• Adam Whittaker

Stop the world – I’d like to get off

As I kid I remember being paralysed with fear when only a few days into the summer school holidays, I’d be out with my folks or idling in front of the TV when I’d stumble across an advert for ‘Back To School’. A plethora of haunting images then played out before me of pencil cases and packed lunch boxes, pleated trousers and P.E kit. This fear wasn’t founded upon a loathing of school, far from it, I loved school. It was more to do with the timing. No sooner had my tie and satchel been consigned to the bottom of my wardrobe, my eyes and immature brain were being assaulted by visions related to events that at that time felt like years away.

Similarly as I got a little older the festivities of Christmas, or rather the slovenly afternoon of minimal activity, would be rudely interrupted by ad breaks promoting cheap sun filled holidays in Tenerife. Again, I have nothing against the sun or Tenerife in particular, it was the timing.

Today my mild irritation has reached new levels and manifested itself into loathing. Santa’s sleigh hadn’t been back in the garage for a few days before we were being bombarded on all media channels with ‘Gifts for that special someone on Valentine’s Day’. I’ve seen Easter eggs on shelves in supermarkets since mid January and how long before pubs, bars and restaurants start advertising their Christmas menu – it is almost March after all!

Time moves at such an incredible rate these days that we have to stop every now and again, take it all in and enjoy. Unfortunately the food and drink sector in particular simply won’t allow us to do that. I fully appreciate that competition is fierce and diverse, sushi competing with the Sunday Roast for our attention well in advance of any date of significance throughout the year. However as with the seasons, there no longer seems to be a definitive divide between each part of the year. Intersperse a few inherited occasions from overseas (see the ridiculousness of Halloween and Black Friday for examples) and we are now continually being sold to. Social media naturally plays its part and is as guilty for this heinous crime as it is for so many others but can somebody just press pause every now and again? I want to share in the family fun of an Easter Egg Hunt without being continually informed of where I can buy a Father’s Day present or be rubbing in the sun screen whilst being told the cheapest place to buy a packet of sparklers and a couple of rockets. And yes – I have just seen a post on LinkedIn from a Christmas Tree company. I kid you not.

How my calendar can be telling me that February is nearly at an end is baffling, the first couple of months of the year having escaped me. As the days of long summer holidays – which did seem to last forever in spite of the adverts – are now well behind me, I would really appreciate being allowed to enjoy each festivity in full before being forced toward the next.