I’ve come to the conclusion that my whole life has been one long downward spiral that will inevitably end in incarcerated insanity.

This is my inescapable conclusion.

The trouble with taking time out from the usual routine (there’s this thing called Christmas and New Year I’ve noticed...it comes round at pretty much the same time each year with monotonous regularity) is that it offers an invitation for reflection.

Particularly the New Year bit of it.

It’s very difficult to defend yourself against the tendency for rumination and contemplation. The old clock ticking on. What do I want to achieve this year? What have I done this last year? A new decade to boot. All that type of carry on.

This is dangerous territory for a chap like me. It’s all very well going in armed with all the those breezy positives. Having completed the park run a couple of times, taking that box of stuff to the charity shop last summer, having eventually replied to that friend or relative you’ve been putting off talking to for months.

It’s all very well wrapping yourself up with these cheery affirmations. As well you might.

But you know full well that these small goodly deeds will only serve as tissue thin defence against the lorryful of crushing despair, the utter desolation of reality, the pain of truth that’s sitting there, waiting to pull you down. Lurking patiently in your subconscious. Ready to pounce.

Once you sit down and start actually thinking about things, who knows where you’ll end up.

A little dark maybe? Well don’t blame me. It’s not my fault the New Year comes round every year. I’m not Father Time.

If you’re asking me to form a human barrier against time, then quite frankly you’ve set the bar a bit high there.

If you’re asking me to stand on the sands of time, (picture Frinton beach here, I know it’s not quite the celestial image you’d associate with the battle against time but in its defence it does have some rather good bookshops on the High Street) a lone figure, out on the beach, bald and bespectacled, hands aloft as the tide comes in, haranguing the waves in an attempt to turn them back from whence they came.

Well it’s a big ask.

Far better to use my default tactic when faced with contemplation of one’s worldly existence on this mortal coil. When challenged with deliberation of one’s place in the universe, to consider profoundly, as Hamlet himself put it whether “To be or not to be”, my advice is this. Don’t do it.

Think of something else. Morecambe and Wise for instance. They were always around at Christmas after all.

In fact, if Hamlet had just thought about how funny that sketch they did with Andre Previn was he’d’ve saved himself a lot of bother. All that meditative wrangling got him in a right pickle. We could’ve cut to Act V and been home for tea.

But let’s not think of cutting to Act V. That’s what started me thinking in the first place. Darn it. There I go again.