What day is it?
Written by James 0n 31st Dec, 2005
The week between Christmas and New Year is always odd. Firstly nobody ever has a clue what day it is, especially this year thanks to the liberal splattering of bank holidays caused by Christmas falling on a Sunday. It also seems most people have been fortunate enough not to be working this week – well, it’s not worth it for 3 days is it!
So where did I leave you last week? Ah yes, Christmas Eve. Well that passed without event. As did Christmas day really – nothing earth-shatteringly exciting or special, but pleasent. And the one day of the year when my guilt complex finally relaxes and I don’t feel bad about sitting around wasting time when there is more than enough work to be doing.
Boxing day – more of the same really. I started reading a book about XHTML and CSS, as I’m determined to learn how to do websites “properly” without using tables and transparent GIFs to cheat layouts.
Tuesday…. went into W-S-M town centre to look at sales. Sadly I have recently decided that I’m not doing as well financially as I thought – business is very quiet (even based on this period last year), which is mostly due to the fact that we’ve slipped behind with everything. In a way that’s good news – things may be bad but I know what to do to make them better, so at least there is a plan and hope. So whilst I’m not starving I need to reign in the reckless spending that especially seems to overcome me at this time of year, i.e. no more DVDs and CDs that I only buy because they’re going cheap.
So no shopping for me…. not that anything jumped out and was begging to be bought. In fact I’ve limited my sale shopping to just 2 DVDs – series 2 of Spooks (£11 from Amazon!) and series 2 of Peep Show – I got series 1 for Christmas and quite liked it, but I don’t really know why. Most of the humour is based on the characters doing cringingly embarassing things, which normally I don’t find funny. And yet I felt compelled to buy series 2…. odd.
Went to see The Producers – and here is where not living in London becomes appealing – £7.90 for 2 tickets!!! You don’t get 1 for that price. Having said that the cinema was tiny, it could have been a moderately sized plasma on the wall frankly. And then there were the irritating kids who I think are normally priced out of the London cinemas, including the delightful little madam who’s phone went off half way through. Not that bad I guess, these things happen…. but then she proceeds to answer it and have a five minute conversation, despite glares from various others.
W-S-M always used to be home to mainly older people, who obviously wanted to retire in a nice quiet seaside town. But now their supremacy is being challenged by the chavs – and these are chavs like I’ve never seen before. These chavs make London chavs look like the Islington chattarati… dear God. I didn’t even know you could still buy shell suits. And then there are the girls with hoop earrings that could pick up Sky One if the turned their head in the right direction. Call me a snob, but I hate it. WITH A PASSION.
Ahem, sorry. Anyway, the film. OK I guess, but I’m not that keen on musicals, and this was pretty much just the stage show on the big screen, complete with all the songs. I’m not someone for whom a film is enhanced by the characters bursting into song at random points. For what it is, it’s great. Just not my thing.
Wednesday – long drive home. Lorna and I have largely at this point exhausted all options for conversation and resort to arguing about web technologies. Well, arguing in as much as neither of us really care but it gives us something to do while trudging down the M4.
Thursday – awoken at 7:45am by a credit card being delivered. Not amused. Spent rest of day watching rubbish on TV and thinking I should be doing something more useful. Completed 3 sudokus puzzles, and messed up several others. Went over to Ashley and Ivanka’s for dinner with Karen, very nice lasagne, pleasent conversation. Just nice really.
Friday – finally decided that sitting at home stressing about work wasn’t relaxing so went to the office. Didn’t get much done, but I do now have a vague plan/timetable of how we’re going to get everything done in an ambitious but achievable timeframe. Just got to do it now.
Then spent another evening in front of the TV watching DVDs. It’s quite nice having the flat to myself (flatmates have gone home for the Christmas break), but then I haven’t really done anything that I couldn’t do anyway. It does however make me think about whether I want to live alone next year… it would definitely have its benefits, but it could get very lonely. It’s looking like I won’t be able to afford to anyway, so I probably won’t need to make that decision!
Saturday – usual morning reading the paper in Ealing (not too cold thankfully) and lots of food shopping. Pleasently surprised to get a letter from National Savings and Investments, who have gone to the effort to realise that I had not cashed a cheque from them and so are offering to send another assuming it has been lost in the post. I’m amazed – most organisations would just count themselves lucky and forget about it. So a gold star for them. Now if they could just make me win a £1m on the premium bonds I would *really* like them!
So, to the dreaded New Year’s Eve. Let’s examine some history:
2004-5: stayed home, was in bed by 11pm, but did stay awake to listen to Big Ben on the radio at midnight.
2003-4: small gathering at Karen’s – very enjoyable, nice and simple, how New Year should be.
2002-3: ditto, although slightly larger gathering.
2001-2: house party with school friends. God I’ve lost touch with so many people.
2000-1: can’t remember. Probably stayed at home.
1999-2000: saw in the millenium on the South Bank of the Thames. Much standing around in a big crowd, 15 mins of fireworks, then very slow journey home. Really not worth the effort.
So this year… I’m currently thinking of another quiet night in. I’ve got nice things to cook, DVD’s and TV to watch, and frankly I just can’t be arsed. There are two small gatherings that I’ve been invited to (or in some cases have been demanded to attend with a dose of emotional blackmail), but what with the tube strike (I’ll rant about that separately) it just doesn’t seem to appeal. I’m not in a great mood and I can’t be bothered to pretend (and alcohol doesn’t seem to help). People moan that I’m always miserable (which I’m not, well, not ALWAYS), so I shan’t inflict it on them. Plus New Year really doesn’t mean that much to me anyway, as far as I’m concerned it’s just another Saturday night. Is it so wrong to want to stay in on a Saturday night now and then? So thank you for the invites, but I shall pass on this occasion and see you all soon. And please don’t nag.
At some point, probably tomorrow, I’m going to try to write out what I have done with this year, as frankly I don’t know where the time has gone. So it will either be very depressing, or more likely I will actually think and remember what I’ve done/achieved and feel better. And either way I can use it to work out how to make next year better. Depending on the outcome I might share it with you…. if this is how much inane banter I can generate for seven days then just imagine what I can come up with for a whole year!
Happy New Year, whatever you decide to do.