Harris duo make for ridiculous and sublime run in to Chirstmas
With Christmas FM on in the office radio there is a lot to be cheery about as we count the days down to our annual calorific holiday.
Among classics like Home for Christmas and Fairytale of New York, there are some real turkeys, but who cares - 'tis the season for cheesiness. I only switched into the festive spirit in recent days as I was too busy playing catch up with all the shopping, posting of letters and parcels, work, clothes shopping, commenting on The Good Woman's party dresses, that comes along with this, the most commercial time of the year.
In America, where I lived for a time, the run up to Christmas is great, but it all ends with a burp and a thud on St Stephen's Day as people return to work. Here, we tend to keep the festivities going forever and with the impending rise in the price of alcohol, this should be an especially merry Christmas as supermarket and off licence shelves are thumbed and greedily cleared of slabs of Guinness and wine. Senator David Norris went so far last week as to suggest that people on Social Welfare shouldn't be spending their 'tax dollars' on booze. He may have had a point somewhere in his Marie Antionette-like pronouncement, but the fact is that we Irish love drink and many of us have a serious problem with it and it becomes a vicious cycle.
Alcoholism and a general sense of hopelessness are the main problems in Irish society today, so anyone who likes booze should probably stock up as much as they can, as if the senator gets his way we'll be the next Finland, with booze prices so high that they are out of the reach of the unemployed and lower paid.
Being a dad of two I have no great illusions about shedding any weight over the coming few weeks. I'm going to go mad and enjoy all the biscuits, sweets, chocolate and rich food that I can get my hands on.
Personally it's been a disaster of a year on the physical front, as first my lower back started aching, followed swiftly by my neck, shoulders and upper back. I've spent a pirate's fortune on chiroprators, physios, Horse Balm, wintergreen, Voltarol. You name it, I've tried it. Over the course of the year I've had my back go on fire from Deep Heat, I've had to travel the length and breadth of the east coast getting MRIs, having my back cracked, my pelvis adjusted and who knows what else, all for some peace from discomfort.
On the list for the sales includes a new orthopaedic chair, mattress, a yoga matt and some epsom salts for good measure. I hope, you, dear reader, never have to endure such annoyance and that your 2016 is one of great health.
The government ministers of Wicklow and Wexford will also be relishing their fortnight or so off ahead of what will be a fevered start to 2016 as the General Election comes into view.
Candidates are cropping up like turkeys in supermarket shelves and soon they'll be dressed in suits, calling to our doors, promising the moon and stars (and better roads). Poor Simon Harris might have some explaining to do, but he will come a knocking, as will Mick Wallace (or some of his posse). Brendan Howlin will be full of blustery banter and there will be some welcome new faces thanks to the gender policies employed (often reluctantly) by parties.
Will 2016 bring much for Mr and Mrs Soap. A few quid, a few more good news job stories. At least we, in the press, won't have to endure rehashed bilion euro government press announcements.