Oh hello, 2021. No, no fanfare, no red carpet for you, but, if you would like, come sit on this old broken-down sofa and join me for tea. Don’t be shy, I’ve no expectations. You may be new, but I am too old to be taken in by shiny pretty new things. Ignore the the clamouring crowd outside. They don’t know you, though they’ve waited long enough. None of us do, yet. They’re just excited, because you are not your predecessor, so you’ve been deemed a success by what you are not.
So much weight on your young shoulders. As if you’re in control of what will happen, rather than just a vessel. But you’re unblemished, and full of promise, something to pin the feathers of hope to with a safety pin.
Yesterday, on the last day of 2020, I could not stand, or walk, or wash, or dress, or sit up for long. Most of the day was spent in bed, unwashed for three days, unable to form words, or keep my eyes open, while my mind raced inside my skull and I held onto walls and doors for visits to the bathroom. Today I showered and dressed and spoke and wrote and walked briefly in the freezing cold air and ate my meals sat on a chair, enjoying the strength of my body that wasn’t there yesterday and may not be there tomorrow, because those moments are rare and are to be savoured no matter the hour, the day, the year.
I ask nothing of you and I hope we can be friends. Don’t let your tea get cold. Have a biscuit.
Dear January 2015,
I know it’s hard, being the first of the year. December is a difficult act to follow, what with all its froth and glitter and celebratory wantoness. Then you come along – turning up the morning after and picking your way across a dirty carpet covered in streamers and fag-ends. You are overwhelmed by expectation. People expect change goddammit, they want something new, something better and they expect you to deliver. So you reach into your pockets and pull out your offerings: cold air, short dark days, a broken boiler. You root around for more, desperate to find gold amongst the bits of fluff and loose change. But all you can find is illness, a flu virus here, something more serious there…Then you bring out the big guns. The media go mental. It’s not your fault, of course it’s not. It’s not as if these things don’t happen to the others. It’s just that you’ve got this reputation and frankly the weather doesn’t help. You’ve done your part. You’ve ushered in the new year, you’ve given people the excuse they needed to hide under a duvet, to stay inside, to ingest something healthy. But now it’s time to move on.
So. Let’s start again. Happy New Year. And HELLO February (Oh for god’s sake put those chocolate hearts away, what are you, twelve?!).