Valentine's cards and Easter eggs are a step too far | BBC Radio Solent's Lou Hannan

I’ve been getting back into the swing of work and the daily routine again after 10 days off.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 1:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 9:55 am
Lou Hannan was shocked to see Valentine's cards in the shops already

It’s the longest amount of leave I think I’ve ever had.

As much as I’ve been so lucky and enjoyed the break, there’s something reassuring about returning to a regular pattern.

During the past few weeks of festivities I’ve forgotten how to assemble a normal meal and when to eat it. With so many treats and leftovers packing the fridge shelves, we’ve had day after day of ‘shall we have a picky tea?’

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I’m looking forward to seeing the end of the the weird bits of cheese – particularly the Wensleydale with cranberries that I buy every year, forgetting how much I detest it.

The bag of mixed nuts and nut crackers on the coffee table will remain there for the next six weeks.

One of the other things that strikes me about the start of a new year is how clothes shops turn from tempting, glistening grotto-like palaces, full of party outfits and sparkling displays, into something resembling a ram-raided giant wardrobe!

There are suddenly endless rails of assorted clothes in extreme sizes in patterns more befitting a deck chair.

I used to go straight into town to see what bargains I could bag the day after Boxing Day, now I give the sales a wide berth.

Even though I’ve bagged myself a fair few bargains over the years, as I’ve got older, I find myself walking into a shop, witnessing the near rugby scrum effort to get to the half-price jeans and then walking straight out again.

Alun and I were recording for the radio show at the Spinnaker Tower and decided to pop into Gunwharf Quays before we left.

Al is still on a mission to buy a winter coat; a quest he started back in October and at this rate, should have completed by about August.

Even the men’s stores had rail upon rail of odd-sized, brightly-coloured garments which looked like they had spilled out of the wardrobe of a kid’s entertainer.

And as I’m talking about the selection in the shops at this time of year, don't get me started on the Easter eggs already on the supermarket shelves and the Valentine’s cards adorning the card shops.