I KNOW we are almost two weeks into the New Year but I am still yearning for those heady holidays where all I had to worry about was whether I should make it an even number and have 10 chocolates in one sitting instead of the rather restrained nine the previous day.

The tree came down more than a week ago now and I must admit this year I was a little less emotional.

You see, I had spent hours dressing this Douglas Fir beauty in all its finery, only to discover on the big day itself that half the tree lights had blown.

After that it just wasn't the same for me and frankly I'm ashamed to admit, but it just sat there looking miserable, slightly ridiculous and a mecca for dust.

So it was with a slightly less heavy heart that I attempted to squish it back into the tiny box that it somehow arrived in; the Tardis it was not, and those pine needles no matter how artificial, are still sore when they come into rude contact with your dust-ridden baby blues.

To cheer myself up I hit the sales. Big mistake.

I defy any mere mortal to squeeze into a changing room which even a young Harry Potter and his cupboard under the stairs would find pokey.

Then forcing yourself to strip off your third layer of thermals, for the fourth time and stare into a badly-lit mirror with a reflection glaring back at you that would give corned beef a bad name.

All this while dragging a toddler around who will insist on clambering on every motorised car, rocket ship or merry-go-round she can lay her hands on despite the pathetic protests of 'no pennies' from her mum. Needless to say I'm still wearing Winter 2010; what would Gok say?

THIS time of the year, that first fortnight or so after Hogmanay seems to be just the worst hangover imaginable.

The house looks bleak with the decorations gone, you're so sick of rich food and gallons of champagne or whatever, that all you want to do is sign the pledge and check into a health farm.

What you have to do of course, is get back into the old routine and I don't think that's such a bad thing.

Really, give us half an excuse and we're spending money like water, overindulging in every way imaginable and generally living like we'd won the lottery.

Of course we don't learn our lesson. We decide that the hair of the dog is the thing and we visit the sales.

I'm just as bad as anybody and I hit the shops on December 27.

You'd think they'd been shut for a month rather than two days.

The town was heaving with people, each of us looking more miserable than the next.

I've always been a sucker. One year, not long ago, I had bought it before I realised that the Versace duffel coat in purple (I kid you not) was only a bargain in the sale because it had lain in the shop for a year.

Because no one except me wanted it - it was hideous.

What a bargain. I'll be back for the further reductions you always get at about the end of January. I'll no doubt get my money out again. I can't resist.

People are worn out; children are still over excited after having Santa bring them the contents of Hamleys on Christmas day and Easter this year isn't until late April.

Next year, I'm giving the sales a miss and like Sharon, I'll be wearing last season's clobber.

I don't care about Gok Wan.

He should get me on 'How to Look Good Naked.' That would wipe the smile off his face.