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It is so easy to disconnect, lose your bearings and yourself in these strange days and nights between Christmas and New Year

In a Word ... Sloth

So here we are, marooned and bloated as beached whales in this season of sloth, caught in that limbo between Christmas and New Year wondering whether we might not, after all, be better off in the US where the Happy Non-Denominational Winter Solstice Celebration only takes two days, and dreading the New Year’s Eve slobbering, kissy, kissy spittle-drowning bonhomie at somewhere near us, yet to come.

I don’t think I’ll look at turkey, ever, in all of 2024. Or honey-glazed ham, chocolates or pudding, and I might become a pioneer. Okay, that would be extreme. But I am almost looking forward to the misery of January, when I will eat little, drink less, stay indoors and ignore my divine majority in chosen isolation.

No man is an island, no woman either, but I’m planning on being one as I search for the soul I lost on St Stephen’s night as it wandered lonely through a crowd while I just couldn’t leave the company. It really is so easy to disconnect, lose your bearings and yourself in these strange days and nights between Christmas Past and New Year’s Yet to Come when all is suspended, the dog is fed up walking and you really cannot bear to watch It’s a Wonderful Life one more time. Or Home Alone I/II/III/IV/V, the Godfather III or even another Muppet Christmas movie.

And, no, I’m not interested in looking back on 2023 and all its slaughter, or speculating about what might be ahead in 2024. Just now I could hardly care less about Past, Present, or To Come. I only want to sleep. “Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care,/The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,/Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,/Chief nourisher in life’s feast.” (Could we forget about the “feast” bit, please?) Thank you, William Shakespeare, who, like the Bible, provides a quote for every occasion.


It’s hard to believe that had the First Folio of his work – the first printed edition of his collected plays – not been put together 400 years ago, the world would have lost Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night etc. Fie on’t.

Hardly bears thinking about. Then, I don’t have the energy anyway.

Happy New Year.

Sloth, from Middle English slou, slowe, for `indolence, sluggishness.’