It’s not that time again is it?

November 5th. Today is the day when we in Great Britain celebrate the anniversary of the last man to enter parliament with truly honourable intentions: Guy Fawkes.

He was a bit of a berk, mind you. Apparently when he laid his barrels of gunpowder, he tapped the sergeant-at-arms on the shoulder and asked, “Have you got a light, chum?”

I know all about this because my granddaughter is a historian.

With Guy Fawkes Night out of the way, we turn our attention to the dreaded big C… Christmas (cue theme from Jaws).

I’m not religious. The last time I was in church it was to give the vicar a quote for re-grouting the tiles in the lavatory. I don’t ram my atheism down anyone’s throat, and I don’t appreciate them trying to ram their faith down mine. So to me, Christmas is a secular event.

It’s also a humongous drain on finances. Her Indoors spends money like it’s about to go out of fashion and she needs to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Contrary to popular opinion, and not simply a tightwad; I’m a professional tightwad. I’m one of those who switches the gas off to turn the bacon over. Where the missus will snap up a tube of toothpaste for £1.00, I’ll walk another half mile through the rain, fog, sleet and snow to get the same toothpaste for 99p.

It goes against the grain, therefore, to lash out literally hundreds of pounds, most of which is spent on other people, to celebrate a festival which as far as I’m concerned isn’t festive. I meanersay, it comes at the darkest, coldest time of year, a time when common sense tells you that the best policy is to stay indoors. And what do we do? Trail here, there and everywhere for family parties. And because taxi fares are so outrageous (where does anyone get the brass balls to charge the thick end of £20.00 for a six-mile journey) I have to drive, which means I can’t have a drink. For me, then, Christmas means celebrating with a glass of lemonade, and since I’m diabetic it should be a glass of sugar-free lemonade, which as we all know, tastes like cat piss and soda on the rocks.

And as we move through November, my missus, will ask the inevitable question, “What do you want for Christmas?”

QWell, I’d settle for an hour with the young lass across the street. She’d probably bring on a heart attack, but the undertaker would never get the smile off my face.

Peril in Palmanova, Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery #15, published by Crooked Cat Books, exclusive to Amazon at:

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The Squire’s Lodge Murders, Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery #16 published by Crooked Cat Books, on December 13th 2017, is available for pre-order at:

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