So Christmas is over for another year, and it’s that period of nothingness that subsists between December 25 and January 2. I spent the 26, 27 and 28th of December doing very little, just vegetating in front of the TV watching one banal programme after another; considering it’s the holidays there is very little on the box that interests me. So on the 29th I decided to attack the day, taking into account that on the 27th I stayed in my PJ’s from sunrise to sunset.The highlight of that day was the festive Facebook cull I had. I decided to go through my Facebook friends and delete anyone I hadn’t spoken to in 2010, and those acquaintances that you gather as the year progresses. So on the 29th as Soft Cell played ‘Her Imagination’ I washed up the dishes from the previous night, that lay in the sink. There’s nothing more miserable I think than waking up to dirty plates. As the dishes drain, the iPod shuffles and ‘Make The Call’ from the excellent White Noise album by Aussie rockers, The Living End begins to play. I make breakfast as the kitchen is filled with a beating bass line and frenetic drums.
Thank goodness for Skype, I call my friend over in Italy, and we chat about the water bill I’ve received, odd considering we have no water. Brenda says our house over there looks lonely now all the trees around it have lost their leaves. We exchange comments about the weather; UK, wet and foggy, Italy, Warm and sunny. With Othello’s green eyed monster looking over my shoulder I console myself with the fact that this time next year I’ll be there to sample it myself. I send an email to our Italian lawyers asking them to deal with the bill and to ask the commune, (Italian local council) to sort out our non working street light.
I begin to tackle the mountain of ironing that has accumulated since I’ve been away on tour. Three hours later, 43 shirts, 32 T shirts and 4 pairs of Jeans are put away. Kirsty MacColl sings, ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ as the iron is stowed away below the sink. I can’t believe it’s ten years since her life was snuffed out in a tragic, yet controversial boating accident in Mexico. I decide it’s time for some TV and a glass of homemade limoncello, the drink is satisfying, however the TV isn’t, on every channel there’s either a repeat or some saccharine seasonal tale. So once again in an attempt to fill in the void left by Christmas I top up the gap by languishing in the bath listening to music.
I look out at the street on the morning of the 30th, everything is still, cars have remained motionless for days and apart from the emergence of grey wheelie bins today, the road hibernates. So breakfast over we decide to go into town and mooch around. I was given a new wallet at Christmas, so before we leave I transfer everything out of my old but now tatty, but well loved Versace one. I throw away now redundant plastic cards that have lived in the recesses of the worn leather and discover I have a Waterstones gift card. I can’t remember who gave it to me or how long it’s been there, so now I have a task for the day, to discover just how much I have to spend on the dull grey card.
The trip up town is hardly uplifting, the so called sales are threadbare, and genuine offers are few and far between. I ponder an offer from O2 to upgrade my phone to an iPhone, I decline as I don’t think I’ll have much call for such a sophisticated mobile when I’m living a life of semi self sufficiency on an Italian hillside. I walk out of the main shopping centre and spot a boy-band lookalike, a skinnier facsimile of Marvin from JLS, a few steps later and I come face to face with a chubbier version of Shane from Boyzone. I enter Waterstones and present the bespectacled red haired youth behind the counter with my card, he checks it, tuts and shakes his head, then says, “Sorry geezer, this is run out.” My first reaction is the need to correct his grammar, and explain that the verb he should have used was has, and secondly I am not a geezer. Turns out that the card only lasts for 24 months and mine expired a long time ago. Note to self: Tidy wallet at regular intervals in future. I leave the bookstore and almost collide with another boy-band doppelganger, this time an older version of Jay from The Wanted. All I need now is to find a taller Mark Owen, from Take That lookalike, and I can manufacture my own pop band: I think I’ll call them, ‘ Wanted, That JLS Zone.’We drive home with the classic track ‘Going Underground,’ by The Jam playing, and as we turn the corner everything is has it has been for days, with the exception of the now removed wheelie bins, the road remains impotent.
One thing I did see today that made me smile, then wince, was a child's toy. This seemingly harmless prop was a pretend MacDonald's drive thru counter. In my opinion toys are supposed to inspire learning and fun, is this one that prepares a child for a life of working in a burger bar? There are so many messages given off and absorbed by children during play and the only ones I feel given off by a pretend Macdonald’s drive thru are negative, e.g. Fast food is good food, or it’s okay not to aspire to greater employment potential, as working for Macdonald’s is quality employment.
So new years eve has arrived and tomorrow we shall be in 2011. As the last colours of 2010 fade, I shall be spending it at a party hosted by my ex-wife. We shall no doubt drink a few glasses of wine and eat a few nibbles before letting off fireworks. I’m not a big fan of new years eve, to me the death of one year and the birth of another has never had much relevance on my life, however this year it’s different, 2010 has seen so many changes to my life and 2011 has so many challenges ahead. So I shall be throwing myself head first into tonight’s festivities and hopefully will have a clear enough head tomorrow to make a start on my first blog of the year, a review of the past twelve months. So all that remains is to wish everyone out there, a happy and healthy new year. Baz x