If you translate the word ‘sales’ (ignoring the actual meaning) into French, it means ‘dirties’. So there is a chance that a Frenchman visiting the UK at this time of year might think that every store across the nation is trying to offload mucky/soiled goods?

By comparison an Englishman visiting Strasbourg at this time of year might be forgiven for thinking that he must have missed a month somewhere “It’s February right?” – because there is no sign of anything resembling a January sale here. No giant red banners promising things at half price; no BOGOF’s (buy one get one free); no massive discounts; no queues at the till; in fact – there’s hardly anyone out shopping at all.

Arguably if I was still in the UK, right now would be the perfect time to head out and hunt down that brand new HD-ready, LCD, DV3-compatible, multi-region, television I’ve been dreaming about for the past year. But in France – who knows!

What really upsets me though is that even the left-over Christmas decorations and wrapping paper aren’t discounted! The season of goodwill is clearly over!