Monday, 15 January 2018
15th November to 15th January - a long break from blogging. Only five followers have decided that this blog isn’t worth following now, so thanks to all of you who have stayed. This whole following stuff is a bit silly, I suppose, but there you go, silly is as silly does. Or is that silly too?
The year wasn’t even 12 hours old before I had the first accident: I broke a glass and caused a long, thin cut in my hand which bled a bit but has healed nicely. At least it wasn’t a mirror; anticipating seven years bad luck on top of the disastrous 2017 might have caused me to swoon and thus made burying the shards underground, by moonlight, hard to do.
I don’t do resolutions, but I did, sort of, this year. I was planning to stop being obsessed with the news, to leave Brexit and Trump to get on with things and concentrate on more pleasant aspects. There aren’t any. Brexit is a catastrophe, getting more so by the week, because our government hasn’t the faintest idea how to go about saving our cake, never mind eating it too. And Trump? I thought if I can stop myself reading about him and he presses the nuclear button, at least I won’t know in advance that I am going to be annihilated. So far I haven’t had much luck, the stupidity and hatefulness of those lording it over us remains fascinating.
What a world we live in. Interesting times indeed.
How was your Christmas and New Year? Good? Glad to hear it. Contrary to expectations mine wasn’t too bad either. Friends rallied round and gave me meals, drinks and a cosy place by their fire. There were a few modest parties, some good conversations, good food, plenty of books, schlock TV
and candlelight. Christmas day was a delight. Dinner, decent wine, poetry and Paddington Bear, the same kind of Christmas Beloved and I used to have.
There was something else which was good. My son came some ten days before Christmas, just for an over-nighter with a sufficiency of hours on each of the two days either side for us to have a comfortable and unrushed visit. He comes to ‘do jobs’. This time I didn’t have much in the way of ‘jobs’, he fixed a sticking music cabinet drawer and maybe something else minor which I have forgotten. There was, however, a pile of Christmas cards ready for distribution and we walked around Valley’s End, my son holding Millie’s lead and me popping up lanes and into courtyards to push them into letterboxes, introducing him to villagers out on similar errands every few yards. The great thing about the visit was that we reconnected; I had ordered a Nordmann fir, the first Christmas tree for several years, which was still sitting outside, undressed and unloved. Together we brought it in and dressed it with all the old family baubles, some of them dating back to my childhood, with coloured lights and all the usual kind of kitsch decorations. We had a wonderful time, listening to ancient carols and plainchant, eating Stollen and spiced biscuits and having a turkey dinner by candlelight and incense sticks perfuming the air. We talked comfortably. I haven’t felt as close to him for many years.
Both of us felt good, both of us hoped that this might become our own, private, tradition. We might even use the same tree. I am going to ask gardener to pot it on into a bigger container in the spring and then it can come back in next year, a foot or so taller.
My darling Millie is getting old, thirteen next month, according to her inoculation record card. I had thought she was ‘only’ twelve. She is doddery on her hind legs and she had a cancer operation just before Christmas. The wound has healed well and the current cancer has been removed completely. Unfortunately it is one of those that recur. Dogs are wonderful, she never turned a hair. Surely it must’ve hurt? Just a bit? She went in in the morning and the vet said to come back for her before nightfall. At three they rang: could I come and collect her, she had woken from the anaesthetic and wanted to get out of her cage. “She would be better off recovering at home and not to worry if she didn’t want to eat.” The first thing she did when she came into the house was to stagger to her empty dish and beseech me with big brown eyes: “where’s my dinner, I haven’t had a single crumb since yesterday evening!” She is still happy and keen on her food, so maybe she has a while yet. It will be hard when I lose her too.
More ruminations to follow, so don’t bother commenting just yet. That is if there’s still somebody reading.