So we’ve hit ‘Twixt-mas’, that irksome period where nothing makes much sense, after a couple of years which haven’t made much sense either. It’s not much wonder we’re feeling more discombobulated than usual.
The children serve as a pleasant distraction on one level, while ramping up the crazy on the other. The older one landed down for her lunch yesterday with bubble wrap wound tightly around her arm, fastened with a white hair bobble. It was somewhat distracting, trying to eat my leftover turkey and ham with her opposite me looking like she’d just returned from the burn’s unit of the Royal. Later it lay discarded on the carpet, looking disconcertingly like a used condom.
One wonders idly what to do with the long drizzly days. In the ‘Before Times,’ LSB and I would have been donning matching elf outfits and trainers as we zoomed down to Castlewellan for the annual Christmas Cracker Race. Eight miles over mountain trails we ran, with the air taking on various hues of blue as I puffed out expletives with every excruciating step as we neared the finish line. And yet, this never seemed out of the ordinary for me; it was a delightful antidote to the peculiarity that is endless lounging coupled with fizzing adrenalin which characterises ‘Twixt-mas’.
Since this year I have all the energy of a semi-deflated balloon, I batted away all thoughts of fell-running, and yesterday I was that person, the one still wearing their pyjamas at four pm, Googling recipes for what to make with all the Snickers languishing at the bottom of the boxes of Celebrations. I used to enjoy a Snickers, but now I find all the peanutty pieces get lodged between my molars. I did however, read almost all of a Jo Jo Moyle’s novel, while the tree lights twinkled and the warm scent of the fig and winter berry candle almost concealed the wet dog smell emanating from the snoozing greyhound beside me.
At least LSB and I have plans for tomorrow night as it’s our anniversary (11 years- wow!) so out to dinner we shall skip, and I shall divest myself of the pjs and may even don a frock.
He really is a good sort, all things considered, tholing all my neurosis, which in recent times have been many and varied. How he hasn’t sought a divorce after this omnishambles of a year I don’t know. His patience with all the animals, which I insisted on getting, has been remarkable, especially when I complain about the smell of piss that still lingers on the rug we had professionally cleaned (twice) and the cat hair which tickles my nose when we go to bed and keeps me, and thus him, awake. He walks the dog in the rain and picks up not only her poop, but other mounds of shite left by other less conscientious owners* on the street.
My increasingly obsessive recycling habits don’t seem to have struck him as bizarre. He holds the door when I come home from school burdened with cans and papers and bottles, and obligingly jumps in the blue bin to make room for all the excess. He doesn’t mind when I stop in the street to pick up cans; in fact he now keeps a plastic bag in his pocket for the purpose. I’m full of fun facts these days, chuntering on about how aluminium is infinitely recyclable. Funny how one’s goals change. We used to talk about Personal Bests, but now I say things like: ‘I got five cans between Forestside and the house!’ and he’ll comment: ‘That’s a bumper loot!’
I’m sure you must get sick of all this,’ I said to him the other night, as I stood on the Ormeau emptying half a tin of White Lightning into the gutter. ‘To have and to hold, to collect and to crush,’ was his reply. Readers, I think I got a good one.
* (or will be just call them what they are, selfish, lazy bastards.)