are back in their place and Courtney Pine is playing instead, sending a pleasing squall of saxophone notes as these words are being typed.

Yes, Christmas is officially over, although Twelfth Night doesn’t fall until Tuesday – or even Wednesday by some calculations. Bad luck is said to befall those whose homes remain decorated after that date. No chances are being taken in this house, so Christmas has been packed away, tidied up, banished for another year.

Much anticipated, especially by the female members of this family, Christmas comes and then it goes. The house did look good, everyone said so, but it’s a relief to see everything back to normal, having undergone the annual operation to remove the tinsel.

That’s it, done and gone, de-glitzed, bauble-free normality has returned. There is no office for me to return to tomorrow, but that’s the new normality. I did have a feature in the Yorkshire Post Magazine yesterday. It’s about the York crime writer Helen Cadbury and her up-and-down year. It should be up on the website sometime soon. Two more features for that newspaper are written and waiting in the wings. Other opportunities are still being pursued.

And so it continues, this brave new world, this golden opportunity, this car crash in scary slow motion. Where will it end? Stay tuned, as they say…

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