So there I am on Sunday looking forward to a lazy day. Christmas Day is but the end of a box of scorched almonds away - if you only eat 10 a day - and for once I'm well ahead.
All the pressies are bought, wrapped and hidden away in various locations around the ranch. I've even managed to find a few new ones after I let the cat out of the bag the other week and told Mrs P where I usually hide her gifts.
So I'm looking forward to a lazy day in the sun, punctuated perhaps by a leisurely walk with George the Dog.
There's also the chance Mrs P may let me test drive one of those sumptuous fruit mince pies sitting in the packet in the fridge.
How wrong could a man be.
My casual request for one of the delectable delights, admittedly made mid grease-up cuddle, is met with a firm rejection and follow up statement of all the things that still need to be done.
I have to admit, like many men I'm sure, I did not realise there was still "a million" things to do to get ready for the big day and the arrival of the whānau.
But naturally I would do my bit to assist - especially if there was a fruit mince pie at the end.
Now I had expected such jobs to be things like a bit of vacuuming, unload the dishwasher, put the rug over the hole in the carpet in the hallway. That sort of thing. As it turned out she wanted me to cut down a bush.
By all accounts the bush is blocking the view of the garden and when we all sit there for Christmas dinner it will be so much nicer with it gone.
Apparently she's been asking me to remove it since last Christmas. That I can't recall any such requests is a cause for concern.
I suggest a fruit mince pie could be good for memory retention but I get The Look and before you know it I'm off down the road headed for the dump with the chopped up remnants of a large bush in the back of my wagon.
It was a tight fit and parts of the bush are sticking into my head as I'm driving but it saved me having to hook up the trailer.
I was just pulling up to some traffic lights when it happened.
The bit of foliage sticking in my neck moved. Naturally I felt behind me and whatever IT was ran over my hand.
Now I have to admit I'm not big on insects one little bit. I can and do sort the cockroaches that occasionally find their way into the house but that's about my limit.
So now I'm stopped at the lights and I'm practically having a heart attack.
There's nothing for it but to leap out of the car where I promptly start dancing around and stripping off my T-shirt as fast as I can.
Behind me a car load of young ladies are laughing, whooping and cheering.
I resist the urge to "bust a few shapes" which is what my kids say you do these days. Apparently nobody "dances" any more.
I'm confident the beastie has gone but I'm taking no chances and toss the T-shirt on to the road verge.
My heart beat is calming down as I arrive at the dump, topless, and quickly remove the foliage from the back of the car, trying to ignore the wolf whistle from a mate nearby as I do so.
Finally I'm back in the car and heading home and, you guessed it, out from under the passenger seat crawls the biggest weta you've ever seen. It must have been a metre across. Honest.
This time I don't get as far as the lights. I pull over to the side of the road and, in one move, throw the towel we keep in the car for George, over the monster and out the door. And I leave it on the side of the road.
When I tell Mrs P the story later she's in hysterics.
Luckily she takes pity on me and to settle my nerves she makes me a cuppa and offers me a fruit mince pie.
And she tells me not to worry about the lost T-shirt and towel because she's already bought me new ones for Christmas.
• Kevin Page is taking a break for a few weeks so he can concentrate on eating, drinking and relaxing.