0800 GMT: Yay it’s Christmas Day. I’m alone because my girlfriend is working today, and this year my sons are with their mum for Christmas day. I am going to make it a really good one.
0801 GMT: Get up, get dressed. Talk to the girlfriend when she phones from work, whilst I’m standing over the bowl. It’s ok, she’s probably just cleaned up an old person’s poo.
0805 GMT: Take the dog for a quick walk. It’s lovely and quiet. A fairly warm sunny Winter day. Seagulls, magpies, no trains, no traffic noise. No people. Just another man walking a dog, and a jogger. “Good mornings” exchanged. Not a single “Merry Christmas”. I’m clearly not the only one.
0825 GMT: Return home, give the dog his breakfast. He’s happy.
0830 GMT: Hmmm breakfast. Today I’ll treat myself to something really nice. Pre-heat the grill, boil the kettle. While I’m waiting, do a bit of laundry. Poached eggs on bagels, I think, and I even have some crêpes left over from the ones I made yesterday. Sometimes I give myself the crêpes. So this morning I crêped myself. Oh dear my puns really are a load of crêpe. Still, first rule of comedy, if a joke’s worth telling, it’s worth mercilessly thrashing to death.
0900 GMT: Munching my way through a gargantuan breakfast exquisitely prepared by my live-in chef. Watching Kate Humble in the programme Pacific Abyss which I recorded months ago but haven’t had time to actually watch. What a woman. When she’s not sitting around watching voles with Bill Oddie she’s either walking around Longleat or diving the Marianas Trench. I wonder if her husband ever gets to see her.
0945 GMT: Turn on the PC & say good morning to Joel who’s full of Christmas cheer as he got to bed at 0300, whilst his children awoke at 0800 and woke him shortly afterwards when they couldn’t find their Christmas stockings which are large red sacks in their beds that they would have had to climb over to get out of bed. “Merry f***ing Christmas”
1013 GMT: the girlfriend calls to see how I’m getting on. Status report duly delivered.
1023 GMT: I fire up the accounts so I can email the sales receipt I haven’t hitherto sent to one of my wedding photography customers because I’ve been too busy being a photographer. That’ll make a nice Christmas greeting for her. She’s phoned and nagged enough.
1030 GMT: I carry on watching Kate. She doesn’t ever seem to complain about hardships, or broken nails, or split ends, or anything really. Just gets on with it, and always looks gorgeous. Wow. What a woman.
1100 GMT: Shower, shave, and… several other things.
1130 GMT: time to do a little more laundry. I might have a while on Endless Ocean for the Wii, which I find fascinating & therapeutic. Really must go diving again next year; it’s been too long.
1200 GMT: Starting to think about lunch. No turkey for me. I think I’ll do lamb shank with puy lentils braised in a red wine sauce, served with polenta, and some fresh fruit for dessert, maybe even some ice cream. Mmmmmm.
I think you might be beginning to get the idea. I tell people I’m spending Christmas Day alone and their reaction is generally one of sympathy and pity. But it’s really not like that at all. If anything the sympathy & pity should go the other way. Christmas isn’t a lonely time for someone to be alone, unless they’re alone for most of the rest of the year, or perhaps if they have to have people all around them all the time. For me it’s wonderful, really really wonderful. It’s all for me, a great big moment of complete (but modest) self-indulgence. Above all I can look forward to once again being able to visit shops and leave again within a reasonable amount of time, having had a reasonable retail experience and having bought exactly what I wanted, instead of being barged, pushed, trodden on, tutted at, generally impeded, and deprived of what I came for by insane people who seem to be preparing for World War 3 rather than a single Christmas Day.