Taking Stock - January 7, 2013

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Well, it’s all over for another year.

The hangovers have been nursed, the decorations have been packed away and the last relatives have departed back down the M55.

I might, at this point, end up sounding a bit like old man Scrooge, but aren’t you just a little bit glad?

It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed the last couple of weeks – it’s been fantastic spending time with the little ones, especially the trip to the panto. But all the entertaining, well, it’s a bit much.

By New Year I’d pretty much had enough. Every day seemed to have brought a new set of parents, aunties and uncles through the door.

It all left me longing for my sofa – for the chance to sit down, put my feet up and watch a bit of festive telly.

Still, at least I’m not as partied out as My Good Wife who announced on New Year’s Day she’s not drinking ever again, a statement she later adjusted, reducing her self-imposed sentence to ‘a week or two’ – if you ask me, she’ll be back on the Merlot by the end of the week.

And I did have plenty of fun, even if working over Christmas meant I generally ended the night as the last bastion of sobriety (even Great Gran got a bit squiffy on Christmas Day).

I do love a good board game, especially if there’s a quiz involved.

Unfortunately it seems not everyone wants to play with me.

My Good Wife tells me it’s because, when it comes to games, I’m a little bit competitive. In my opinion that’s a little bit rich coming from somebody I once found reading the Scrabble dictionary.

But I’ll accept she has a point. Maybe I do need to be a little less bombastic and let somebody else have a go at answering the question – especially when they are 10-years-old.

I fear my argument, in pursuit of victory, that losing would teach the children an important lesson was a little bit inappropriate. I think, in the end, the lesson which most youngsters who’ve been unlucky enough to take me on over the last couple of weeks will have learned is that their uncle is a bit of a plonker.

Anyway, I’ve ended up suffering the ultimate sanction handed down to smarty pants the world over.

I’ve been banned from the game.

“It’s better for everyone,” I was told as I pleaded, somewhat inadvisably, that I could ‘go round twice to even things up’.

Of course watching from the sidelines is even worse, having to suffer in silence while those around the table fluff their way through the canon of general knowledge.

I’m dying to scream out the answer, or at very least whisper it to the nearest competitor.

Such an ill thought out act would, no doubt, only serve to extend my enforced absence so I’m just going to take my punishment.

After all, it’s not that bad – Christmas is over and the games, along with the tree, have gone back in the cupboard until next year.

In that time I’ve got to learn some humility – to find out for myself that it’s not about the winning, it’s the taking part that counts.

Anyone for Scrabble?