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Lighten up, Gordon... sure it’s Mellandagarna

And so this is Mellandagarna. As you know, that is how the Swedes refer to this peculiar limbo period between Christmas and New Year.

Never mind. By this time tomorrow, the whole thing'll be over and abnormal service will shortly be resumed.

In times past, Mellandagarna was a period for contemplation or, for the more socially inclined Swedes, taking gingerbread goats to your neighbours. Today, contemplation is widely regarded with suspicion in western countries, where it is now traditional to go shopping on the internet.

Many folk, of course, have to work through these days, which I've never considered a hardship as I can't abide New Year — all these amateur drunks. I hope Gordon Brown is among them. That boy needs to lighten up.

Last year, at this time, in classic New Labour twaddle, he promised to “build tomorrow today”. Well, tomorrow's been and gone, mate, and you ain't built so much as a shed.

Belfast Telegraph