Saturday, 10 January 2015

Happy New Year!


It’s probably a bit late to wish everybody a Happy New Year, after all the new year is well and truly under way.  But I’ll do so anyway.  Happy New Year!
          After the sadness of having our darling pooch put to sleep and then a family member’s Christmas tantrum, it was good to put the lid on 2014 and embrace 2015 with optimism for better things.  This is the year we hope to move.  Again.  Yes, I know we only moved house fifteen months ago, but our current abode was only ever a stop-gap. It was primarily chosen for the youngest daughter’s convenience in order for her to hop on a bus to college, hop on another bus to her Sunday job, and hop on yet another bus to visit her boyfriend.  The fact that Eleanor’s forays into public transport happen once every blue moon is something of a bone of contention.
          ‘We moved here for you to be independent,’ I moaned, after sitting in a freezing cold car for an hour and a half while Eleanor ‘popped in’ to a nail salon to have her Christmas nails professionally seen to.  ‘We’re no longer surrounded by farmers’ fields and a distinct lack of public transport.  Indeed, there is a bus stop at the bottom of the road and a huge red vehicle roars past every ten minutes.’
          ‘But it’s cold,’ Eleanor pointed out.
          ‘Yes, don’t I know it?’ I retorted.  ‘My hands are like blocks of ice!’
          ‘Well you didn’t have to sit in the cold,’ Eleanor replied. ‘You could have started the car up and had the heater on.’
          My seventeen-year-old has yet to grasp the economics of a vehicle using fuel for ninety minutes whilst travelling precisely nowhere, and has probably never heard of the carbon footprint.
          ‘It’s high time you got on with your driving test and gained some independence,’ I remonstrated, starting the car up and waiting for the heater to kick in.  Years of being an unpaid taxi driver is wearing thin.  ‘How are you going to get about when you go to uni and I’ve moved away?’
          I was greeted with a wall of silence.  This is par for the course.  Both my children are absolutely against any house moving.  They would much prefer we stay put in our stop-gap house which is conveniently situated close to everything.  Want to go shopping?  Down the road.  Want to catch a train?  Up the road.  Want to catch a plane?  Turn left to Gatwick Airport.  Want to run away?  Ahhh, now this is the true crux of which direction to go in.  For I am very aware that an invisible part of me has already embarked upon this journey, and the route is a long and very straight line but I won’t, for now, reveal precisely where this road leads to.  Let’s just say it’s a bit of a trek.  And it’s not my usual stomping ground.  I have wondered, in my moments of trying to be analytical, if the appeal of settling in this unfamiliar location is some sort of psychological thing where I put as much distance between me and those who pull me this way and that, constantly demanding their pound of flesh.  I love my family, but by God I crave peace!
          I have ventured off to this secret place twice now exploring nearby villages built in unfamiliar stone and a landscape that’s rugged and, in winter, bitterly cold.  In my head I’ve bought the house, joined a local rambling group, and even have a new hound at my heels as we trek for miles with nothing but the wind for company.  No doubt I’m looking at the whole thing with rose-tinted spectacles, and the reality could be very different.  But we all need to have our hopes and dreams, and right now I’m enjoying this particular dream.
          Whatever your dreams are for 2015, I hope they become your reality.  Which reminds me.  Jemima was taking an afternoon nap on New Year’s Eve so she was fresh for the festivities. Upon waking, she said to her husband, Max, ‘I had a wonderful dream that you gave me a diamond ring as a New Year’s present.  What do you think it all means?’  Max smiled indulgently.  ‘Aha!  You’ll know later tonight,’ he assured.  At midnight, Max gave Jemima a small package.  Delighted, she quickly opened it.  And there in her hand was a little book entitled The Meaning of Dreams 

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