Thursday, December 23, 2010

I just need to nothing for a minute...

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with the kids jingle belling, and everyone telling you ‘have one more beer’, it’s the most indulgent, drunken, lazy, scurvy-inducing  time of the year.

So far I’ve had our pre-Christmas family get together meal, visited the Christmas market, had two work Christmas parties (all paid for by ourselves, so don't start!), had some pre-Christmas catch up lunches, dinners and drinks, with more planned before the day itself.

I am stuffed. Full of good food, good wine, junk food, bad vodka. Well good vodka, but you know...
I love to be out, seeing people, talking, laughing, eating, drinking and all that stuff. It’s lovely to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while, or even those you see all the time. The diary fills quickly, so popular, so in demand, so much fun.

However, I also need to ‘homeostasise’, which is not even a word.

According to Maslow we all have certain basic physiological needs in order to function as human beings. Among the obvious ones, like eating and drinking, is homeostasis. Never quite understood that one, but my humble opinion follows.

Homeostasis comes from the phrase ‘stay at home’. In order to achieve homeostasis you must follow these simple rules. 

1. Go home straight from work, do not go to the pub for 'one' or meet a friend for 'quick coffee'. You may, in exceptional circumstances, go to Marks and Spencer and wander around buying nice foodstuffs.

2. Get into either pyjamas and a fluffy dressing gown or tracksuit bottoms and your most worn t-shirt and hoody. Whichever option you go for, you must wear fluffy socks or your tattiest slippers for full effect.

3. Gather all remote controls, mobile phones, laptops or other pieces of technology and carefully arrange around your favourite armchair or spot on the couch. 

4. Select a channel that requires no brain power, tuck your legs under yourself and watch mind numbing TV while eating your dinner off your lap.

Warning: If you do not take time to homeostasise regularly, especially during this festive season, you may turn into a non-human.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The snow, the budget and so on..

I haven’t written in days, because there’s nothing new or interesting on my mind. It’s all snow, the budget, Christmas, snow, the budget, ad nauseum..

I’ve discussed snow before, way back, when I could still see the positive side of it. Now, I’m done with the snow, absolutely over it. Sick of walking like a 90-year-old; scared of my life of falling. I’ve heard of two broken wrists and one broken hip, the latter belonging to a 29-year-old man. What chance do I have two years his senior?

As for the budget, I’m trying my best to ignore it. I’d like for someone to divide it up for me, into ‘affects you’, ‘interesting to note’ and ‘doesn’t matter a tuppenny damn’, but I still doubt I'd read it. 

I walked past the Dáil the other day, budget day, on my way to the National Gallery, whistling Christmas carols! Garda vans, news vans, photographers and protestors, all ignored in my Christmassy head.

And so this is Christmas, and what have I done? Very little I fear with 16 days to go, but I have started and tús maith leath no hoibre, right?!

I cleared the space in the sitting room for the tree. I decided to give Alan (my artificial tree) a year off and get a real tree this year, but have thought nothing more of it. My car is snowed in and I’ve no interest in disturbing it. The tree will appear as if by magic, I'm sure.

I have Christmas crackers, cards and stamps, napkins and toilet paper. I’ve been wearing my Christmas socks and remembered yesterday morning that I own Christmas hand towels, so will have to dig them out from under the others: guest, fancy guest…

Christmas shopping will commence on Saturday morning, the morning after the Christmas party. I’ve made a list and lost it. I’ve emailed friends with pleas of help for ideas. I’ll go into town, get my coffee and walk determinedly into the first shop, get mushed and squished and run screaming. And by run I mean step gingerly muttering ‘I hate the snow… stupid snow… hate the snow’.

Ah, but I am looking forward to it though. It’s the most Christmassy I’ve felt in years. I took agin it some years ago, for reasons I won’t bore you with today, but over the last couple of years my spirit has come back and this year more than ever.

Someone new to buy for, someone to welcome home, the good stuffing, Brussels sprouts, nights out, catching up, woolly jumpers, warm fires and thoughts of Irish coffees and mince pies taking place of sugar-plum fairies, dancing in my head.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's a love hate thing..

I love the snow. I also hate the snow.

It's pretty, a bit special, and romantic. I love watching it fall, seeing it cover roofs, trees and railings in that marshmallowy blanket. Walking along, holding hands, or alone, looking up, watching it fall, catching it on your tongue.

It reminds me of being a child. I don't know how much it snowed when I was a child but I feel I remember every second of it and every winter was white. Snowmen, snowballs, slush balls, freezing cold, wet hands, sodden gloves.

It brings out the best in people, helping each other, bringing people together. 'Shared shrugs and smiles, and helping hands and shoulders' as one friend put it. Conversations between strangers as they become walking buddies, neither able to make any distance from the other. Talking to a lady on the bus, who came into town to get some messages and enjoys the long journey home, for the company.

It brings out the worst in people, shoving, pushing, hurrying, worrying. Must get past, must get home, push push push, onto the bus, the train, the tram. Must stock up, buy all the milk and briquettes they have. Drive on, come on, block the junction, beep beep, I have to get home.

It is lastly, and of course, terribly unpractical. If you have to do things, like get to work, to the hospital, go shopping, wash, shake off cabin fever or heaven forbid have a social life. It breaks pipes, spirits and limbs. No water, no let up, slip slide.

Still though, isn't it pretty?