A quarter used to be the standard period of time for bill-paying and such pleasures; but with the advent of direct debit, this chronological measurement has fallen into disrepute. Tonight though, as I strolled through Oldham Town Centre I happened to glance into Boots and was surprised to see a pair of legs apparently in mid-air. Closer examination revealed that they belonged to a young - presumably most junior - employee whose job, for the moment, was to stand atop a step ladder attaching something to the ceiling. Guess what it was? It was the first of Boots' Christmas decorations, for tonight - October 9th 2007 - is for Boots, when Christmas begins. This leaves us a quarter of a year until twelfth night in which to celebrate - thank you Boots for rescuing the quarter year.