OPINION | That post-Christmas inertia

Well, it’s that time of year again when the gifts have all been given and the fridge is full of leftover ham.

The Christmas tree is starting to turn brown and drop its needles, but no one waters it because it’s not Christmas anymore.

The living room is still strewn with wrapping paper that no one has the energy to put in the recycling, and the towels from the Boxing Day dip stew damply in the beach bags.

I don’t know, maybe some people are productive in the week between Christmas and New Year, but in my house, anything more than the simplest of functions – making toasted cheese (with ham, of course); basic hygiene – is just too much trouble.

The energy people do have is channeled toward using their new toys.

In my youngest son’s case, it’s an Xbox basketball game known as ‘2K’, which has finally cracked the stranglehold that Fortnite had on his tender, developing brain.

In my case, it’s experimenting with the budget frozen treat maker I won in our mad extended-family Kris Kingle, which is a game with a lot of stealing and swapping.

The picture of the perfectly whipped creamy treat on the front of the box doesn’t quite match the granulated raspberries that poured out when I used it for the first time this morning, but I’ll keep trying.

There’s a bit of surfing, my teenagers have shifts at the local cafes, but by and large there’s a lovely sense of timeless drift about this time of year.

It’s a week of suspended animation, when many businesses shut down and the streets (of non-tourist towns) are quiet.

It’s a particularly pronounced phenomenon here in Australia. In the northern hemisphere, it doesn’t have nearly the same resonance because next week the school year will tick on as usual, and everyone will pick up where they left off.

For us and our southern neighbours, it’s a real hiatus between the end of the old and the beginning of the new.

My plans today include a hammock and a book. I’d wish you a happy New Year, but I haven’t got the energy. So...until next week.