It’s a funny time of year this, the bit between Christmas and New Year. A good time of year. It feels like no other time of the year. The big build up to Christmas has had its crescendo, and in its aftermath most people, still in festive mood, relax as they rarely get the chance too. It’s a period dense with days off, and in any case only a few bother going to work in this period (which is a doddle anyway), and the rest head off to some seaside resort for some official R&R.
In Melbourne there’s the added theatre of the Boxing Day test match, one of the biggest sporting events on the Australian calendar. It’s like Christmas in ways in how people anticipate and make plans for it. It was in our conversation Christmas night, and in fact over the last 4 days over 270,000 people turned up at the G to watch.
More often than not this is a particularly quiet time for me. I think that’s how I like it. I’ve worked a few times and it’s a breeze. Otherwise I’ve almost made it a tradition of doing fuck all – which largely consists of sleeping in, barbecues, watching the cricket, and reading lots of books. I don’t shun company, but I’m very happy in my own. I’ll socialise if the occasion comes up, but I’m equally content to lock myself away with the things that please me.
It’s a little different this year. This year I’m at my sister’s, which is imperfect. She’s gone away with the kids and so I have the place to myself, just about. There’s Rigby of course, plus their dog, Percy, who trail me everywhere, and a cat, Flynn. They lock me into this place, I couldn’t go away if I wanted to (and I did get an enticing invitation to Wye River).
I’ve been very lazy. I’ve been out twice to buy a newspaper and simple groceries. Otherwise I’ve read – the paper, a magazine, a couple of books on the go (including Ricky Ponting’s, which is excellent). Naturally I’ve watched the cricket, immensely enjoying an emphatic come from behind win by Australia completed this afternoon – now 4-0 up. I had a barbecue one night, and tonight venture out someone to else’s for a barbecue there.
Traditionally, for me, this has been a time of peace and solitude during which I quietly reflect on the year coming to an end, and look towards the year on the cusp of beginning. None of it is organised – I don’t sit myself down to do this, pen in hand. Rather it seems a natural part of this period, of living quietly with myself as the dear draws to an end. Things fall out of it, as it were. By the time the new year actually hits I generally feel I have a good handle on the state of the nation.
That’s not the case this year. There seem few things that remain consistent this year around. I’m not sure what to think of my situation, unresolved as it is, but it’s contemplating the future that really does my head in. I can’t recall ever being so confused or uncertain. That’s not a state of being, rather a statement of reality. It would be surprising if I wasn’t confused, and asking for certainty is impossible in these circumstances without a crystal ball.
This time of year is kinda like the phony war. You know, that was period at the start of WW2 after war had been declared and nobody did anything waiting for the others to act. It couldn’t last, but for a while it was all peachy and uneventful. We all know how that went.
Not much serious happens this week, but it’s a different story after. Next week the phone will start ringing again and the time I relish now will be lost. Once more I’ll have to find a way, and again and again.
In all seriousness I think that’s all I can do: stem the bleeding, bloody hard when the damn thing is just about hanging by the skin. But perhaps there’s a moral in that, and something I’m considering: amputate, and seal the wound.
Whatever I do and however it happens there will come a time after that. Things have been resolved, one way or another, but what then? So hard to know because I don’t know how severe the surgery will be, or even if I can get away without it. I can’t have anything more than airy notions of what might be. They’re some crazy notions there, but given the last 18 months they might just be the way to go.
World War IIHalopedia: World War II, or abbreviated as WWII, was an international human conflict that occurred on Earth between 1939 and 1945. →