All my children drifted away like so much flotsam on the tide yesterday. What started out being a full complement for New Year’s Eve, gradually turned into me and Jason and three cats.
I can’t say I was terribly sorry about this if I’m honest. Long term readers will know that I am not a fan of enforced jollity and by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around my cup usually runneth over in terms of smiling in tights.
That’s not to say I haven’t had some absolute crackers in recent years, because I have. My default setting for the event however, is light Eeyore with a sprinkle of foreboding and I have to work at getting over myself. The rigours of 2018 have meant that there wasn’t a lot left, energy wise to spare on getting over myself, so the opportunity to sink into a torpor wearing only my pyjamas was one I embraced whole-heartedly when it was offered.
Our revised plan was to eat steak and home made chips and watch the last season of The Bridge, which we never got round to when it was actually on.
We achieved part one, sort of. I cooked the steak while Jason nipped round the corner to the chippy and bought a bag. This speeded things up beautifully and meant we had significantly less washing up to do, so I count that as a resourceful win and a resounding success. The television never actually went on however, because Jason fell asleep on the sofa festooned with kittens and I was so engrossed in my book I forgot to be bothered about watching telly. He woke up at just gone midnight thanks to the fire works. We wished each other happy new ears, and then went back to our respective books.
I read Coromandel Sea Change by Rumer Godden, which my mum got me a while back to cheer me up. I forget how much I enjoy Godden’s writing. She’s one of those quiet, unshowy writers who just gets on with a kind of low level excellence and never makes a fuss. This is a sort of romance type thing, set in an old fashioned Indian Hotel. It’s vaguely mystical, vaguely romantic, vaguely amusing and entirely satisfying if you like that kind of thing, which I do.
I also read The Atlas of Disease by Sandra Hempel which I got from Amazon Vine to review. It was entertaining. I chose it because I like a good map and it promised good maps. I have to say that the maps were the least interesting bit. I’d hoped for old fashioned with great illustrations with fabulous tags like ‘Here be lepers’ etc. That did not happen and they were all modern and computer generated, but I did learn a lot about diphtheria, so it wasn’t all bad.
This morning I got up to find even Jason had buggered off (to play golf) and it is just me and the cats. After I had cleaned up about sixty metres of cat shit things settled down nicely and I have spent the morning reading Every Living Thing by James Herriot. I discovered Herriot when we were on holiday, thanks to a Kindle deal and am saving what’s left of his oeuvre for days when I want to be mildly amused and escape reality for a little bit longer. Today seemed an ideal day to start one.
I have decided to ignore January for now. It’s a loathsome month in general. I have massive changes ahead of me that are just too vast to think about right now but which will require my full attention in the coming days, and there will be lots of being calm, bracing myself, facing things and generally stepping up to the plate of adult responsibility to be done. It is all entirely possible and nothing too awful in the grand scheme of things. It’s just change, and change and I can tolerate each other as long as I take things moment by moment.
Today though is a gift. It’s a gift of quiet and calm and nothing to be done-ness, and I intend to make good use of it by pretending that January is not here yet. After all, the only ones who might disagree with me are the cats and they don’t care. My gaff, my rules and all that.
I may have a bath. I may get dressed. This is unlikely to be fair. I might put clean pyjamas on. I may eat brioche for lunch. This is highly likely. I may even eat brioche in the bath. This is certain now that I’ve thought about it. I will definitely be watching Dr Who later because I love her with all my face. I will be watching Luther later than that because I luff him with everything else and was discussing with my mum only a short while back, how I would quite happily watch him read the Argos catalogue if required, because he is a beautiful man and a balm for the eyes.
I feel that if I wish anyone happy anything it might jinx things. Happiness is a tall order in times like these. Instead, I wish you kindness. I wish you tolerance. I wish you fortitude against whatever storms come your way. I wish you generosity. I wish you the ability to choose what you want and need rather than feeling that you are rudderless in the world. I wish you the wisdom to understand that you always have a choice, even if it’s between things you would rather not choose. I wish you time and space to think. I wish you all of this for yourselves and towards each other.
I send you love.