We're now in that bloody awful run up to Christmas and the New Year, short dark days, crap weather and everywhere you go, Christmas and all it's expense is rammed down your throats - and bloody awful Christmas music in many shops! The only good thing in this period is the Shortest Day, when at last, by just seconds in the beginning, then minutes and then hours, each day gets longer and Spring gets nearer.
I've hated Christmas for most of my adult life, partly because it heralds the depths of winter and everything I detest in winter, as I said above, the short dark days, the not being able to get out in the garden and do much, the endurance of suffering cold, wind, rain and sometimes freezing temperatures as I walk across the reserve. Even worse is the big day itself and all the excesses that your are encouraged to take part in because "it's Christmas" - the over eating, the over drinking, the waking up and over eating and over drinking all over again, because "it's Christmas".
One of the greatest joys of living on my own is that if I choose to, I don't have to endure that. I can put out some washing on the line on the big day, it it's a good drying day, I can even have egg and chips for dinner rather than an over-flowing plate of turkey and veg.that I don't feel like eating.
But then of course, comes Boxing Day. After an exhilarating walk on the reserve with the dog, home for a bottle of wine or a rum and coke, probably a tad earlier than normal, and sport on the TV, until that is, the bloody adverts drive you nuts. Adverts every few minutes promoting bloody sales in the shops, whereby people, who only a few days before, had spent a small fortune on Christmas presents, waste their Christmas holidays in retail scrums incurring even more debt buying stuff that they can easily survive with purely because it's cheaper. Unfortunately the later credit card bills don't show the same Christmas spirit, they just increase.
After the brief breathing space, for some of at least, along comes New Years Eve, another festival of excess and noise. In recent years, instead of being able to ignore it, go to bed and wake up in a new year, fireworks have become the norm - every bloody where! I've lost track of the amount of times I've sat up till gone 2.00 in the morning consoling my trembling dogs as every drunken neighbour for miles shoots countless expensive rockets into the night sky.
Roll on January the 2nd when normal life returns.