Summer Thoughts

And so it begins again. I sit here, with a fan blowing air gently in my direction, if not actually cooling the room, and feel itchy and irritable from lack of sleep and my eye hurts from a strange and violent incident involving a surprisingly sharp pine needle from our Christmas tree. It’s summer and I have already resolved to work harder at writing and try to achieve things – better things than last year – and hone, if I can, my gift, such as it is.

The Christmas tree was enormous – 8 or 9 feet tall – the tallest we have ever had, and real, for we don’t like the idea of a plastic pretend tree in our house. Laetitia and I agree on the sanctity of the Christmas season – not in a religious sense, but in a traditional, Chrismassy sort of way. Decorations and presents and special foods and A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker and Gian Carlo Minotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. However when we took the tree down, and it had given us such pleasure, for many weeks, a needle from it poked me in the left eye and left my vision impaired and my eye a generally weird shade of pink for about a week. The eye looked strange for the whole time we were away at a friend’s fancy wedding weekend, and it is only just beginning to feel a bit better. Mercifully it looks much more normal now.

This is the time of the year when some people whinge about summer being too hot, and, basically, too summery. By some people I mean me. Some people even write about it. But I don’t want to burden my reader with the rantings of a person whose body revolts against unpleasantly hot, humid and fiercely oppressive weather conditions. Some claim to even like summer, although this is hard to credit. Beach going, fishing, spending time in the sun, and so on – these things are possible, if you have a cool house to return to, and the prospect of getting decent sleep.

Enough though.

The Christmas holidays, which I am usually able to take, are always most anticipated and constitute one of the few times of the year when there is excitement purely because it is a certain time of the year. It has occurred to me – or perhaps this should be in the form of a question rather than a conclusion – I have come to wonder, in recent years – (yes, better!) – whether this holiday is all it seems. (There was the temptation to write “all it is cracked up to be”, but one really ought avoid cliché and attempt to express things one’s own way.) The point is that a holiday I think of as being simple and lazy has become involved and complex and busy. Granted, for me busy is doing more than two things, but I do not feel as refreshed as it seemed I might feel, when the prospect of impending leave made me think in early December about sleeping in and recharging the batteries. Maybe this is just the way things are: people who don’t sleep so well will always rue missed or lost sleeping opportunities, people who whinge a lot will always take the opportunity to whinge.

There is nothing more to say about this, lest it seem my curmudgeonly ways have taken over every other sensibility in my character. Christmas is still a beautiful time, and extra special to spend with your wife of only a few months, and the time we spent socialising, which would not be considered a lot of time or a taxing series of efforts by most other people, was very pleasant. It is always good to see friends, and we really mustn’t lose sight of that.

Given that I’m the one in danger of losing sight of such a message, then this is really me writing to me.

Now some observations – to change the focus a little – which I am willing to share with you. There may be only one, but it’s a doozy. I’ve realised that I would love to be Santa Claus. Yes, we were watching The Santa Clause, a Tim Allen film, when this occurred to me, or perhaps it was during Elf (with Will Ferrell). Santa is intimately associated with Christmas, my favourite time, and giving presents is better than receiving them, as I have learned, although getting is still pretty good, and making all those people (not just kids in my view) happy, and the adventure of one big, busy night on Christmas Eve, and, I think, the lifestyle, living in the snow, sitting by the fire and smoking a pipe, and the clothes – it all appeals, more than I can say.

I seem insane now. Or more unbalanced than I did before.

This year there are two main projects which I intend to start with. Won’t say any more, as I hate telling people my plans and then not completing them. Neither may happen, but both will be good for me to try. Something good and serious and long is not beyond me, and I hope this is the year that I start to make real mature progress … although silly can never be far away when I write anything longer than a few words.

My collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald works is now in a rotating case on an art deco table we found on our travels, and this seems right somehow. Books have not lost their appeal and I doubt they ever will. A recent purchase of Evelyn Waugh’s Diaries is already good, and he hasn’t finished school yet. If there were more time to read that would be perfect.

And of course this became far more disjointed and tiradey than it was intended to be. For these sins I apologise.

May the summer cool or may I at least sleepwalk through it, in here, with my fingers on the keys of this keyboard – only a few fingers, for my typing is woeful – and get to the cooler months in one piece, with a good story or two to show for my combined attempts to keep cool and stay creative.

That is all.

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Published in: on January 13, 2015 at 7:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

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