God is it really that long since I found the strength to come here. I was away for most of November, let that be my excuse. And now, deep breaths like in meditation, now it's Christmas. Christmas is like haemorrhoids, bloody, uncomfortable and always there. I used to love that saying, Oh God, it can't be Christmas already, I haven't finished paying for last year yet.
There we are queueing in shops,buying hundreds of things we don't need, watching the Salvation Army on telly scraping up the homeless, folk in Australia sweating over their barbies and then I hope for snow while I slosh around in the endless rain and the last of my roses gives up and makes a mess in the front garden.
Meanwhile we empty our bank accounts, buy a succession of baubles and wrap stuff and wrap stuff and wrap stuff. There are lunches and dinners and all those people who keep away from alcohol during the year think they are doing you a favour by giving you disgusting concoctions like sloe gin and ginger wine and they crowd into the bar swhile the serious drinkers stay at home, with endless cups of tea and take a few sighs of relief as new year retreats and the rest of the world goes on diets, exercises and gives up alcohol as though it was some kind of new hobby or golden life when half a bottle of wine would get them under the table on Boxing Day.
Morning television is debating whether people still make decorations. Excuse me? When was this? And whether we have traditional Christmas dinners and whether we like to snooze afterwards. Still, it's better than the alternatives, watching Donald Trump blow up the world and Nigel Farage with that smile which looks like glue has run out of its tube.
I talked to a woman in the co op yesterday who had spent £43 on cards. She could have gone to Spain for that price and sat by a pool for a week. Only indoors I suspect but still. I have whittled down my Christmas card list and now sit by the letterbox as the postman never stops because people have sussed me and think If that bitch isn't sending me a card she ain't getting one. Okay. I don't care that much.
The trains are full of fat guys with big luggage ( and I don't mean Santa ). The toilets are blocked because people spend the journey drinking lager, the trolley has gone walk about and the seats are filthy when folk have apparently thrown up on their way back from yet another bloody party.
If it snows for Christmas I might forgive it at least for a few days but as one friend pointed out to me the other night it never snows at Christmas, whereas it always does at Easter when I'm trying to open up the caravan and sit outside contemplating the joys of sunshine.
I went to Nova Scotia in November and had thought they might have lovely sunny cold weather instead of which they appeared to be having a heatwave and I was sweltering. Meanwhile at home in Stanhope there were lovely snowy scenes. Now I'm at home its 13 degrees and minus 6 in Nova Scotia!!
I shall toddle off and heave sighs of relief as I wrap my last Christmas gifts and hope no enthusiastic bugger starts singing in the Bleak Mid Winter or I shall cry this afternoon. And a merry Christmas to you too.