The morning of New Year’s Day
The twelve days of Christmas are a good time, and it’s a bonus that we have New Year in the middle of them. I have always loved the miscellaneous quietish week between the 25th and the 1st – and incidentally have never got over the weird English insistence on going back to work on January 2nd. This ought to be a public holiday, as it is in Scotland, to enable a proper celebration away from home, travelling back the day after.
I’m also addicted to New Year’s Resolutions, and one of this year’s is to reread more books. I’m constantly being given and buying new books – how lovely – and there are also old favourites that I keep picking up, but the shelves contain many worthwhile 20th and 21st century books that I read once, and then set aside. In 2019 l’m going to go back to some of them.
But in the meantime…
My first thought of the New Year was washing-up. Perhaps it was also yours? The Blogger’s is not the most sociable household, but every Hogmanay (31st Dec) we hold a party for a clan of friends, and so it was this (last) year. It was a very happy gathering, and not too small-hours. The family retreated to bed at about 1 am, remembering to put out all the candles, but otherwise leaving the house full of party detritus.
We don’t own a dishwasher, and that’s another story.
So I awoke on the first day of 2019 knowing that what awaited us downstairs was a huge pile of dirty dishes, out-of-place furniture and general mess.
The point of the post is to say that, though this may sound eccentric, it wasn’t an unpleasant thought. (Especially when I knew the family would all kick in and do their bit.)
On the contrary it seemed cheering, appropriate, peaceful, and even symbolic. We decorate and overeat at Christmas – and we make the house bare and austere again (relatively speaking) after Epiphany. We party on 31st December, and we clean up the next day. We face the mess, sort it out, and make plans for improvement.
None of the clearing up was unexpected or disgusting, it took less time than we expected, and a few things have even been sorted out in the process. (This isn’t generally the most organised of households.)
We can’t clear up the whole world, but we can clear up the kitchen.
It all reminded me of a little book I gave once to a clergy friend. I think, having googled, it was called “Rules for Reverends” by Jeremy Fletcher, and I remember it for one word of wisdom.
“If you do the washing-up, at least you’ll start with a mess and end with it sorted out. Nothing else in your day will be like this.”
Love, and Happy New Year, from the PPI Blogger
PS Those who remember the posts by Ian Storer ( here: https://www.penelopewallace.com/time-travel-with-magic-by-is/
will doubtless be interested to learn that he has taken the plunge, under his pen name of Ian Roberts, and published “Deeper Realms”, a connected set of time travel stories, featuring the enigmatic Ravenna and her unfortunate Watson, Eve Wells. Not to be read by those with claustrophobic issues, but good for anyone else!