Saturday, December 20, 2008
I did not post yesterday because I was suffering from a truly terrible case of pre-Christmas claustrophobia (PCC). Give me flu any time. PCC happens when you become oppressively aware of the funnel-like aspect of the season. At some point - in, say, mid-November - the world seems full of possibility, open and free. Then you fall into the funnel. Work builds up and becomes more difficult, mainly because the same thing is happening to everybody else. Mad, seasonal tasks appear from nowhere. (My dismay at the pointlessness of these tasks is the reason I have not sent any Christmas cards for the last two years. Sorry.) Everybody is is supposed to be 'entertaining' and yet everybody is edgy and irritable. Food, bizarrely, becomes a burning issue, requiring intense negotiation and D-Day-like organisation. (In this context the Michael Parkinson TV ad for M & S involving a 'tiff' with his wife about what they should eat for Christmas dinner is horrifically offensive. It makes Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross look tediously tasteful, grotesquely inhibited.) And, through it all, you are being bombarded by moronic media jollity and inane feelgood stories, punctuated by the same perfume ads you saw last year. But for this, I think I could get through it all intact. It's like being at the Cannes Film Festival. Forever. The funnel narrows, you can barely breathe and hardly scream. Finally, you fall from the narrow spout into January, free at last, free at last. You breathe in the cold, clear, empty air and the world returns to bleakly consoling normality.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:52 am