Wednesday, 11 January 2012
The days are flying by into this New Year. Often quite a sad time as the Yule tree loses its decorations and comes down for yet another year and the house looks quite plain and empty. Fortunately the weather this year is being much much kinder to us that last and we are having some bright sunny days like today rather than the deep freeze and thick ice on the roads we have at this time last year.
This truly is the New Year for me, and probably a good moment to mark the change from the old life to the new. After a sociable Christmas and New Year when my change has been totally accepted and hardly noted any more by close friends and hardly noticed when I go out in the wide world. I think I can now claim that my social transformation can be considered complete. It is not to say that I am perfect in every respect and I’m sure many will have second thoughts and suspicions but I no longer sense any negative reaction wherever I go. This is clearly what I had hoped before just to short few years ago while staring into a mirror and seeing a quite masculine face staring back. How could it possibly be that it could be transformed into anything even remotely representing feminine? At this point you might be hoping for a few pictures of the gruesome hairy creature I once was and an up-to-date one of me looking all glamorous but I think it is best that I deny you this pleasure.
Usually at this time of year I will be feeling quite glum, short days and gloomy light make up an often depressing time but this year I feel quite cheerful. I can hardly believe 10 days have passed already. I’m so worried that the spring will be upon us before I know it that I am already scanning the seed catalogue and planning what vegetables should go into the garden in the spring. In recent previous years I have had help in the garden from a young teenage daughter of friends which this year has quickly transformed from a young innocent creature into a real teenager and for the first time in her life has gone off to do some real schooling, she says she’s doing drama but didn’t say whether she was teaching or learning! I suspect she will not be around so much this year and so have mentioned the possibility of sharing a part garden with a direct neighbour, he was somewhat disheartened when he first arrived to learn that my vegetable garden once belonged to his cottage but had been separated from it by a high wall when someone in the past gave away the cottage but decided to keep the garden not thinking that their drunken brother deserved the pleasure it would give! It gives me a lot of pleasure, though sometimes it’s more of a punishment only softened when the crops start to produce the kind of vegetables which money cannot buy.
So far I have not broken my New Year’s resolution. I’m the most sociable people who somehow finds it difficult to be a success on social media! It is an entertaining distraction, pointing the way to many interesting things and each week many hours vanish almost without you knowing. The downside is the volume of angst which pours out onto the screen, I have had a lifetime of depression and angst of my own to deal with and though I have always been happy to be supportive and pass on what little comfort I can I am enjoying my holiday away from it. Perhaps in this day and age it is not surprising that social media sites are popular with their rapid short bursts of communication, I read mutterings online that email is obsolete in the twitbook age, perhaps for those a generation younger but I can’t help longing for a few friends who like me prefer the slower electronic version of an old fashioned letter..
Ironic really somebody who has always hated writing a letter then again nobody ever figured out how to do spell check which worked with a fountain pen.
Living in and age where you can buy an avocado any week of the year I miss those things which used to mark off the year in regular seasonal ways, Easter eggs are disastrous now, the first ones were on sale mid December! I have not seen hot cross buns yet, they are late this year the first ones were on special offer on New Year’s Day last year! One thing that does remain seasonal is Seville oranges for making marmalade, the only ones where the white pith cooks away to something transparent and you can never buy shop bought marmalade which taste anything like as good as home-made. Last year’s supply was finished last week so I was pleased to receive an e-mail from one of my girlfriends saying that she had spotted the first oranges in one of the few independent vegetable shops we have now. I was just going to pop in and buy a few kilos and be on my way but found myself in a long conversation with the girl who runs the shop which opened just a year or so ago. Last year was the first year she had ever made marmalade herself and like many things there are 100 ways to do it and some tricks which can make life easier, I left her with a few ideas to try though she can’t try my favourite which is to push all the fruit for a hand turned meat mincer which grinds the Orange skins into something which can be spread evenly onto a slice of hot battered toast.
My juices are going just writing this. Guess you know what I’ll be up to tomorrow…