Sunday, 21 December 2008

Being boring

I’ve been doing the Christmas cards: that strange delayed communication where you tell someone about your year without knowing what’s happened in their’s (because, assuming you meet the last posting date, the letters inevitably cross). And the older you get, the more worrying the possibilities become and the more careful you have to be. I wouldn’t say that my year has all been plain sailing but if you’re looking for drama there’s nothing to report. Worked too hard, went on holiday a bit. That’s it. Instead of writing a letter, I’m inclined to send my friends a copy of Wendy Cope’s poem Being Boring.
There was drama enough in my turbulent past: Tears and passion - I’ve used up a tankful. No news is good news, and long may it last. If nothing much happens, I’m thankful.
I won’t write it all out because of copyright - but I’m sure someone has, so feel free to google it. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, go to the library: it’s page 9 of the book called If I Don’t Know. When we get the end-of-year media roundups next week, the most-used cliche about 2008 is bound to be the one about ‘living in interesting times’. In those circumstances, I’m actually quite glad that my own life is less than interesting.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

All I want for Christmas...

I don’t spend a lot of time or money doing Christmas shopping these days - the grown-ups in my family decided a few years ago to take a Buy Nothing Christmas approach - which leaves a lot more time for having fun. But I do still have to buy consumerist stuff for the younger generation, which is how I found myself recently in a large record shop. The first thing I saw was a book about the Clash, my favourite band of all time. It took a few seconds to realise what I was looking at. A coffee table book. Please don’t let anyone buy this for me for Christmas.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Winter wonderland

One of the great things about getting older is that you finally get the point of deferred gratification. I love Advent. I love the feeling that something magical is on the horizon but you’re not quite there yet. Christmas can be good, of course, but once your age reaches double figures it’s never actually magical again. Somehow, though, I still get a kick out of the wait. Last night as I came out of church the pavements were shining white with frost, the municipal lights were glowing, and even my drab small town looked special. It could have been Christmas. I was glad that it wasn’t.