With community editor
WHEN my children were growing up they used to call me Moggie – an extension of MOG, which stood for Miserable Old Git.
I used to think there was a certain amount of irony in that nickname because I didn’t feel I was necessarily that miserable. And then my wife starting calling me Eeyore, based on the donkey character in the Pooh books, who always expected everything to go wrong and would greet most setbacks with the resigned comment: ‘That’s just what would happen…’
At which point, I started to get totally paranoid about myself and the persona presented to the outside world.
I have to confess that one of the things that has occasionally depressed me is that Christmas – a wonderful, warm, inclusive time of year for having fun with the family – now appears to start round about the end of August. While the summer is still in full swing, Christmas cards start appearing in the shops, followed swiftly by wrapping paper and gift tags.
By mid-September, every garden centre has introduced displays of plastic Christmas trees, colourful lights with which to decorate said trees and by October, there are inflatable Santas, reindeer, sleighs and gnomes invading just about every part of the high street.
My wife has always declared that Christmas doesn’t actually begin until she hears Jonah Lewie singing ‘Don’t Stop the Cavalry’, which normally happens around mid-December. But this year even that landmark event occurred while we were shopping in Ikea three weekends ago – and starting Christmas when the temperature is still in the 20s is just plain wrong.
Perhaps I’m being slowly ground into submission but I have to say that on Thursday last week, when I went to get in the car to drive to work and found it covered in frost, with thick fog swirling around, I had a brief epiphany. It actually felt like the right time of year to be thinking about Christmas as my feet crunched on the frozen grass. I even started to think about shopping for presents for my granddaughter.
In light of that, I think I’m entitled to demand a new nickname – Merry Old Git, perhaps. Oh, hang on, that’s still going to end up as Moggie, isn’t it…?