Tuesday, 22 December 2015
I am normally a glass half full person, but there are times when I struggle to be cheerful, and I am, like many of us, badly affected by wet, grey winter days. Especially if you have to write a walks book to a deadline. Normally we get days of autumn brilliance when the sky glows and the leaves are a tapestry of red and gold. But this year I struggle to remember any.
Trying to use a tape recorder when it’s windy is very tricky as the recorder picks up the wind and transforms it into a special effects wind tunnel, so when I’m trying to transcribe the walk, all I can hear is a shrieking noise.
Still, I have managed to do half the walks, and despite being a pressure to get it done in time, it has proved a good positive focus while Mr B’s been ill which is even more important while he’s absent. It has been suggested I could call it Fifty Shades of More Grey...
I listened to a piece on Radio 4 about loneliness and being alone (not the same thing) at Christmas just now and it was interesting hearing how other people deal with it. Being self employed, I’m used to spending time on my own - I have to or I’d never get any work done - but Christmas opens up a real Pandora's box.
For anyone on their own, this can be a really difficult time, particularly if you are missing someone. Loneliness - a gaunt old man, and his young, hollow cheeked daughter, Vulnerability, hobble along the streets looking for warm places to stay. Not far away is their cousin, Insecurity, who grows more round cheeked as the days go by (there are SO many people to see).
They say you should face your fears, but in this case, if you invite them in, they are apt to stay. And while Vulnerability looks so appealing, she's really hard to get rid of - as they all are. You give them a cup of tea and a sarnie, a mince pie, maybe, and as you try and shut the door on them - firmly - just as firmly, one of them - usually Vulnerability - jams her little foot in the door to stop it shutting.
Sometimes it's possible to move them on relatively quickly. Love, fhe fairy godmother, is still capable of waving her magic wand and one of her children, Cuddle, is the biggest deterrent to the above. They are frightened of him because he's strong and always smiling, confident and happy. But the Love family are sadly overworked at this time of year, so it's not possible to attend to everyone in need.
Not sure where that allegorical fairy tale came from, but here's hoping everyone has a good festive season.
Remember those you love, but also remember those of us who are on our own.