There is a brass band outside my local department store paying Christmas carols.
I keep being reminded by people that Christmas is just eight weeks away. Less than two months to, er, buy the tinsel. Order the presents online. Buy the tree. Replace those ornaments that broke last year.
Choose and order the turkey. Do all those other things that are essential to ensure December 25 and 26 pass with that usual sense of slight disappointment .
Almost two months then. The sense of urgency is overwhelming. Or not. Every year the start of preparations arrives earlier. I rather suspect this year the retailers believe we are in for a bumper season, perhaps the best from their point of view, since the economic crisis began. So start shopping now.
I suspect, too, they are missing one factor needed for those cheery forecasts, that there is a shortage of must-have items this year to spur demand. (With the exception of those motorised skateboards that have a regrettable habit of bursting into flames and that you can’t ride anywhere legally anyway. Might have to do better than that.)
Anyway, we went to our local garden centre to buy plants, for the autumn planting season. The supply was limited and disorganised. Aside from a range of china Santas, each with a plant pot attached containing a succulent of decidedly short life expectancy.
And the most astonishing array, even bigger than usual, of plastic Xmas tat. Including a full-sized nodding reindeer. Where do you put it the rest of the year? Have you ever tried to get a full-sized sodding, nodding reindeer up a loft ladder?
It is going to be a very long two months. Time for the first bah humbug of the season.