Happy New Year! I’ve had a quiet Christmas, as usual, with my husband coming out with his well-worn comment of ‘I’m not a Christmas person.’ (Well, blow me, Ian. I thought you were!). I don’t like Christmas either, though I suppose what I don’t like about it is the phoney baloney commercialism. Really I shouldn’t complain. I’m fortunate enough to have a loved one to spend Christmas with, enough food and a warm bed; these are things which many people don’t have.
We went to visit Ian’s mum in her care home on Christmas Day. It’s so sad to see people whose bodies have outlived their minds or whose minds are trapped inside failing bodies. But I love the way a feisty ninety-year-old shouts ‘Up the Owls!’ every time Ian walks in because she knows Ian supports the Blades. He teases her by standing in front of her sporting his Blades T-shirt, and a lot of friendly bantering goes on between them. It’s interesting to get chatting to the residents and see the person they once were who is still somewhere inside. They each have their stories to tell. One frail old woman told us she used to be a contortionist. She took delight in showing us photos of her aged about 18 lying on her stomach with her legs over her head. Jeez! How did she manage to untangle herself?
I spent much of Christmas and New Year reading on my Kindle (Yes, I at last succumbed and bought a Kindle). I love being able to instantly download books, but I must take care not to spend a fortune with the all too easy One-Click method.
I enjoyed reading Jeanette Winterson’s autobiography, ‘Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?’, and seeing how this factual account of her life compares with the fictional account in ‘Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit’. I’m fascinated with the struggles many of us women have had, to get to where we are today, and the ways in which we can tell our stories.
Another good book I’ve just finished is ‘Wasted’ by Nicola Morgan. It is a Young Adult novel but also of interest to adults; a successful crossover novel. Jack is an endearing character who tosses a coin to make decisions. The novel explores how the seemingly small and random events from choices we make can change our whole life. Or do we only think we can choose? Do we have free will? Jack is the leader of a band called Schrödinger’s Cat, the title of which brings up for me complicated thoughts about quantum physics and the nature of reality. I’ve been hung up before on this sort of thing. Is what we perceive as external reality constructed in our minds? This thought has me wandering around wondering if the people I see around me are really each a separate existence or have I sort of dreamed them up? I asked Ian how he knows that I’m really here and not just a figment of his imagination. He says there’s no way that even his imagination could conjure up anything like me (I don’t know if this is a compliment or insult). Anyway, it’s all too confusing to think about further and I’d better quit it before curiosity kills the cat (was it Schrödinger’s cat it killed?).
I’ve only drunk alcohol once during these hols, but that once was enough to make me reel off four New Year’s Resolutions and rashly put them up on facebook for all to see. I should have waited until I was nearly sober and just picked ONE. No, I should have waited until I was fully sober and not made any, since I’m hopeless at keeping the flippin things. I resolved to do more writing, eat less junky food, get more exercise and stop reading before 2am when I’ve to get up early. I haven’t done much writing yet but I’m doing some now (if blog writing counts). So far I have been managing to do at least half-an-hour of brisk walking every day. The other two don’t count yet because I haven’t needed to get up early (will do tomorrow when I go back to work) and it wouldn’t be right, would it, not to stuff myself with the chocolates people have kindly given me as presents?
Well, enough of my ramblings. What I'm doing now is putting off making a start on filling in my tax return form, a task I hate.