It's the most miserable time of the year

Last Christmas but two I gave you my heart,
About seven months later you gave it away;
This year, to save me from tears,
I’m drinking mulled wine until I pass out.

Christmas shopping in Piccadilly last Friday I passed not one but two people openly crying in the street. The second had (I assume) her boyfriend walking her along, arm round her shoulders, with what I felt was a slightly smug smile on his face – and I wondered if I should point out to him that his other half was sobbing loudly.

It seemed to me a positive indication that Christmas is frankly a miserable time. Possibly, the latter example suggests, even if you do have a boyfriend. I certainly haven’t passed people openly wailing without cause on the street at any other point this year.

A few ideas to stop you from going the same way:

1. Buy your Granny some nice biscuits from Fortnum & Masons, then put all the rest of your Christmas shopping in the same carrier bag – it’ll make you look classy.

2. If you listen to the soundtrack to Mary Poppins as you fight your way around the city it makes it feel even more like London. Even, I suspect, if it is actually Royston.

3. Make a point of noisily exiting any shop that starts playing Wham!. Nobody will notice, but you’ll feel like you’ve made a difference in some small way.

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