Quite suddenly and unexpectedly and just as I started relaxing, the Christmas holidays ended and the New Year commenced. So here we all are sober and blinking in the January sunlight wondering, like Janus, whether to look backwards or forwards. Are there things that we want to change about ourselves this year? Is this the time to ring the changes just because tradition so dictates?
Quite a few female friends have told me that their New Year’s Resolution is to re-think their shoe collections. This delights me no end particularly as Aprilke is moving to Sydney and I will have a shoe stalking partner in crime. One male friend told me that he is resolving to do nothing, which may or may not mean that he actually does something, but removes the pressure of resolution. Men are so much more pragmatic of course.
My New Year’s resolutions have taken a wee while to actually resolve. In fact, the crystallisation of my New Year Resolutions only occurred his morning while looking at a missing heart shaped glass bead on my shoes. The heart shaped bead was removed by the Minx who is a bit obsessed with these particular Alan Pinkus open toed mules, particularly the heart shaped heel. The red heels have a cleavage up the back looks like a little builders crack when seen from behind (if you are the height of a garden gnome). I have no idea how she removed the bead or where it has gone. When left to her own devices the Minx can dismantle corporeal objects in the blink of an eye – quietly, stealthily and with a Peter Lorre smile resting lightly on her pretty little face. You will see the missing bead if you look closely at the foot on the right hand side of the picture. I believe that it was removed during the last Christmas holiday period.
As those of you with children know, the Christmas holidays are not generally a time of peace, calm & reflection. In our house it is probably fair to say that the house is a noise ridden midden* on its good days and something out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting on its bad ones.
Add some particularly driech** Sydney days and two stir crazy kids giving it laldy*** and it would be difficult to hear a cement truck thundering past our house. My children get up to all kinds of mischief on grey, sticky days. Yesterday, the Minx found an antique collection of metal Meccano bits and spread these round in liberal concentric circles on our bedroom carpet. While I was picking up after her she headed into the laundry, tipped all the washing powder on the floor and started painting with it using the toilet brush. As I cleaned up that mess she headed into the bathroom and fed two rolls of toilet tissue to the toilet. The bits that did not quite fit into the toilet she tore up (once sodden) and used to decorate the tiles on the walls. By the time that I had cleaned up after her the morning was too advanced to think about heading off to the park.
The most sensible thing on days like this would be to bundle the weans into the car and drive to a beach or park somewhere to run the orneriness out of them. The thing is that there is only one designated driver in our house and that is my husband. He bears the full brunt of holiday driving hell as I do not have a driving licence. To my discredit, I have tried and failed to pass my driving test three times and yes, I know that is a pathetic admission.
A long time ago I sat three driving tests pretty much in succession over a six month period and failed on a different exit of the same roundabout on every single occasion. This is the roundabout that thwarted me – the crossing of Kilmarnock, Minard and Pollockshaws Roads with Langside Avenue in the south side of Glasgow.
After the final attempt I decided that driving was probably not for me and decided to either cycle or walk locally; to scrounge lifts or take public transport to work. Since moving to Australia, people are constantly surprised and concerned by the fact that I do not drive. For a long time it was just not an issue for me. If I needed to get out of the house, it was simple enough to load up the Mountain Buggy with children, snacks and water and head to the nearest park. As the children have gotten larger the Mountain Buggy can no longer cope with their combined weight. Since it unlikely that the Minx will lose her propensity for havoc making, I need therefore to be able to depart the house as soon as the ominous glint appears in her eyes.
Which begs the question – which of you lovely people is going to take me out for my driving practice runs?
*Midden: A word used by Scots to describe anyone, any place or anything which is unkempt, messy and/or characterised by the liberal application of waste products. Not to be confused with the Aborigine term Midden which designates a shell heap.
**Driech: Adjective = description of the default Scottish weather ie overcast, grey, dreary and likely to chuck it down with rain for the foreseeable future.
*** Laldy: To give it Laldy means to do anything with great enthusiasm and animation, preferably loudly. For example: Ye shoodie seen Senga at the dancing,she wiz pure dead geein it laldy aw night with that wee loon frae Paisley.