This is the week between the years.    With Christmas over and New Year not yet upon us, I always feel trapped in a kind of limbo in which you lurk in your cave and look out, longing for the return of the light.    I am reminded of ancient peoples gathering in places like Maeshowe (Orkney) and watching to see if the life-giving sun would ever return.

 This year on the 27th, our central heating went down.    It is amazing how used you get to creature comforts, for even though we can have hot water by electricity, have gas to cook with, have hot air fan heaters belting out warmth and the Vladimir Putin fireplace (put in by us in case he switched off the gas supply) – so we are not exactly bereft of warmth – you do get used to central heating.   I miss its companionable noises;  how it comes on and goes off;  its squeaks and grumbles.   I don’t like the noise of the fan and the too dry air it produces, and although I do appreciate the fire it’s rather like the kind of pretty woman who is  very appealing when you first look at her, but requires too much attention.

This is also a time of over-eating.   The food is there, and you’ve nothing else to do.   So you loaf around eating, watching repeats on television, bored, lazy…   Elisabeth first introduced us to Mad Men in Tokyo, and Rory and Sarah have left us boxed sets, and though I enjoy them (love the clothes) they do contribute to the general air of decadence and depression.

As soon as Boxing Day is over I start to feel irritable towards the Christmas ‘tat’ – the decorations, the poinsettia with its dropping leaves, the cards falling off the walls, the red table runner that I embroidered 30 years ago, the Christmas tree looking like someone returning from a party rather the worse for wear.     I have to restrain myself from clearing it all away before New Year.

This is a time for reflection, for taking stock.   It’s when I sort out my diary of the year, printing it out and putting it away in its brown folder.   I thought I had written less this year because I had put time and effort into (private) blogs, but when I look at the stacked up pages, that doesn’t seem to be the case.    At this time I generally read the diary, before putting it away, rarely to be consulted again.   

I’m always surprised at the amount of things that have happened in any year.   This year we travelled to Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Japan and Scotland (twice.)        

You count the losses.   Not too many in 2010 – our gallant friend, Ulla, (may her journey be peaceful.)   Some gains – two of our children got engaged.    My cousin Sheena had a lovely daughter, Claire.   The children of our family and friends produced various lovely babies.

Having forgotten much of what I wrote, I laugh over some of my tales of events.   What a nasty tongue I sometimes have.   Unkind comments I have made in irritable exasperation at the time, while they draw a smile, make me shake my head over my irascibility.   That’s not my considered view.   Should I edit it out?     But I leave it in.   Diary, catty comments and all, must just stand.   I hope no-one ever reads it and is hurt.   But if they do, I am unlikely to be here.    The likelihood is these pages will all end up on some bonfire one day.    Well, I have enjoyed writing them.

The week between the years may be dull, but I think it’s beneficial.   We should all emerge from our mini-hibernation refreshed, ready to ride the turbulent dragon that the new year represents.    It’s rushing towards us, faster than we think.     Give us strength for the journey.


About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.


  1. shinypigeon says:

    I love the idea of the week between years. You are right, it is a lost week of over indulgence and lack of exercise!

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