Well. I survived Christmas 2017 with considerably fewer scars than in previous years.
While most of Spain slumps into a Crimbo couch coma over the Festive period, for a freelance broadcaster such as myself, Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year.
My colleagues at the radio station spend Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the week leading up to New Year’s Eve at home in “the loving bosoms of their families” – which in reality probably means spending most of the time wondering what day it is and whether it is socially acceptable, not to mention festive, by starting the day with a large Baileys and handful of Quality Street before collapsing on the sofa for the day in front of ‘Strictly Celebrity X Bake Off on Ice in the Jungle’ Christmas Special or some such.
Being a single fortysomething male (and this is possibly the last time I am going to be able to write this as it’s a ‘landmark’ birthday in mid-January) who lives alone with a cat means that I get to stand in for the other presenters at this time of year.
So much so that I briefly considered getting a hammock and a festive hamper and moving into the studio.
It would be churlish of me to complain, however. The Christmas Morning Show is my favourite of the year. It really is a case of pouring an extra strong cup of coffee, lining up a selection of Christmas classics and sitting back and enjoying the show.
The fact that most of your listeners are already on their third Bucks Fizz of the day or on a hyper-excited sugar enhanced adrenaline rush and playing with their new toys – and in some cases both – means that you always have an appreciative audience.
I even caught myself shouting along with Noddy Holder as he bellowed ‘It’s Chrisssssssstmassssss’ on my final track of the show.
Having said that, I did manage to celebrate Christmas both Scandinavian and traditional British style.
First, it was up to the campo to spend the night of December 24 with my Swedish Cuban friend and her family (a dynamic combination if ever there was one) who had the wicked sense of humour in making me Godfather to one of her daughters.
As well as a superb meal, they also gave me a huge array of gifts including thermal socks, sweatshirts, beanie hats and a rather fetching hot water bottle.
“Our aim is to keep you warm, dry and alive!” said my friend’s mother, only half-jokingly.
The following day I enjoyed a Christmas Day lunch with some British friends and after demolishing the turkey, trimmings and all, it was time for a traditional festive quiz, which my team won.
Not only that, but I received more presents, this time five litres of virgin olive oil from the village and Russell “ Everybody’s Favourite Celebrity Ex Junkie ” Brand’s book on addiction.
It rounded off Christmas Day perfectly as I sat at home in front of a roaring fire, naked apart from thermal socks and beanie hat, smothered myself in virgin olive oil, popped a choccie in my mouth and, flicking through the Brand book, and wondered which addiction I should try next….
2018 is going to be an interesting year!