...then this happens.
But this year everything seems to be refreshingly different. The biting of recession has made for a happier High Street, or so I think. There are less people and less useless things to buy. What there is out there, is so heavily discounted. The traffic seems less as are the queues.
It has been an interesting run up to Christmas.
An Air Ambulance flew over the house last week. It was the most exciting thing to happen for a month. It flew around eight times. It was lost, searching for the spot where someone had unfortunately fallen over on the ice and damaged their hip. It turned out later that a colleague had been running around on the frozen lawn wildly flapping his arms in an attempt to catch the pilot's attention.
It seemed to be the most exciting event in the Valley for many people. Joggers stopped running. Cars pulled over on the verge. People got out and stared. It was a major excitement and source of chatter as to who the victim might be.
It was the shape of things to come.
It certainly was.
As the weather worsened the power lines became overburdened with ice and the conductors snapped, plunging us all into darkness. For hours. For a night and a day. There were so many electricity company vehicles around that the area resembled a NATO winter exercise.
And as luck would have it, the company missed their imposed customer care deadline and gave us all a gesture of goodwill. £54 of goodwill to be precise. Except for a householder who had the word 'Farm' at the end of their address and were paid £108.
'It's Christmas come early,' said an over-excited neighbour, not latching onto the reality that the £54 plus some more would shortly be going back to the electricity company, as a result of the extra useage over the Festive period.
But still, it is the thought that counts. Or ... Det ar tanken som raknas ... as the Swedes say.