Herself and I walked into the local B&Q store last Sunday, December 16th, 2007, to find that Christmas had been devoured by locusts.
Or so it seemed to us, who has been there only a week before and had wandered through a sizeable portion of the store under flashing lights, garden ornaments and various Santa Claus figures in differing embarrassing poses.
This week, there was nothing but a large, empty space awaiting the January sale stock. A few latecomers, like ourselves, wandered about the other aisles of plumbing fittings and kitchen cabinets in a half-hearted manner.
"Christmas is gone!" Herself said to a passerby, who nodded, gloomily in agreement.
It's now the 19th and I have yet to buy a Christmas present. I have warned people not to expect much this year, but on the evidence of our last visit J-Cloths and packets of free-flowing salt are going to feature prominently in my Christmas theme in 2007.