January is a wonderful time of year. The Christmas decorations have been shoved into the loft, up that damn skinny ladder that twists and creaks as you climb, and you are poked up the rear end with the tippy end of the plastic tree by your assistant as they pass it up through the loft hatch that is half the necessary width. You clatter through the ‘A’ frames in the roof space hitting every damn one en route to that special little space with some boarding just big enough to store the damn tree and all the paraphernalia of festive cheer you can find, except that bauble that hides in plain sight in the lounge until Easter.
Working in the garden is a no no. It’s too wet, cold, overcast and spiritually draining. And anyway those on ‘Gardening World’ tell you not to do anything with your lawn, least of all walk on it, which is surprisingly welcome advice. Raking leaves is best forgotten ‘til the sun returns not least because soggy leaves demonstrate an amazing reluctance to support your efforts, demanding energy that is way off the available reserves your body can afford or deliver.
Dry January is best supported by the splendid new ranges of zero alcohol drinks available in supermarkets. Being devoid of alcohol means they do not attract the new duty levels dreamt up by them in the know. Except the supermarkets have spotted a captive audience and jacked the price of zero beer by 25%.
And on the subject of beer, which clearly is the true marker in any economic measure, why do supermarkets and their suppliers play all manner of tricks that inevitably will be spotted by their customers. Shrinkflation being the worst. Thus 500ml becomes 440ml or even 330ml or a dastardly 250ml. As if we wouldn’t notice. It’s not just milk and bread that reflect price inflation although I keep a close eye on the price of bread rolls baked on the premises by Lidl. The 25p cost in 2022 has risen to 45p. Sneaky.
This follows the same logic that budget airlines use when they complain they do not have enough aircraft to support the demand of the flying public, thus are having to increase prices to meet profit (and hence bonus) targets. The supply and demand conundrum.
The New Year welcomes in a fresh start full of opportunity, dreams, holidays and a wealth of new resolutions, apparently renamed ‘objectives’ that we have mostly completely forgotten by the end of the first week.
And finally travelling on the roads in the darker evenings means you stand less of a chance of spotting that damn pot hole that is set to knock your tracking out of kilter, again. Still, on the positive side January is nearly half way through and the days are getting longer. And we have the possibility of a general election along with hassle of the hustings, along with France, Russia and the USA. Oh well looking at the positives – Christmas is coming up.