I guess, like most people at this time of year, I’m feeling hugely listless. My brain has wound down and there’s very little I can do about it. I did some writing this morning and then merely sat in front of the television for about 6 hours. This isn’t exactly the behaviour of a man with an important deadline on the horizon, but the icy weather, the grey skies, and the imminent promise of Christmas all seem to be conspiring to turn me into a pointless waste of space. Ho ho hum...
I’m sitting in the laundrette watching my clothes spinning in endless messy circles. They all look so pathetic in there, jumping around shambolically like a class of 8-year-olds doing gymnastics. I realise now that I have dreadful clothes. I’m never able to afford anything nice. Nothing fits, most things have either shrunk or been pulled into weird shapes and everything I own seems to have a hole in it somewhere; even my suits.
My friend Ellen had her first episode of Coronation Street broadcast two nights ago. I felt pathetically proud when the words; “written by Ellen Taylor” popped up on the screen. It’s a shame in a way that they had to be part of the newly revamped titles sequence, which is a terrible 1990s disaster zone. Ellen’s writing, however, is wonderful. She’s not a Northerner, but seems to fully understand the rhythm and pace of the Mancunian dialect. Everything felt rather brilliantly understated. It was a rather odd experience to watch a soap opera whilst concentrating on its dialogue. Usually everything just wafts over my head. Like a well-lit room, you only notice the dreadful wallpaper if one of the lights suddenly goes out - as it did with Scott Maslan on the live episode of Eastenders earlier this year. My experience of soaps is watching them in a sort of daze, periodically waking up to notice, for example, that Steve’s complexion is as pallid as his eyes are dark, or to wish I’d watched more carefully as the tram descended onto Rita’s shop.
Our subterranean yoyo
A flash of cadmium yellow
M m m m m m metro
(Think Paul Hardcastle, and you’ll realise where I’m going with this lyric...)
I've only sent two Christmas cards this year. What am I going to do? I don’t know any addresses. Everyone’s on Facebook but I refuse to send Christmas greetings via the internet.
Pepys’ slow march towards Christmas in 1660 involved, once again, sitting with his workmen, before heading out to a tavern where he obviously had a very good time because he used the word fine, three times within the space of a paragraph. He walked home, late, with Sir William Penn, who “was so overcome with wine that he could hardly go; I was forced to lead him through the streets and he was in a very merry and kind mood.” It’s good to know that the office party hasn't changed in 350 years!
Pepys returned home to find the workmen gone, and their work complete, but his head was so “troubled” with wine that he went straight to bed without admiring his newly decorated house.