Wednesday 24 December 2014


Let me start by saying that I make only one resolution: not to make any resolutions. I have spent too many years with the guilt of failure that sets in on January 2nd and lasts until the next January 1st. I should make one very significant one, though. I should resolve to give up sugar. Rather than giving up sugar, however, I find it easier to give up resolving to give it up. The guilt of eating it is more bearable than the guilt of renegging on my word to myself. With me so far?

 One of the excuses I give myself is that there are two new years and it wouldn't seem fair to resolve on one and not the other. In my experience the more signifant new year occurs in September. It is the academic new year and a restart of routine life after the non-month of August. When I was involved in Academia, or, rather, its exigencies, there were new school uniforms to think about, new teachers to admire or commiserate over, new timetables to stretch the ingenuity, finding ways in which to be at two sporting matches at the same time, for instance.( It may interest you to know that Liz is one year older every September, and that's been going on for a very long time, now). There are practical advantages, too. Shops and offices begin to operate as usual and, for the first week, anyway, the big city is a joy to move round because August holidays have dribbled over and there are still fewer cars and people crowding one's progress. But scarcely has one allowed oneself to enjoy the freedom of a less crowded world, as it was when I was a gal, so to speak, than it is the second week in September. This is one definition of Hell on Earth, I suspect. Everyone is back, in their cars, on the Underground and the supermarket flaunting their tans and annoying those of us who have not deserted the Metropolis in favour of idleness and warmth but have made it our own for the preceding umpteen weeks. There is one resolution I might have to keep, though I don't know whether to call it a resolution or a duty and/or a task:. I must confront the clutter I call home and make it as nearly young-people-friendly to deal with as I can before I leave it too late. Were you to see the borderline chaos of cupboards, in particular, you would be sending flowers not of condolence but of encouragement to those who will have the job of sorting it out. I refer you to the oft quoted mots justes of someone close to me:" If they hire two skips (dumpers) they won't need to call an undertaker (mortician)" - translation included for Mountain View California. Bore da


Anonymous said...

Dear Liz, You have made this point before but you are allowed a few senior moments. My Mother is starting to worry because hers are running into one another

Anonymous said...

Dear Liz
How is it you speak American? Are you a secret Yankee?