I read somewhere that the Christmas holidays are supposed to be a joyous time when we are all apparently meant to be... well, joyous. Given that my twitter and Facebook timelines are awash with people moaning about everything from chaotic shops to equally chaotic weather, joy is something that is clearly in short supply today. It’s certainly absent here in Brimson towers although to be fair, I’ve never really been a fan of the festive season anyway so ironically, having something else to moan about is actually a bit of a positive. However, in the interests of fair play, I have been giving the point of Christmas some thought over these last few days and whilst I appreciate the religious significance (even though I am not in any way shape or form religious) I am increasingly baffled as to why we bother with the rest of it. After all, there can be few more stressful times than late December and let’s be honest, if you have kids or grand kids, the impact on the old bank balance can be catastrophic. More to the point, now that we can buy Brussell spouts pretty much all year round even the delights of Christmas dinner can be replicated whenever we feel like it. Yes, I know there are all kinds of other reasons why the holidays are ‘special’ but when you sit down and think about it, most of them are bollocks. We’re all far more mobile these days so most family can get together relatively easily and even if we can’t, the internet allows communication in forms we couldn’t even imagine when I was a little ‘un. Equally, thanks to Netflix, Love Film and catch-up even the once highly anticipated post-pig out TV experience is largely a thing of the past. OK, there’s the issue of time off work but when when you’re self-employed and work in an industry which tends to commence winding down at the beginning of December, the fact is that the whole month is lost which can be a pain in the arse. The more I think about it, the more it strikes me that as a society we are being led not by the church, but by the supermarkets and the online stores and in these times of austerity, the question is, why do we do it? Would we not be better of binning the annual spend-fest that Christmas has become and holding it once every four years instead? It works for the World Cup, the Euro’s and even the Olympics and would it not be better all round to have something to really look forward to as opposed to dreading? . A couple of bits of news: the editing on Top Dog is well underway and a rough cut should be ready for viewing soon. I’m actually dreading this as it’s the first time I’ll have ever seen one of my books brought to life but I have every confidence in Martin Kemp so I’m sure my worries will be unfounded. More to the point, once the rough cut has been viewed firm decisions will be taken regarding release dates etc, so as soon as I have news of those, I’ll pass them on. I’ve also taken a positive decision about my next book. I don’t want to say too much at the moment as things may change but suffice to say that it’s an idea I’ve had ticking over in my head for a long time and in many ways, it will be the book that I’ve always wanted to write. Finally, could I take this opportunity to wish everyone who reads this a very merry Christmas and if you could do me one favour over the coming week it’s to take the decision not to drink and drive. 2014 is going to be a massive year and I’d like to think you’ll all be around to share it.