We’re having a quiet Christmas this year.

My not-so-well husband and I will stay at home on Christmas Day.  (He has said it is okay to mention him here, sometimes.)

We have been invited out but, last year, it was so difficult . . . (I won’t say everything – there is a certain amount of respect for his privacy that I adhere to).

This year, we have no decorations up – my husband has been a hoarder and we are still working through all that and – literally – there is nowhere to put the tree, the space where it used to go being taken up now by . . . new furniture to make things easier for him.

I have some tete-a-tete daffodil bulbs on the window-sill in the front room in the place where I have put the odd small ornament in years gone by.

And a blue hyacinth bulb starting to grow in a hyacinth vase.

I’d rather have those than Christmas paraphernalia.

In the back garden is the frog-house (yes, you can get them) that my sister got for me for my last birthday, and a broken large terracotta pot buried partly in, for another.

They come over sometimes from next door where they have taken up residence in Godwin’s shallow water-tray.  I haven’t said anything to her, but they will die if they can’t get deep, or sheltered, if we have a hard winter.

I have the two pot-ponds buried deep – those I was going to have on top of the ground before I discovered there were still frogs.

I have sent out all my Christmas cards.

I write on, relentlessly, trying to find my way.

People are busy with Christmas preparations, and I don’t care about it.

I’m still getting over NaNo, and I feel as though no one is bothered about that, now, but I have the odd post I wrote back then – actually, only early this month but that seems such a long time ago – that I couldn’t publish (in the WordPress way) then – and need to now, so I can move on.

‘Blog – Friday 6 December 2019.

‘Gotta round it up.  Gotta round it up.  Gotta . . .

‘I was old in there – my real, old self.

‘Give up on it!  Give up on the pretence!

‘Told you so!  Told you so!

‘Shad up!  Shad up!  Shad up!’

 

NaNoWriMo – one I prepared earlier, and felt I couldn’t give until now . . .

‘Saturday 6 December 2019.

‘It’s difficult to move on from NaNoWriMo.  I can’t round it up, in my mind.

‘I thought it was terrible, really.

‘I’ve escaped from there by the skin of my teeth, and I don’t want to go back, not at the moment.

‘I didn’t want to send those 50,000-odd words up the validation spout, and then I couldn’t anyway because that part of the site was broken.

‘They had a poll and I said the lack of validation hadn’t spoilt my – experience – of NaNo, but, really – it needed to be there or people could make up any number they wanted.

‘Of course.

‘I didn’t buy a mug.

‘By the end of it, I didn’t want a mug.

‘I didn’t want a t-shirt, but then I don’t wear t-shirts – I used to, back in the day, but I prefer blouses now (loose).

‘I hate to betray my age-group, but NaNo is for young people.

‘And I lost a lot of data because I didn’t manage the site very well.

‘But that doesn’t matter – I lost site-data, not my own – I still have my 50,031 words plus some – I’ve jotted into that Word document (where I have it) more words, directional words, reminder words as they have occurred to me after the end of NaNo.

‘NaNoWriMo is a money-making machine – but wait – it’s non-profit, isn’t it?

‘I don’t know how that works.

‘I have the words.

‘I don’t want to be too critical.

‘I have more words there, which are far-ranging due to the forced-march aspect of it – not just one novel-length there –

‘When I go back, I’ll keep what is there – the general organisation that it is – at arm’s length.

‘Hated NaNo.’

The thing is you get sick of beating around the bush.

If you are from a Northern English town where your culture has been seen, through that North/South divide, as being blunt to a point of –

not having any finesse, not knowing the meaning of ‘acceptability’ – in effect, being on the fringes of society –

and, you are getting on in years at last – you always thought that, once you were 70 or beyond, you couldn’t expect to be alive, even – three-score-years-and-ten and all that – a system of religion to which you have been well-exposed but not officially slotted-into further than bare essentials (being Christened in a church; marrying in one; being buried or cremated through one, hopefully (not going to happen)) –

and you’re close to that point of biblical old-age (the definition of which you did internalise) – and, after all, you wish you could look forward to more time, because you haven’t said everything yet –

and according to that, you only have another couple of years . . .

And then the whole landscape around you changes – what used to be local industries become obsolete –

and so many different cultures are admitted and overlay yours –

and you wish you could just say it as it is.

But you do and people don’t get it anyway –

(not necessarily about that but about something else).

And you’re bursting with what you really think –

But you don’t want to be had up –

And your language is quaint, if you let it in . . .

A visitor this weekend.

How to cook for someone else.

Conversation – it has been so long.

The words are not there.

Or misunderstood.

I feel my way, still spaced out after NaNoWriMo, which I didn’t want to mention again.

But I have talked about it with the visitor.

I feel not normal.

I feel tactless, and as though that is my normal state – why can’t people understand?

Some awful stories and I know I have had myself wrapped up here, cocooned.

It is lucky for me that I have somewhere to warm myself, and that I am not standing on some street corner, screaming.

I talk to myself quite a lot these days.

Oh, I know what it must look like.

But, as I go round my daily – things – chores (don’t like that) – what-I-dos (that ‘dos’ doesn’t look like a plural ‘do’ but something I should have learned long ago – maybe ‘things’ have moved on since then . . .)

Mm.  Talking to myself helps reinforce questions, answers, important thoughts . . . (lots of ‘dot, dot, dot’s these days, also – what can it mean?

Those poles, those poles . . .

Just playing around.  Memories.