So, New Year. Uuugh. Now that all the festivities are but dying embers… maybe you could think about cutting back on the doughnuts?
Just kidding, this is a nice place. Come closer, I’ll ‘fess up: I hate Hogmanay. It’s such a high-maintenance celebration. Christmas lulls us into feeling safe and cosy. Pyjamas, overeating, gifts, hugs: these are nice things. Nice when it’s horrible outside. Then New Year comes along, and it’s all about scratchy sequined clothing, going outside when it’s horrible outside, getting stuck to crowds of strangers in packed pubs (it’s all the sequins, see – like velcro) and getting drunk to distract ourselves from the inescapable march of time. Everyone is frantic about having the best time ever… except the people who are maudlin and crying. Added bonus: on the first day of January, you can get a great start on the next chapter of your life by waking up at 4pm with toast stuck to your face (me, last year). Cheers!
Then again, for all it’s bullshit, there is a little jewel of good feeling about Hogmanay. On reflection, it is a very, very good thing that time moves forward. The good things you can keep with you always – those little spots of time in which you felt incomparably happy, tucked away in memory. The bad things fade and go. It seems amazing, but wounds really do heal, words lose their sting, life changes.
Like all Big Feelings, there is a poem to help with this:
There are other less serious reasons to be glad, very glad indeed, that time moves forward.
Here are some of the eye-wateringly terrible crimes that humanity inflicted upon humanity in 2015. The other eye-wateringly terrible crimes that humanity inflicted upon humanity, I mean. (Since this blog is never knowingly solemn about anything). Then we can give thanks to be well out of that mess, and talk resolutions for 2016. Resolutions like eat more doughnuts.
The Atrocities of 2015:
Leggings for men. Meggings!
Unless we’re talking David Bowie in Labrynth (once you have seen, you cannot unsee), I’m not pleased.
(Although as my mum pointed out, why shouldn’t they wear leggings? I knew there would be one downside to equality.)
My mint plant, Minty, sadly passed away. I bought him for 19p in Waitrose. I took him home, gave him a haircut, repotted him, fed him, talked to him about the things he’d been though. I tried to make him big on the internet by posting pictures of him with the hashtag #mintspiration.
It wasn’t enough.
Technically, this is not everyone’s sad thing, this is just my sad thing. The world just isn’t ready for a celebrity mint plant, I guess.
Continuing the fashion/beauty/painting category: contouring. That’s when you draw a different face over your own face using shimmery beige. I’ll admit, it sort of works for Kim Kardashian, because her whole thing is Being Unnerving. Hopefully people will shimmer less in 2016, and have cheekbones in the right place, and eyebrows that don’t make you doubt yourself.
The internet pulling at our heartstrings
I’m super proud of our Communal Brain The Internet, for making life easier and getting conversations going, for allowing us all to share our sense of the world’s ironies, tell stories, and play around in each other’s imaginations. And particularly for making it so easy to mock authoritative figures, which is the vital lifeblood of existence, and also, stops whole societies from going mad. Plus, just this morning I watched two loose llamas evade capture for ages, via helicopter: it’s the Great Llama Chase of 2015.
The only thing that bugs me is the relentless posts about terrible sad things that have happened, and how we must share this information, distribute it earnestly amongst our facebook friends, so that they too can feel sad. I don’t mean the big things that were in the news.
I mean the dog with ham on it’s face.
Anyone who took this seriously: stop internetting for a while maybe. The people who came up with this are awful human beings, and you just rewarded them.
Shia Lebeouf’s Motivational Video
I love it when celebrities go full Art, as Shia most certainly has done. I watched this video and was mesmerized (10pm – 2am is internet faffing time for me, yes I know, this is why I’m decrepit). Then I watched all the magnificent remixes. Unfortunately I now find it hard to achieve anything at all without a little Shia raging away, encouraging me to take action, flailing his arms around. It does not feel like progress.
And now we’ve washed our hands of all that… resolutions!
To say all sayings slightly wrong.
‘With friends like that, who needs anemones!’ you chortle in the pub, and then take a long drink of your pint. ‘I made a 360 degree change to my life’. ‘I’m feeling creative. The amuse is upon me’. Well-meaning people will try to correct you. Never back down, never give up.
Publish my first book: 365 Onion Recipes
Chopping onions can make your eyes water, but so do my feelings, all of the time. When you’re cooking onions, it doesn’t matter if there are people around. Nobody really knows what those tears are about. This book is about freedom.
Read banned books
In order to see how monumentally uptight everyone was until about 1963. When we left the past behind, we had to leave bonnets and courting. However, nowadays, we have safe places where we can talk, write, read and daydream in peace, without judgement, about butts. Progress.
To start getting all fashion/beauty/painting
I won’t be drawing on my eyebrows for that ‘boxy and menacing’ look, but there is one Trendicle of 2015 that I can get behind. The ‘I woke up like this’ trend. (According to Cosmopolitan mag, this was a real trend that did happen). Ofcourse, like natural make-up, it probably took the Fashion People a few adjustments in the morning before they were ready to look Like They Woke Up Like This. For a more normal approach, you could just wake up and get dressed. Here’s how I did it:
Start planning Hogmanay 2016
On the first of January this year, I stayed in bed all morning drinking coffee and writing, while a storm raged outside. From the window I watched seagulls footering about up in the sky, blown this way and that. Huge dark grey clouds rolled over the island. I had a hot water bottle. It was great.
In case you’re wondering, I was awake in the morning because I was without a hangover, having spent Hogmanay watching hours of bad BBC Scotland ‘comedy’ (as twee and tartan-splattered as you like) and then bringing in the bells with Jackie Bird, as per tradition. I was with my parents and my grandmother, we had a big fire on the go, and it was the best New Year I’ve had in… years.
My real resolution this year is to add as much fun to life as I can. On top of it all, like icing. Any opportunity for skating and glitterfication will be taken. And when bad, awful, annoying, sad things happen, I’ll try and remember that time moves forward.
I hope to never get involved with Hogmanay again, except in pyjamas, overeating, with some hugs, and good people around.