As a parent you have to try your best to set a good example for your kids, to provide them with a decent role model. Thats what i’ve been told anyway and i’m now the proud owner of children with a combined age of 27, which by my reckoning means i’ve been a parent for that many years; collectively me and Mrs T have been doing this for over half a century.
As the flesh tumbles over the waist of my trousers and I doubted that the jeans I was slipping on this morning were actually mine. I’m sure the pockets were too small for a man’s jean; men need big pockets for all the equipment we carry around for emergency DIY and the accessories we carry around for our fairer, better halves. Sadly the jeans were mine but they were cheap jeans and each time they are washed they shrink a little only for them to expand a little further each time I squeeze into them, every wash a little piece of them dies. My jean to leg survival ratio is heavily weighted (excuse the pun) in favour of the flesh as there seems to be more and more of the stuff.
We are now 3 days into the new year, a tenth of the way through the worst month of the year, worst for weather, for birthdays, for finances, in fact as far as I can make out January has no redeeming features for me. This afternoon, when my son was on his x-box and my daughter was teaching gymnastics, Mrs T was picking her up and I was lounge alone, meaning I was in the lounge on my own, I don’t count Benny the dog, he’s not really any help. So every day since about the beginning of December Ive had to sidle past the Christmas tree to clamber through the patio doors to the log store, pick up logs and repeat the process in reverse to bring heat to the house on top of the frankly pretty piss poor radiators, of which we have one in the lounge. In Mid December new furniture arrived; a beautiful respite from perching on a frame of a futon for a week, but this furniture had to be temporarily housed in a temporary position while the Christmas tree dropped its needles and lose tinsel onto the floorboards, in the gaps. Baubles tumbled to the ground bouncing on the oak planks coming to rest directly in my path of return for the store carrying a massive armload of logs; crushing the silver, gold, green, whatever balls underfoot. Danger glass, sharp objects, get the dustpan and brush, etc etc. The chores multiply, is it any wonder that i’m a grumpy bastard? Finally this had become too much for me so with a new “Le Creuset” cafetière for one (The colour; Volcanic, I’m a purist) and the fire made and lit, I fetched the decoration boxes, plastic and stackable, and started to demolish the tree, a swagger and cocky confidence as I deconstructed the decorations and symbolically closed Christmas for another year, crossing my fingers that I win the lottery, or find a shoe box full of money so we can all go on holiday next year and spend the weeks in little more than a pair of shorts and crocs as the waves lap at my feet. We’ll see, I’m sure there’s about as much chance of that happening as me not buying a packet of Lucky Strike when I get out of the airport.
The tree naked, the lights packed neatly in a much tighter and untanglable knot than they’ve ever been in before, baubles fewer than the last time, the furry knitted nativity figures still hanging from the hallway ceiling, I must remember to take them down. Now the tree has migrated to the garden where it will sit, browning, until I decide to go to the tip or to have a bonfire, which of course will be much later on in the year because Britain is so fucking wet and the garden is full of Dog shit because the garden is so wet, and I’m not always available to sort that sort of stuff out as I’m too busy being a decent, upstanding responsible role model for my 27 year old (combined) kids.
So make of this what you will, I don’t know what the solution is to any of this really, if there is a solution, if theres a problem at all. I’ve certainly had a good day, driven in to town in my pyjamas like a slob, had a bath, went shopping and cooked for everyone and then watched the final 2 episodes of Dracula. No spoiler but I think it was better in the past, Dracula and Vampires have no business in 2020.
Tomorrow I shall be visiting my folks and my cousin at the most antiquated investment company in the world, deafness and a reluctance to listen abounds.
Happy New Year to you all!!