With Twelfth Night having just passed, it’s the time I honestly like the most – all the decorative lights are off again, and the streets return to being much darker.
I don’t really know why it makes me happier, but I noticed it again this week, that whole “Oh, this is different, it’s really nice” thing as I drove home.
I know, I’m a grouch and so on – it’s not something I could ever deny, after all.
It’s been interesting (for no good reason other than that this is a year that ends in a zero) to look back at what was going on this time ten years ago.
It’s fair to say that a lot has changed in that time – albeit none of it recently.
Back then I was still in Norfolk, and working in Bury St Edmunds (and I did keep the promise to stick with the one workplace for the full year of 2010…) I’d just had the first (and still only) accident of my driving career, sliding on ice onto a set of concrete fence posts, which did a blinding job of twatting the front nearside.
So in that ten years, I’ve
- split with Herself, had another shorter-term relationship, and been single now for much longer than either one.
- moved four times – and been in one place (the current one) for far longer than anywhere else I’ve ever lived since leaving home
- changed jobs more times than I care to think about (I could work it out, but truly can’t be chuffed) and been doing the current one for far longer than I ever expected
- been through the whole bankruptcy process, and come out the other side
- been to more plays and theatre things than I’d ever have thought I’d have been to
- and the same for restaurants – Michelin-starred and otherwise. This time ten years ago, I’d not been to any Michelin places – that happened in mid-2010, and I wasn’t impressed at the time. Maybe I should go back there, maybe not.
- changed car twice, and rented a bundle of others as needs directed
There’s a lot of other stuff – it’s interesting to see how a lot of the things I wanted to change then that I still want to change now, for example – and I’ll write more about that elsewhere/elsewhen.
It’s a whole new decade out there (and I can’t be arsed with the argument about whether that’s 2020 or 2021, so don’t bother) and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
In the town where I live, one of the major roads in has a roundabout at the end of it. It’s busy, but that’s generally fine.
Anyway, the weird thing is that in the last week, two cars have come off that roundabout into the verges/ditches. Going in different directions (they’re on opposite sides of the roundabout) but both somehow off the road.
It’s weird because I’ve not seen any other accidents on that roundabout in the seven-plus years I’ve lived here.
The road’s safe – I’ve been over that roundabout at least twice a day every day, and I’ve been using it during the time of these accidents without any problems. It’s just it’s had two accidents in seven days, for some reason.
Just before Christmas I was lucky enough to get to see the play of Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” at the National Theatre. It’s on for a comparatively short run – only about eight weeks, I think – and in the smallest theatre (the Dorfman) which only seats 400 people – so it’s fair to say that demand for the tickets were pretty high.
It’s been an eventful couple of months for “Ocean…”, as prior to the play starting there was also a new version released with illustrations by Elise Hurst (which is beautiful) although as I understand it the two things aren’t actually related or connected.
Anyway, the play itself is superb – I would say it’s probably the best thing I’ve seen this year – and the staging and lighting are excellent as well. It’s hard to explain things without spoilers, but basically the story of a man returning to his childhood home, and remembering the things that happened back then. It’s a lot more than that, with themes of magic, loss, change and sacrifice.
I truly hope that it goes on to another theatre, and/or on tour – if it does, it’s totally worth making time to go and see it.
For your ‘busy’ do you get anxious when the calendar is empty, do you just like having ‘a plan’? Would it work if you planned an afternoon of deliberately doing nothing? (the challenge being to stick to it?)
It’s a bit more – and less – complicated than that.
I don’t need a full plan of “I’ll do [x], then [y], then [z]” for either a day or a weekend. In general I’m happy with an outline idea, even if it’s just “I’ll go to London” or whatever.
However, I do like having at least that idea. A blank space in the calendar is an oddity, and it does leave me feeling uncomfortable.
The other side of it is that my time off is precious to me, my weekends are important. I make sure that I do all my domestic stuff during the week, I refuse to spend half of those important two days doing cleaning, laundry, shopping and so on. They’re my own days, and if I do nothing with them, I feel they’ve been wasted.
So long as I do *something* with them, I’m OK. And even ‘just’ spending a day at the cinema catching up on films counts as “doing something”, so my criteria are quite low on that basis.
It’s that balance I need to find, somewhere between going out – day trips and time away, seeing friends, that kind of thing – and just doing enough to appease my work ethic. I also probably should find a way to be able to class days of doing nothing as also somehow counting as doing something.
It’s not an easy balance to find, and I’m not quite sure how I’ll get it right, but I think it’s time to at least try…
In fairness, I haven’t been quite as virulently anti it a usual. Well, that’s not true – I have been, I just haven’t been so *volubly* anti it.
It’s still gone on way too long, with the perfume adverts starting back in mid-September, and all the bullshit about Christmas ads and so on since mid-November.
But this time round it just hasn’t felt like it’s even worth complaining about, it’s just been one of those things.
Ah well, fun and games.