The Third Leader: How was it for you?

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The Independent Online

So, here we are, made it. A little sensitive this morning, perhaps, but, with luck, you eschewed toast, which can be loud, and adjusted the altitude from which to pour milk on to the cereal down to its lowest possible level. Excellent. A quiet moment, then, with your newspaper, as ever an aid to sober reflection.

Went the day well? Good, early start? I myself enjoyed that programme about the Great War, The Christmas Truce, on BBC2 at about, oh, 6am, as I felt it was just the right message for a successful day.

Presents all right? I always say that if you can get over the absence of the must-have toy, obvious gratitude, intelligible instructions, Swedish, small screwdriver, and gift far too subtly hinted at by partner over many months, you're doing pretty fine, provided the jumper fits reasonably well and you're back from the fruitless search for batteries by 11am.

The dinner? Turkey? Good? Remembered to take the little bag out? Overdid things a touch, reason for current sober reflection? You could have had what we had: White Christmas Nutmeat with Parsley Stuffing. Mmm. And we were certainly awake for Doctor Who, I can tell you.

Marvellous. And now you await the insight and guidance you have come to value from this space. Well, although it would do you a power of good, you've probably missed the Tenby Boxing Day Swim (11.30am, sadly). As for slightly deeper matters, I don't think I could do better than pass on a bit of wisdom which I picked up at the Christmas table. It began with this, highly pertinent, question: "What is there, at the end of Christmas Day?" And the answer? "y."

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