IT may only be October, but a Christmas tree – fully furnished with tinsel and baubles – has mysteriously appeared inside Gazette Towers this week.
Apparently it’s a subtle reminder to our colleagues in the advertising department that we’re approaching the time of year when usually rational people are compelled to spend catastrophically large sums of money simply because it’s the season of goodwill and all that malarkey.
I’m a fully paid-up member of the Keep Christmas in December Club but, hey, if the presence of a strategically-positioned festive ornament prompts our revenue-makers to rake in enough cash to keep me in a job for an other year, it gets my vote.
For me though, its sudden appearance wasn’t a reminder that I’ll soon be eating my own bodyweight in mince pies or that in a few short weeks I’ll be ready to strangle Cliff Richard if I ever hear Mistletoe and Wine one more time.
Nor did it depress me with the thought of designating an entire week to writing several million Christmas cards, many of them to people I haven’t seen since a boozy night in Torremolinos 15 years ago or aging relatives who still seem to think I wear short trousers and like to be called ‘Marty’.
No, I saw it as proof – if ever it was required – that our speedway season is over.
After six long months, followers of the Redcar Bears can put their Summer of Discontent behind them.
It was, we must all surely agree, a bit of a stinker.
A catalogue of injuries, a barrel-road of bad luck and, let’s be honest, a team that took under-performing to a new level.
It was a cast iron certainty that something would go wrong at the last meeting of the season. And it did.
Fortunately there were no more injuries although the PA amplifier didn’t go unscathed.
The sight of the UK Hotboyz strutting their stuff during the interval was simply too much for the poor old amp and we spent the rest of the night without a PA system.
On the bright side at least we had a respite from our pomp rock-loving announcer’s musical delights between races.
I still fully expect the front of the announcer’s box to open up one racenight and see our Keith levitate out amid a cloud of white ice while clutching an electric guitar, wearing a spandex suit and sporting a long blonde poodle-cut wig.
But that’s another story. The point is that, yet again, the God of Fate turned up at South Tees Motorsports Park and kicked us in the goolies.
But, with the Gazette Christmas tree up and the fixture list complete, a line can be drawn under it.
The 2010 season and all that went with it is over. Now let’s look forward to 2011.
Mince pie anyone?