A €hristmas Calor defines the fear of that moment of realisation that there is no spare gas bottle when the flame splutters and dies half way through the ritual destruction of salmonella, and all her bacterial chums, thus ensuring that your €hristmas goose is metaphorically cooked whilst festively leaving your empirical goose/capon/turkey completely fucked. Living in a country where, on the downside, mains gas is not a given but, on the upside, which does not recognise the two week eating and drinking binge, that we English know as €hristmas, offers a certain amount of comfort to a committed €hristmas curmudgeon. For all their denial of this festival, the French petits fonctionnaires are punctilious in the matter of putting up communal, festive decorations in the squares and streets of even the smallest village but are more whimsical in their removal once their pertinence is past. Thus we, in the provinces, can enjoy the spirit of €xmas well into the month of May in the following year. Sun bleached Santas hang from windows in broad daylight like carefree, copycat burglars offering me an inkling of what ChristmA$ must be like in Australia whilst reaffirming my good fortune that the presiding judge had mercifully spared me a long sea voyage and, instead, sent me here to live out my years cursed with the Promethean task of draining that wine lake that is the produce of the vineyards of France.