This morning, upon opening advent calendar door number fifteen, I was greeted by the ‘Souls of the Oppressed’. Although affable enough spirits, particularly when you take into account the terrible suffering they’ve endured, I’m beginning to hold misgivings about investing in Torture magazine’s festive calendar***.

Todays’s bestowal as disturbing as the ‘Fingernails of No Return’ which yesterday lay in wait from behind door number fourteen. Upon witnessing these advent trinkets, my immediate emotion was irk at being unable to return the fingernails. After all, apart from you in Redditch, who else would want someone else’s fingernails as trophies.

With events in 2020 being already stark, I just pray the ‘Wrath of the Andromites’ isn’t behind any of the nine yet to be opened doors. This bane an age old wrath handed down by the little known South American Androme tribe. A curse becoming their only remaining defence at warding off enemies after one of their elders traded their spears for a handful of magic beans.

Their cuss, akin to the unlatching of Pandora’s Box, unleashing evil and misfortune on those in receipt of this black magic. Imparting grave adversity upon it’s victim, such as points being magnetically wiped from their Nectar cards, along with frequent uninvited visits from high maintenance TV presenter Richard Madeley.

Although accepting there are many, many people with worse existences than our clan, my family could really do with our soap opera embarking upon a more cheery storyline. Ergo, as alluded to above, hopefully my family’s run of bad luck won’t be exacerbated by the ‘Wrath of the Andromites’.

As an aside, according to the ‘Memories’ section within my Facebook app, this time last year I was halfway through a hiatus in Thirsk. An enchanting North Yorkshire market town, which’s without doubt the most beguiling place bearing the anagram of riskth I’ve thus far tarried.

If truth be told, it’s the only town I’ve ever visited bearing that particular wordplay. However, I’m pretty sure if I’d the opportunity to visit Sithrk, Kristh or Tiskhr that they’d not ‘hold a candle’ to the captivating Yorkshire borough …… No matter how much the Sithrk Tourist Board protests to the contrary.

Facebook also went on to remind me twelve months ago I cooked a roast dinner for my party, which was well received by all. Particularly my buddy Coco, the Labrador/Retriever cross, who laid in front of the oven watching the silverside joint roast for an hour and a half, prior to unceremoniously scoffing the scraps of meat I bequeathed mid carve.

This food disappearing so swiftly I wondered, in the absence of wearing my glasses or contacts, whether I’d a canine at my feet as I sliced, or a hairy Dyson vacuum cleaner…… I tell you what, though, if it was a Dyson I’m really impressed by it’s latest cylinder capacity.

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Blimey is that Richard Madeley visiting my next door neighbour?!…… They must’ve had the ‘Wrath of the Andromites’ behind advent calendar door fifteen…… I best knock and advise them to check their Nectar points haven’t disappeared!

*** – Torture magazine is (as far as I know) a fictional publication. Even if it isn’t, I’d like to clarify it’s not something I’d include on my reading list.