I greeted certain naff jumpers like a long lost friend. | Cabalar - Llega "Bruno", el prim


As we fall headlong into winter I’ve been busy tidying away my shorts and T shirts, linen trousers, and all manner of exotic and unsuitable gear that I have been wearing as part of my contract to look unsuitably dressed whatever the provocation.

Because of this, every year, at about this time, I have had to do some rummaging around for long forgotten winter clothing, much of it I didn’t realise I still had, and when I found some of it in the hidden depths of my wardrobe, I greeted certain naff jumpers like a long lost friend. Blimey, I even found a brown, waxed jacket, that would be ideal to put on when contemplating gassing badgers on a cold and wet night in the country.

I also discovered a padded, chunky, jacket - that would come in handy if ever I should visit Antarctica - and best of all, a long stylish blue coat, that looks like it might be Armani, but is most certainly a Burtons creation. Wearing winter clothing again is a bit like when I went to ‘big school’ at eleven years of age - I was just so excited to be wearing long trousers at last.

Shorts are okay, but they are somewhat childish aren’t they? I mean, nobody who wants to be taken seriously or exude gravitas wears shorts all the time do they? It’s a bit like the other day when I had to wear a proper tie for the first time in ages. I had completely forgotten how to tie the knot; I stood there in front of the mirror with my tongue stuck out resembling a candidate for care-in-the-community, until I managed to do it by mistake.

However, the biggest shock to my system is just how early it gets dark nowadays.
Yes, indeed, the nights are ‘fair-drawing-in’ and in a few days time it will be ‘clocks’ - remember ‘spring forward, fall back’ - but, I really don’t get it, do you? Why do the powers that be, make it light in the morning when I have no intention of getting out of my pit until 9pm at the earliest; and then add insult to injury by making it dark just past teatime just as if I may be inclined to go out? Now, that is something of a fib, because at this time of year I am rarely moved to leave home at night.

Indeed, I sometimes hear friends discussing what they are doing over a weekend, the younger ones among them are always talking about meeting at a bar at 8.30pm and then going for dinner, perhaps at club afterwards - whatever! Are they mad; don’t they have homes to go to? Personally, I can’t be doing with late nights anymore; in fact if I am not in my favourite chair in front of the television by seven at the latest, my girl would call the cops.

In the summer I suppose I’m alright, but in the winter months I am afraid that Her Majesty the Queen would get short shrift if she were to invite me for a late supper the palace, especially if there was something good on the telly. Like most couples we get our fair share of invitations to go out for an evening, but I have to confess to always trying to turn dinner into lunch date.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not alone in this regard, as an invitation to lunch usually gets a quick affirmative response, dinner is a different-kettle-of-fish altogether. I always think the chin stroking technique that indicates that it could be possible that we might have something on that night particularly useful; but I am just trying to work out if it clashes with Blankety Blank on the box. If it’s a proper evening ‘function’ that you are committed to attending, I find that getting very drunk or sulking all evening is a good way of never being invited again.

If agoraphobia is the fear of open spaces, I wonder what the fear of the dark is called - as I might have to have it seen too. I don’t even mind if I can meet somebody for a quick drink after work, just as long as I can hit the sofa by the time ‘Strictly, It Takes Two’ hits our TV screens. I wonder if it’s my age, or just nature’s way of confirming that I’m a miserable, selfish, old(ish) bloke - who should at leat attempt to get a life?

Anyway, dear reader - where do you stand on lunch versus dinner? To answer this - just ask yourself - why is it that dinner is always more expensive than lunch for practically the same food? Then there are those exciting invitations to all sorts of attractive social occasions.

However, when I am invited to go somewhere, it seems that nothing can ever start before 9pm at the earliest and by that time I am usually past caring. To be honest, who says that anything socially worthwhile has to commence well after good Christian men and women are in their own beds? Anyway, it seems that I am so obsessed by this issue that my friends now ignore me and think me pathetic. But if you think I’m going out in the middle of the night to get fed in a completely empty restaurant you have another thought coming.

In short - lunch is lovely, lunch is lush - and lunch is the only show in town, particularly if you’re afraid of the dark and you groan when an invitation states that the function or ‘Do’ doesn’t actually get under-way until way past your usual bedtime. Just say no!