The coming of winter leaves me cold

SADLY but inevitably, summer has slipped away to become an ever diminishing memory. As temperatures drop and the wind picks up, autumn is suddenly upon us. But for some, the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness is being completely ignored as usual as th

SADLY but inevitably, summer has slipped away to become an ever diminishing memory.

As temperatures drop and the wind picks up, autumn is suddenly upon us.

But for some, the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness is being completely ignored as usual as they clamour to embrace winter.

They are the shopkeepers who rub their hands with glee and anticipation at this time of year as they contemplate a boost to their businesses in the run up to Christmas.


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I am convinced that the selling time for the festive season gets longer and longer as each year passes.

Not so long ago I seem to remember that nothing about Christmas appeared in the shops until well into October. But not any more.

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Last Thursday I received a press release just a few days after kids went back to school following their summer holiday which proudly announced that a certain card shop was the first high street store in Letchworth GC to launch Christmas.

And it claimed that shoppers were getting into the Yuletide spirit by "flocking" to buy its festive cards.

The manager was quoted as saying cheerily: "Lots of our customers like to spread the cost of Christmas, so we make sure we launch our Christmas ranges in plenty of time."

I don't know about the rest of mankind but I tend to leave buying Xmas goods until the mid-afternoon of Christmas Eve. And the purchasing and despatch of seasonal cards is left to other, more kind-hearted souls.

The store manager added merrily: "The staff are enjoying getting into the Christmas mood."

I can't imagine them being able to keep that up for more than three months.

One place jumping on the bandwagon will start the stampede and very soon every store in the land will be festooned with decorations, twinkling lights and piles of potential presents and festive food.

All we can look forward to then will be the Easter displays appearing early in January.

Another indication that summer is gone for another year is the annual ceremony of switching on the central heating which is performed up and down the country.

I got an emailed press release from npower hometeam which informed me that, year on year, the majority of the British public flip the switch on their heating on September 15.

I've been thinking that it has been getting a bit chilly lately so I considered joining the masses but then the email confused me by - trying to be helpful - adding that The Big Turn On was on Monday, September 15. The 15th was Tuesday, of course. By the time I had pondered on which was the right day to go for, it was Wednesday. It may be a cold winter.

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