Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Christmas Creature Comforts

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Christmas Creature Comforts

Article excerpt

THERE'S that twilight zone between Christmas and new year where the only saving grace is cricket.

The turkey and Christmas pudding are shot. Rellies have decided it's going-home time. Boxing Day sales begun on Christmas Eve still need to be avoided at all costs. Warner and Watson have just thrown away their wickets before lunch on the second day and we threaten to surrender any advantage that Mitch has given us. Thank goodness the Christmas phone chat with my UK brother has been made:

Me: Hallo, John, thanks for ringing. It's midday here, so you should be asleep. Hope you are not lying awake worrying about the cricket?

Him: No but, before you go on, if you mention the word cricket even once I shall hang up on you.

Me: Fair enough. It can't have been easy for you, what with the crappy weather as well as the cricket.

Him: (Silence except for a click as he hung up)

This post-Christmas-pre-new year period always confuses me.

I know I'm supposed to be relaxing, enjoying good food and family, and I think I am.

I also get slightly maudlin; "excessively sentimental", even "self-pitying".

It's not easy to imagine myself being excessively sentimental and there's nothing obvious that should make me self-pitying.

I'm supposed to be a self-sufficient old pragmatist obsessed with data and facts.

Perhaps I've been looking in the wrong mirror and really I'm an introspective, arts-loving socialite who just happens to like maths as much as the theatre ...

These post-Christmas few days are always the same. I start thinking about the UK, snow and the bitter-cold wind blowing across the Yorkshire Moors, freezing your nuts off and even making warm flat beer taste good. It's pathetic!

They drink something called a "pint touch" round that part of the world. It's what you or I might think of as "bitter shandy", flat beer with lemonade. …

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