Over and Done

Bah Humbug Welcome to 2024

Back to the normal intermittent rubbish, as and when I think “I haven’t written anything there for a while!”

I’ve got a bundle of things bouncing round my head that I should jot down – thoughts and plans for the coming year that are emphatically not resolutions , that kind of thing.

But in the meantime, it’s really just a sigh of relief to get to the end of another Festering Season.


Bah HumbugAnd at last, Christmas Day is upon us.

That means that at least we’ll be getting rid of adverts for perfumes, excessive food, trite festive bullshit, and other horrors.

In return, we’ll now be seeing ones for holidays, diets, and stopping smoking. (I assume)

And we’ll be back to this old garbage in eight months or so.

In the meantime, may this bring to you and yours whatever works for you.

Festerous Advertising

Bah Humbug“It gets earlier every year!”

We’ve entered November, and it seems like all the advertisers have gone “Fucking hell, Christmas is coming!“, so it’s all turned into a retail frenzy of fuckery.  They’ve already thawed out Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé (Or “Mickey Bubbles” as I tend to call him) in ads, as well as a couple of other “celebrity-laden” ones where I know the faces and couldn’t give two shits about any of their names.

So by the time we’re on November 2nd I’m already sick of the entire bloody thing.

Bah Humbug indeed.

Christmas Debts

This week, the BBC has had a couple of pieces about Christmas Debt – the people who’ve overspent, or put Christmas purchasing entirely on credit cards etc., and now don’t know how it’ll be paid off.

According to that piece, in a poll of people who used credit to help get through Christmas and the holiday season, a third of them said they were not confident about their ability to repay what they’d borrowed.  And that’s pretty scary.

You can open up the Excel Spreadsheet from that survey here : The BBC News Cost of Living Survey, Jan 2023. (It’s not mine, I got it from a link in that feature about Cost of Living and so on, but it’s a useful reference point)

Now I’ll admit that I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for people who overspend and/or borrow in order to “have a good Christmas”, but equally I do understand that lots of people feel pressure to do that, to make everything “ideal and perfect and shiny and happy” despite whatever is going on under the surface, and to hell with the cost.  I understand that even more when they have children, and the thought of a bleak Christmas can be too much to handle. (Although it’s entirely beyond me why it’s too much to handle a bleak festival of gifts but OK-ish to have a bleak year as a result of paying off those presents)

But all the same, I don’t quite get that whole thing of “We’re going to buy these things even though we’ve no idea how we’ll actually pay them off“. Even in my own worst times, I wasn’t in that situation – when I bought stuff, I knew how I’d pay things off, and what I was committing to, and I was managing that as best I could until the time when I couldn’t.

It’s a terrifying situation to be in, to see those bills coming in and knowing that they can’t be paid. (Although, as always, it’s better to talk to the lenders and explain the situation, rather than hiding or running away) My own debts were the result of furnishing houses, rather than buying the latest/greatest gadgets, or just “whatever was cool” – I imagine it’s even worse when you’ve actually not even got anything to show for it other than the ephemeral “but everyone had a good Christmas”.

I don’t know where I’m going with this, really. Life’s expensive and complex enough for everyone at the moment, and we all know it – so I just don’t quite get why some people are so willingly throwing themselves even further into the shit for no really good reason.


Going Dark

Weirdly, this week is one of my favourites in the year.

It’s the time when all the exterior Christmas decorations on houses are extinguished again, and everything goes back to being properly dark.

It’s really surprising, just how much extra light pollution those decorations cause, and I just like having things back to normal.

Obviously it’s still pretty heavily grey during the day and so on, and I’ll be far happier as the days get longer again, but it’s nice to have nights back to being properly night-like again.  (Also, as it turns out, I wrote something very similar two years ago)

The End of 2020

So here we are, at the end of a true bin-fire of a year. Covid, Brexit, Lockdowns, it’s all been more than a bit bollocks, hasn’t it?

In many ways, I’ve been lucky this year – as I’ve said before, I’ve not been too badly affected. I’m still working, I’m still healthy, I’m still solvent, I’m still going.

I’m not saying that to be smug, or to belittle anyone else. I know that in many ways I’ve been fortunate, and that some of my privilege is probably showing. But equally, I’m not complacent about any of it, and I’m not going to tempt fate along the way.

In other ways, I’ve not done well at all. I’ve missed out on seeing friends, and on doing stuff – and again, I know that’s true for most people.

This year has definitely affected me, it’s left me with less motivation to do things, and with more loose ends than I’m used to. I don’t like not doing stuff, don’t like not having plans. I’m better at having plans changed last-minute – but that’s more because those things are outside my control.

I don’t know what 2021 will bring. (Obviously – no-one does. This time last year, no-one expected Covid) I do think there’s going to be a lot of hardships still to come, but I also hope it at least gets easier than 2020 has been.

Onwards and upwards, anyway. Have a good one, and let’s hope it’s a better one.

December Already

Bah HumbugSomehow we’re already in December. How time flies when you’re having fun locked down for half the sodding year.

It’s been weird this year already, in that I’ve seen a number of people who’ve already put up their Christmas trees and so on, even more prematurely than usual. There seems to be a school of thought that says it’s OK because “we need something to look forward to“, but that rings with the dull plop of bullshit. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m more of the viewpoint that even if I started today, I’d be sick of the bloody event by the time it comes round. Adding another two weeks to that is surely just a way to be even more jaded about it all.

But then, as we know, I’m a grouch.

I’ve also been gobsmacked about the hysteria around “We’ve got to have our Christmas“, and the mindset that people would’ve broken all the rules in order to have “a proper normal family Christmas“. We’ll get past the horrific racism of the government being quite happy to cancel the festivals of other religions (The first Lockdown was announced less than 24 hours before Eid, and the second one blocked Diwali – and I’m fairly sure there’s been at least one more festivity that’s taken a kicking) while Christmas is apparently the be-all and end-all of UK Civilisation.

Honestly, I’ll be glad when this year’s over and done with. I don’t think 2021 is going to be any easier, although there’s some hope on the horizon with Covid vaccines etc. But it’s still looking like it’ll be another ongoing hellscape – just possibly slightly less of one than this year has been.

Again, I can’t deny, I’ve been lucky throughout the whole Covid thing this year, and I’ve been affected far less than a lot of people have. I know that, and I accept it.  But I’ll still be happy to be through this year.