It certainly gladdened our hearts that last months agony column was such a source of comfort to some of our troubled readers, I have grappled with some right demons myself in the past. Please keep your letters and Emails coming in, you know that we will always be here to provide an emotional crutch, nobody knows better then me that a solid, reliable crutch can be hard to get hold of nowadays.
Well as sure as eggs is eggs, silly season is upon us again and my social diary is groaning under the weight of invitations.
Every year, it seems to me my social obligations become heavier, as my growing reputation as the finest raconteur of this, or indeed any age, gains momentum.
Not naturally given to hiding my light under a bushel, I do try to fit everybody in, after all I take my social responsibilities very seriously and would feel mortified if I wasnt giving everybody a fair crack of my whip.
So I would like to share with my adoring fans some of my Christmas shindig, survival secrets.
The office party
To the aesthetically challenged or IT workers, this is the one time of year that they are almost certainly guaranteed a shag, from the pimply post room boy, to the fat bird, whos a computer genius, but good for F+++ all else. So how do you survive this clerical orgy, with your dignity and underwear intact? One way is to arrive late, all office parties start with an initial period of standing around, clutching a plastic cup of warm, fizzy, supermarket wine and talking b+++++ks, once the ice has been broken however, aided and abetted by Tescos finest, then the real business of the evening gets underway.
By arriving late therefore, you will have avoided the poisonous Asti Spumante, but still be in time to witness virginal Vera emerging tear stained and deflowered from the gents toilets. Other guaranteed delights of the evening will include, seeing your boss half or even fully naked, a 12 stone woman in a thong trying to straddle the photocopier and young spottys nipple piercing.
Human nature being what it is, come January the second, all memory of the festive, hedonistic frenzy will have been wiped, except perhaps for Vera, whos leaving in September to become a single mum.
The dress code
There are no hard and fast rules to the Christmas wardrobe, common sense should prevail. If you favour flat, comfortable shoes for eleven months of the year, then it is only logical that you are going to fall over if you suddenly start tottering around on heels that only a transvestite would wear. By the same token, if you keep your puppies in their kennel most of the year, then people are naturally going to be a little wary to suddenly see them bouncing about unrestrained.
Other common sense tips, Fishnets should only contain fish; sequins should have died out with Liberace and only clowns look good in bright red lipstick. If you have teenage children, avoid at all costs, the temptation to have a quick shooftie through their wardrobe, there is nothing in there for you and anyway, Ben Sherman shirts look s++t whatever age you are.
You must be wondering if this leaves you with anything other then your Birthday suit (well only if you can run the iron over it!) just keep in mind, only dress like a teenager if you are one, only wear a little black dress if you are little (if not try a big black dress) and wrapping a bit of tinsel around your head, does not suddenly turn you into Posh Spice!
Now at some stage during the festive frolics it is inevitable that some well meaning hostess is going to thrust a pre-mauled Vol Au Vent under your nose, whilst these people are well intentioned they are also dangerous.
Christmas, like Easter is one of those occasions, when women whose usual culinary flair stretches only to grating a bit of cheese over the burnt bits, suddenly believe they have turned into Delia Smith.
One way of cutting them off at the pass is to put it about that you are a vegetarian, although this is no excuse to the more determined hostess and you wouldnt believe what some of those women get up to with a stick of Celery!
Every Christmas the average couple will rush out at the last moment and buy 15 Kilos of Alka Seltzer, in the misguided believe that it is a miracle cure for alcohol poisoning. Now if you drink Gin and tonic, then the chances are you will continue to drink Gin and tonic regardless of the occasion, but I would be willing to bet that you dont buy Quails eggs in Aspic on your usual weekly jaunt to Mercadona.
The point I am trying to make is, that maybe alcohol gets all the blame, when in fact some of the bizarre food, bandied about at Christmas, may well be to blame for the traditional outbreak of puking and headaches, (well that and the in-laws).
Its a shame, but the partys that promise to be the most fun, are invariably the ones you should avoid at all costs. Attending a classy, well organised soirée is one way of getting p++++d for free whilst still knowing that nothing outrageous will happen, but its not the kind of place where you will find yourself on the floor, with your skirt around your ears and a complete stranger between your legs singing Oops-Up-side your head and in my opinion is the poorer for it.
Fancy dress partys always sound like a good idea to start with, but keep in mind, that if you do manage to pull and end up going home with the dish of the day, then the inevitable out come is that you will find yourself wandering the streets the next day in search of a taxi dressed as a 42 year old Britney Speares.
So the moral seems to be, steering a fine line between having a knees-up, but managing to keep them together! Happy Christmas!
The prickly pair will be tackling the tricky topic of The new years resolution and sorting out some of those unnecessary guilt feelings about weight problems, sex, career and chocolate.