“Have you finished yet?”

This was the third time that she had shouted up since I had retreated to the back bedroom with three rolls of positively festive paper, sellotape and all of my resolve. Let’s be clear I HATE wrapping Christmas presents. If I had the money to shop in the kinds of places that would do it for me, then that would be a perfect solution. It’s not that I disapprove of wrapping gifts, I think it’s a lovely practice in fact and get very upset if I am presented with an un-wrapped gift, but put simply I am utterly useless at doing it.

I suppose it all started as a child. My father, in particular, was very good at wrapping presents, and I was never as good as him at doing it, so soon I was getting other people to do it for me in return for extra washing up, money, whatever it took to not have to compete in the gift-wrap wars that go on between afficianados of the pursuit.

So anyway, I had been upstairs for a little over an hour and I had still failed to wrap any of the five gifts that I had to do.