I may be a bit grouchy, and I realise I’m in a bit of minority here. But I really don’t like Christmas. I hate all the false bonhomie, the enforced good cheer, and the expectation that I’ll spend like a drunken sailor on shore leave. I loathe all the conspicuous consumption. What is the point of all the legitimised gluttony? I hate the bloody relentless Christmas songs and carols on the PA systems in shops and malls. I hate tights with bloody snowmen all over them.

It’s bad enough having to put up with this crap in December. If things kick off on the 1st there’s still over three weeks of ding dong bloody merrily on high to get through, and that is more than enough. But there’s a bit of mission creep here in the Co-Op store in my home of Great Dunmow. A lot of mission creep, with no clear exit strategy.

They are already selling large tins of chocolates and sweets, and they have an entire section of shelves actually dedicated to Christmas treats. No kidding. It’s not even September 25th yet. Over three sodding months to go! It’s not even bloody Halloween yet! What happened to Guy Fawkes Night? If you’re an expat over here, you’ve got Thanksgiving to get through yet. Christmas is a damned long way off.

Here’s something weird, too. They’re selling mince pies. Two different varieties. Mince pies. In September. Those on display at the moment? Best before 20/10/2013. That’s more than two whole calendar months before Christmas. Where is the sense in that? Tell me. I’m all ears.