28th December – Today, after a scheduled visit to chez Strachan, I’ve had an opportunity of providing my daughter Rachel and her partner Brian their Christmas legacies. Festive tokens whose delivery, consequential of logistic issues, was deprived of me prior to and during yuletide.

Small trinkets which are gestures of my love and affection towards my immediate family; clan members who bring me joy, pride and enchantment. Not to mention a gratefulness there’s no complaints when Christmas gifts are presented tardily by their pater.

Talking of these bestowals, yesterday morning I noticed sections of the adhesive tape on the gift paper enveloping two of this quintet of presents had lost their adhesiveness. A sight leaving me to ponder whether one of the trinity of ghosts, who visited me overnight into Christmas Day morning, had used their tarriance to tamper with these festive benefactions.

If these past, present and future spirits were the culprits of the trinkets ‘partial wrapping paper undress’, they should take a long hard look in the mirror. I mean, what the heck gives them the right to come into my home, wake me up and make damning judgement on my yuletide cynicism when they can’t even be bothered to re-wrap the bestowals they’d interfered with.

Hypocrisy I call it. The three uninvitedly entering this residence, scaring the s**t out of me, prior to advocating an adjustment to my behavioural if I sought redemption for habitual festive season avarice.

Surely, I pondered, the fact I’d bought these gifts proved gumption to spread a modicum of Xmas joy, which must surely gain me some brownie points at St Peter’s Gate. Admittedly, they weren’t overly expensive presents and I procrastinated with delivery to their recipients, however surely it’s the thought that counts!


If it wasn’t the trinity of ghosts, who also appeared to my great uncle (x4) Ebeneezer around two centuries ago, what else could’ve caused the wrapping of these two pourboires to unravel?…… Incidentally, that’s not a rhetorical question, I’m curious to understand the source of this conundrum.

Talking of ghosts, on awaking for a toilet break at 4am, I heard what sounded like someone snoring on the landing outside of my bed chamber. As I’m the only inhabitant in the residence until Sunday, it was an experience that freaked me out on a small ‘it can’t be’ scale.

Laying in bed adorning a Piers Morgan onesie, I anxiously pondered whether there were spectres roaming the hallways and chambers of chez Strachan…… Could it be my old man’s spirit playing mischievous tricks on me? ……. Or was it unrelated to spirits and had the family home been infiltrated by a narcoleptic burglar?

My immediate thought from those unlikely options was the snoring’s source must be the latter. Consequently, as a big fan of festive movie Home Alone, I thought to myself “What would Macauley Culkin do in this situation?”

After a brief period of reflection, I disembarked from my bed, followed by tentatively wandering the house with a torch; a cautious stroll which included the setting elaborate booby traps in the event this (as yet unseen) felon with a sleep disorder woke.

On returning to bed it appeared the snoring had abated. After ten minutes of hearing no further sound I drifted back to sleep, not re-emerging from slumber until several hours later……..At reveiller, forgetting I’d set all these traps for the narcoleptic burglar, I threw on some clothes and headed downstairs for breakfast.

What followed, as I navigated my way through the residence to the kitchen, was possibly the most painful start to a day I’d experienced since my heart attack in January…… Thankfully, though, I’d left enough time to tidy the house from the ensuing booby trap carnage consequential of this slow and agonising meander.

Consequently, when my 26 year old daughter Rachel arrived at midday the house was OCD tidy; As it was prior to booby trap Armageddon.

Smiling at her and Brian on opening the door I wished them both “Belated Merry Christmas!”, which was reciprocated heartily by the young couple.

As we moved into the living room to open the presents Rachel turned to me and enquired “Dad, did you know you’ve got singed eyebrows?!…. And why does it look like you’ you’ve been the victim of a staple gun attack?!”