Tuesday, 1 December 2015


What's this? Clouds is actually acknowledging the existence of Christmas?!

Erm. Yes. Hi.

Those who know me know that I'm not the greatest fan of Christmas. Actually, that's an understatement. I feel about Christmas the way most people feel about the shrieking small child on a long-haul flight who kicks the back of your seat and pukes everywhere. Between 2004 and 2013, I experienced a series of absolutely dreadful Christmases, featuring the death or prolonged absence of close relatives, family illness, or recent life upheavals. I know it's not Christmas' fault, but I resent it anyway.

So why mark it this year? This year has been one of the worst years of my life. It began really well. I had a new job, a relatively new relationship, I'd finally moved out of my parents' house and was feeling pretty optimistic about life. I lost the job in March. My health - physical and mental - suddenly went south, and the relationship imploded spectacularly in the late summer. I have had two mental breakdowns, the latter of which I'm slowly crawling out of now. My employment prospects are shaky; my health, more so.

In past years I'd have approached Christmas with my usual dread and ill-humour, but this time something inside me is rebelling. I've spent so much of this year feeling completely miserable, and I just don't have the energy for it any more. I'm not going to suddenly wrap myself in tinsel and start howling carols through a megaphone from the rooftops, but I'm trying to ride on some kind of positive wave for the rest of the year. I'll spend a few days with my family, I'll eat good food I haven't had to cook, I'll drink good wine, and I'll relax a little. And then, in just 30 days, this year - this wretched year which has almost killed me twice - will be over, and the arbitrary marker will shift, and maybe I can start to hope again.

I don't know if this is going to be a series. We'll see. I just want to broadcast something other than despair, today.