I’m not very good at keeping to resolutions because a lot of the normal ones don’t really apply to me. I’m sober so I can’t say that I’m cutting back on my drinking. I’m a runner so I don’t feel I should be dieting. I don’t smoke. So that leaves fun stuff to set as goals.
My friend and I used to sit together on New Year’s Eve and write each other a list of ten goals to achieve throughout the coming year. They would always be fun little challenges like to eat a hot Nando’s meal or to eat strawberries and cream at Wimbledon.
We don’t get to see each other all that often so I’m writing myself a list of things that I would love to see happen in the next year. Some of it will be so unlikely but I think that we need to put it out there into the world if we are ever going to get those things in our lives. So here goes:
To start, I’d love a roll top bath
To soak in nightly, filled with bubbles
And with sweetly scented salts.
Then I’d like to see ballet
From the Royal box above the stage
Where swan-like dancers boldly grace.
I’ll climb a mountain somewhere near or far,
Perhaps in South America, or maybe just in Wales,
As long as I can stand on top
Imagining I’m Queen of the world.
And when I’m done I’ll read a poem out
To an audience that paid to hear
A word or two by me.
I hope that you have a great year and make sure that you set yourself some outlandish goals. I only have the room for a roll top bath in my kitchen so we’ll see how that one works out.
I have never been a big makeup wearer but I do sometimes enjoy glamming up for special occasions. However, I’ve never really understood the girls who wear a full face every day.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. In fact, I am rather in awe of them. They always look so perfectly turned out and I wish that I had the time or the inclination to look that beautiful every day. I watch The Real Housewives of wherever and wish that I could have those eyebrows.
The problem is that worry over what happens if you don’t have time. There’s always that one day where you sleep through your alarm and you have to run out of the house without a shower or breakfast. If you haven’t had time to put the makeup on you end up looking ten years older than you did just one day earlier.
There was this one time when I went to a staff party and we all stayed over. The next morning everyone was seriously hung over and we all went to work in unclean clothes and none of us had brushed our teeth. There was one girl who always wore a tonne of makeup and she didn’t that day and all everyone went on about was how ill she looked.
But she wasn’t all that ill. I spoke to her that day and she was fine. The problem was that she looked washed out because she didn’t have foundation and mascara.
So, the lesson I am giving you is that perhaps we should look like trolls for most of the time so that when we do make an effort on special occasions everyone thinks we look pretty. Surely this is better than looking stunning every day and then having comments made about how ill you look on the days that you don’t bother.
It’s not a very profound message, but put some makeup on tonight and feel pretty. Don’t bother for the rest of the year and everyone will just expect you to look like a troll.
I realise that the title of this post starts with a rhyme so it would have been perfect for a poem. But I’m feeling the anecdotes at the moment. I think it might be because I’m reading an autobiography at the moment, and so my mind is in that mode, as it were.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the way that I celebrate New Year’s Eve and how it has changed recently. I started my adult life by getting really drunk with friends and often having to be put to bed by 11pm.
But then when Noah came along I had to tone it down a little bit. I do say a little bit, because it still involved an extraordinary amount of alcohol.
We were living with my parents for much of the time that Noah was growing up and so we used to go around to our next door neighbours’ house to eat posh cheese and stuffed olives and drink several bottles of Champagne. The neighbours were called Linda and Steve and they were my parents’ best friends, although they were about twenty years their senior.
Steve got throat cancer three years ago and within four months he was dead. My dad took the death quite hard and it was only as the dust settled, I realised that mum had been a bit scared of Steve. He had apparently shouted at her once and she had learnt to ‘behave’ around him.
Once Steve was dead, the crazy came out by the bucket load. Mum was chucking us all out, locking us out, taking the front door or its hinges and calling us all devil worshippers.
It was the reason that Noah and I had to move into the flat and life changed and I think that my dad and I blamed Steve a bit (very self-indulgently, I do realise).
I just wanted to write this post because most of my memories of New Year’s Eve come from our time next door, and listening to Steve’s (sometimes a little bit unbelievable) stories from his time in the Navy. I can’t say that I think of him all that often, but that night is the one where I can genuinely say that I miss him.
We used to call their house the ‘black hole’ because you would never come back sober. You could go over there to drop off something like a bag of sugar and you wouldn’t leave for six hours. Dad once got lost coming home, he was so drunk. Somewhere between their house and ours, he took a wrong turn and slept in a field. It was foggy when he woke and he thought he had died and was in Heaven.
I hope that you guys all have a brilliant New Year and you have an awesome party in your living room in a very responsible manner. My dad will be coming over and the three of us (four if you include the cat) will be drinking non-alcoholic fizz and raising a glass to the inimitable Steve, who I am sure was the reason we all stayed together for as long as we did.
I feel a little lighter at the end of this year. And it’s been a painful process. My skin hurts, I’m feeling so sensitive. Perhaps I have been through a big human sized cheese grater? I imagine that I would be like Parmesan and the little bits of me that have been shaved off are being sprinkled all over a nice salad. It’s good to get rid of those flaky bits that were clinging on to me, but oh boy, did it hurt.
Did anyone else get cheese grated this year? I hope that if you have been grated then you at least have a nice salad to look forward to at the end of it all. I have a feeling that there is going to be celery on mine and I don’t like celery.
Happy New Year from a softer, less flaky version of me.
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