Yes, I'm a day late, but the majority of this was drafted yesterday.
I'm not used to writing to order - except academic essays, and I don't think I'm ever going to have to write one of those again. When no-one is expecting anything, I have a gazillion ideas, each more self-analytical and angsty than the last. When someone makes a specific request for bloggage, my mind goes utterly blank.
I probably have enough material for a "Spectacularly Stupid Things Said By Men" post, but that's possibly too passive-aggressive, even by my standards. Another time perhaps. Something about special dates, or numbers, given the prompt? Not really. I'm not so good with numbers - a customer at work recently had to tell me how much change I was supposed to give him. When I was at school, I was regularly reduced to tears by my maths homework*. When tutoring small children a while back, I forgot how to do long multiplication and had to dash to the ladies to fire off a quick "Remind me!" text to the Boy.
*And do you know what, Mrs Bentham? I haven't used algebra since my maths GCSE, six years ago. So there.
So perhaps not numbers then.
As I was mid-train journey when I received the blog request, I decided to go with the obvious, i.e. what was right outside the window. Which led me to this.
I'm a freak - for many reasons - but one of the main ones is that my absolute all-time, hands-down favourite season is winter. For someone who loathes and detests being cold and wet, it's an odd preference.
I figured out quite recently that I like winter best for reasons that are mainly to do with vanity. Winter suits me. It goes with my pale, blonde-haired, blue-eyed colouring. Also, you get to wear more clothes in winter. You have to be all tanned and thin in summer, neither of which I do well (I can feel the eye-rolling at the "thin" bit, but in my defence, a) I'm a woman, so no, I will never be thin enough, and b) as I've said before, I spent five years in an all-girls school. Skipping lunch was a fairly standard extra-curricular activity.)
Frost-covered trees, fields and hedgerows all look like something out of Narnia. Rooves, pavements, ponies - everything looks a little bit other-worldly when it's white and glittering in the winter sunshine. My route to work cuts through some really pretty Sussex countryside, and the last few mornings have been so beautiful I've half-wanted to write terrible poetry about them.
Everything looks better when covered in Christmas fairy lights. Even Crawley, or Milton Keynes. Even David Cameron naked (no, wait, not him).
And Christmas itself. The food, the mulled wine, the songs (for one you may not have heard, try and find Thea Gilmore's version of "The St Stephen's Day Murders". Trust me). The family. Well, the family until about 2pm on Christmas Day when you've had too much alcohol and not enough food and they really, really start to grate. So you take the last glass of Champagne, barricade yourself in the bathroom and wail, "How am I related to these people? HOW, DAMMIT?!"
Just me? Moving on.
And on that festive note, Christmas films. The Muppets Christmas Carol. Elf. The first Bridget Jones. The ultimate - Love Actually. Mainly for the awesome kid who plays Liam Neeson's son, and his dash through the airport at the end, and the storyline between Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln. Oh, and when Colin Firth's character learns Portuguese so he can ask the Aurelia to marry him. Oh, just most of it, really.
New Year's Eve. I've never really been the biggest fan, and indeed don't know anyone who is, but the last few have been quite nice. Last year I reluctantly hosted - but when a gathering ends with shots in the kitchen at 4am, you can't complain too much. Two years previous to that I got very, very drunk and endured The Coldest Walk Home I Have Ever Known, all the while rambling at someone I now refer to as The Boy. My dream New Year celebration would involve me and a group of friends, a cottage somewhere rural and of lot of really good food and red wine. This year I've no idea what I'm doing, which is a shame, but I guess something will turn up.
I'm going to shut up now, mainly because I have the last 5.50am start of the week tomorrow, and I get really grumpy
I really like this song.
And this one - thing is, she seems far too gutsy and non-bullshit-taking to have ever been that hung up on someone.