Welcome to 2019
So the end of the year, Christmas is somewhere in the distant past already consigned to history and time to sort out the mess that is the house.
It will be months before all the sequins and glitter from the tree decorations and those that have fallen off of the home made Christmas cards are finally cleaned up but in the meanwhile it is time to get rid of the packaging and clutter that Christmas brings with it.
There is so much to do that the best advice is probably not to start and definitely not if you have been given a book on feng shui for Christmas.
I suspect most families in Ipplepen would need to hire a skip if they have done and would it be wrong to suggest the first thing to throw in the skip would be the feng shui book.
So while everyone is dreaming about a life and home that is less cluttered and confused there is the annual January pilgrimage to embark on.
A pilgrimage that isn’t for the faint hearted as they venture into the dangerous world of the January sales.
This is why it is usually the women who undertake the mission though if in the first flush of romance they do sometimes manage to drag their unsuspecting other half along with them.
The more experienced men (many of who in the past have experienced the horrors of the sales) know that the sales start on January 2nd and that with a large dose of sincerity (mostly false) they offer to take the Christmas tree down and store everything away until the next time.
Women feel that it is a good option and having already either exhausted or put away the scented Christmas Candles they deem it is safe to allow the men to be at home on their own.
Talking of the sales why is it that the things you bought in December as Christmas presents are now half the price in the January sales?
Incidentally it is also on January 2nd that the first of the New Year resolutions is broken.
The resolution I talk of is the one that is made as a result of the gross over commercialisation and cost of Christmas the one where it has been decided that next Christmas presents would be restricted and limited.
Except of course the ‘sales’ temptation is too great and the adventurers return with bags full of “gifts” to be stored safely away for Christmas, including wrapping paper and Christmas crackers.
They also return to find the Christmas decorations removed and may even be surprised to find that the men have even run the vacuum cleaner around.
After the primeval men v women division of labour that took over on Christmas Day things are now back to normal and any mention (unless you’re the Prime Minister of the UK) that there are boys jobs and there are girl jobs will be met with extreme prejudice.
So young men who fall for the “wouldn’t it be lovely if we went to the sales together” ploy – be warned.
The first week of January is also a time when the festive season comes to an adrupt end as children in the Ipplepen households become increasingly hyperactive which in turn leads to tempers becoming increasingly frayed.
If there is one thing guaranteed to drive a family apart it is the knowledge that there appears to be an unending and endless number of recipes for left over chicken and turkey.
There is an almost audible sense of relief when at last the carcasses are eventually put out for the birds to pick at.
Men have been off work and at home for almost a fortnight and have become not only disorientated but have a longing to return to work.
Women long for the school run and are tempted on the first day to simply drop the kids and before they even reach the school gates run away to sit and enjoy the silence that has descended on the home.
This isn’t like the summer holidays where the family decant to some exotic spot (in Cornwall or North Devon) but one where the family stay at home, together.
Families can pretty much survive being thrown together for two days or at a push three or four having been accustomed and acclimatised by the five day working week with the occasional Bank Holiday thrown in.
But two weeks together is for many beyond the pale so is there any wonder they spend a fortune in giving themselves liver damage?
And so into the New Year, the Christmas cards have been thrown out and peace settles once again in Ipplepen with the exception of course that the cards depict scenes of a village covered in snow which is noticeable by its absence in Ipplepen.
But then again who knows what this winter will bring before the spring arrives sometime around Easer.