Christmas time, snotty nosy and whine...

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Nothing defines the festive period in our house better than a snotty nose and a sore throat.

I am pretty sure it is a long forgotten law that Christmas can’t be celebrated properly unless you have a temperature above 40c and sinuses the size of a cricket ball.

Naturally, I have been cut down by a seasonal illness this week although it has been glibly dismissed as ‘man ‘flu’ by my better half – a phrase which always causes me to smile as if I was to dismiss her ailments, or those of any member of the sisterhood for that matter, I would be labelled a chauvinist pig.

Anyway, for the record, my condition is much, much worse than that – I would go as far as describing it as Manthrax – and it is threatening to curb my enthusiasm for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

What is the point of Christmas pudding and brandy butter if you can’t taste them? Having said that being ill before the big day does have its benefits.

About 10 years ago I was laid low for a week in the run-up to Christmas and I must have been bad because I could not even look at a pint of Robinson’s Best, let alone a festive turkey and pork pie.

I took to my bed for the best part of four days, surviving on Corporation Pop and Rich Tea biscuits. The upshot was that I lost half a stone and at least an inch from my, not inconsiderable, waistline. Of course, it was not long before I was stuffing my face with selection box Curly Wurlys and family-size tubs of Cheese Footballs, but rather than break the scales, I merely regained the weight that I had lost during my terrible illness.

Sadly, it seems I won’t be as lucky this year as I have managed to retain the majority voracious appetite although I am currently drawing the line at seconds.

There is a bright side to all this as, even though I am a huge fan of the traditional Christmas dinner, you can stick turkey where the sun doesn’t shine as far as I am concerned – it is the most overrated of all meats. So if I am going to be unable to taste something this year then I am quite happy for it to be the dreaded gobbler – especially when it is served cold on Boxing Day.

As long as I cease to be contagious – there is nothing worse than being accused of spoiling other people’s Christmases – then I am quite happy to be full of cold.

However, it will be a completely different matter if I am still ill for the booze-fest of New Year’s Eve.