After cleaning the house and doing the shopping - I'm about to go on lockdown for the next 48 hours. I've made a point of turning down every invitation and am delighted to have a couple of days at home. I did spend a couple of hours in the pub with friends yesterday after work - which was very nice, but exhausting. I was introduced to a woman who was very likeable, extremely well presented and very keen to be the centre of attention - she never stopped talking, which was fine because I couldn't muster the energy to contribute much anyway. At one point she told us that although being married for 23 years, there had been a bit of a blip - and referred to her young son, who was a very confident 12 year old - playing pool in the family room. She admitted that it was quite difficult to explain why he had curly hair as a baby when the rest of the family had straight hair - and after a few years admitted she had let herself down and had a one night stand with a policeman. Her husband had been extremely understanding and forgiving, and their marriage was strong. The 'curly hair' thing was a bit strange, as it was clear to me (but perhaps not to anyone else) that the child's father was obviously black. For whatever reason, nobody seemed to want to address this one.
I was in the COOP earlier - it was packed with very stressed people buying things they didn't need in bulk for the one day of the year when the shop was closed. A young couple were having a full on row about the price of a turkey (well, if you have left it that late, it's your own fault) - and the rest of the store was full of young men who don't usually shop being directed over the phone by their wives, girlfriends and mothers - one conversation I could hear quite clearly -"A stock cube, you know what that is, don't lie to me"
After 2 pints of lager yesterday - I started to stammer - mostly because I'm exhausted. Over the last week I've picked up a lot of new work, done a lot of hard graft and gone to a lot of effort to push myself forward. I've also started making difficult decisions about work and dropping bad clients - so far, it seems to be working. My back feels better and I am vaguely optimistic about next year. I have quite a lot to do over the next week - at home and at work - but I have the peace and quiet I need to make it work. Even my back is OK now.
Whatever your circumstances - I hope you have a great couple of days - I am going full vegan for the rest of the week - tomorrow will be an experiment with mushroom risotto - very slow cooked. I'm looking forward to it. I also managed to buy the worlds weaker tinned lager and have just one bottle of wine that was given to me as a gift. I'm certainly not that bothered about drink. I didn't even bother buying anything sweet. Right now I'm watching a 1940's Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes. Later - I shall be watching The Shining.
I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about this year. It's been crap, for me and everyone else. I am still minded to think next year will be better. It has to be.