Here We Go Again

 

Large red neon sign above a building, against a twilight sky, saying 'Happy New Year'.

Doesn’t time fly when you pay it little heed and arrogantly refuse to be constrained by arbitrary ideas such as minutes and hours? The problem with that being, time doesn’t stand still, even if you have. Next thing you know, a month or two has slipped by, and although you were there, you realise that little has been achieved. All you’ve done is exist as the days waft over. Checking in on the clock only when requisite for work commitments and the necessity of getting to shops whilst they’re open. Closed shops, in my experience, are a hindrance to a stocked food cupboard.

I’m adrift on blog reading, still yet to reach Christmas. But already my heart has sung along with the fun times being had and broken with those who have faced loss.

The Yuletide period that spits us out into a new year is not for the faint-hearted. It magnifies emotions, closeness, rifts, past times and our own interpretations of spirituality. The end of any year is awash with reflection and hope.

I’m writing this post in that vein. Over the last quarter of 2018, three fellow bloggers have been kind enough to include me in a shout-out, and albeit belated, I absolutely have to shout back at them, because they are all much admired. I’ve been known to conveniently ‘skip’ any question element of these nods, but the final one offers me the chance for that reflection, on what I personally find, a very difficult all-consuming time of year.

First up then; Grace. Thankyou for the mention. As it was back in October, I hope you’ll forgive the lateness of my acknowledgement and you’ve not changed your mind about it! I’ve talked about Grace before. This lady GRABS life and doesn’t let go. Sometimes she hurts herself along the way. Not intentionally. It’s just at random points, the Universe seems to think having MS isn’t enough of a challenge for her. One of the strongest, most gregarious, life-loving people I’ve met here, rising above every knock, hitting back with humour, always putting family and friends first. You won’t regret a visit to Grace’s world. Pulling no punches with her stories (and language!), you WILL shed a tear. Whether that’s of empathy or laughter will depend on where you jump in.

Second overdue shout back is to Cecilia at Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks. Cecilia included my name in a post that featured a pumpkin, cake and the word ‘Rebel’. Well, how could I possibly ignore that? But she’s not just all about the Destroy Do It Yourself and the Cooking, this lady knows how to write a funny tale. Some of them she’s starred in herself. Her family, willingly/unwillingly co-stars, add to the hilarity, often finding themselves in surreal predicaments. Ones that only someone of true talent can write them all out of. In her shout-out post, Cecilia asked what unconventional dinner we may have served. Well, as someone who can ruin a microwave meal, pretty much anything I cook would qualify. Definitely in the category of unconventional though, I am incredibly proud of this masterpiece. A well thought out dessert, thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Ladies and Gentleman; may I present LE PUDDING…….

A white dish filled with colourful foil-wrapped bottle-shape chocolate liqueurs.
© The Lockwood Echo

Apologies for the quality of the picture. I may have partaken of some ‘pudding’ before photographing it.

 

Then lastly we come to Rachel, blogging as Sadie Wolf. Have you ever been to India? Or Thailand? Or Japan? If like me, you’re not sure you want to get on an actual plane and actually go to the actual other side of the world, you don’t need to! Rachel is recounting her travels for us. Her and her husband are visiting Asia, discovering its culture, people and not least; themselves. Having sold up many of their worldly possessions, with a barge as a base in the UK, they planned and are now executing a mammoth trip. The whole of which will be published as a book. The detail Rachel is recording along the way is exquisite. She describes where they’re staying, not only visually, but also the sounds and smells. The clothes the locals are wearing. The food. The expectations of behaviour. It’s also a very personal account, filled with their emotions, physical well-being (and not), and following this journey has taken my senses to places my mind can now better imagine. No need for me to get on that plane.

Rachel posed three questions for those she nominated. As they were seasonal, it was only proper that, on choosing to bare my soul, I should respond in a timely manner, i.e, before summer.

What’s been the most significant ‘moment’ of the past seven days (that you’re happy to share)?
That I’m happy to share…….? Ummm…….well, there was a ‘kerching’ moment when I realised I may make it through January without going to prison. And that’s always a bonus isn’t it? Me and January are not the happiest of bedfellows. Many will attest to feeling the same I’m sure. Personal specifics will be expanded on during the next question. But back to my ‘moment’; top of the list is tomorrow, TOMORROW, we will be off to visit friends and family not seen for yonks. Amongst my nearest and dearest, unless they’re not reading this, in which case I shall be reconsidering their visitation allowance. It is a military operation to organise, but worth every minute. There will be sea too. And chips. Doesn’t get much better than that. Not only, but also, some of my favourite shows are on this month. Is it shallow to say they’ll help me through? And although I never look forward to the start of a year, we are now in our own home, so have plenty to look forward to in our garden. So, the realisation that I don’t feel a burning need to punch this January, or anyone else, in the face, yeah, a significant moment! Sorry, were these supposed to be one word answers?

What do you least like about the Christmas-New Year period?
Ugh. I know I won’t be alone in expressing ambivalent feelings towards Christmas. I love and hate it in equal measure. But I will always say I love it out loud, before I say I hate it. Emotions surface and lay raw. EVERYTHING sets me off a-blubbing. I can get desperately overwhelmed. But I throw myself into it, loving the build up the most. Once we get to Christmas Day it all goes cold and horrid. Some of my saddest and corner-turning times have happened at Christmas. Deaths, break-ups, redundancy, all call Christmas home. It can really curdle your egg-nog. The magnification, as mentioned at the start, makes it impossible to separate the past from the present. It’s all wrapped up in who you are. By the time we hit New Year it can get a bit precarious. That ‘here we go again’ feeling. The expectation to adult. I much prefer endings to starts. (Yeah, I’m odd, you must have read enough here by now to know that). Just get me through those first few days and I usually start to shake it off. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t feel the same to a greater or lesser degree. For anyone who has just experienced their less than best Christmas, I hope that the New Year finds you the strength, hope and peace you need to cradle and carry you through to better times.

And what do you like most about it?
The Alliteration!
Colour, Candy, Cosy, Chocolate, Candles, Crisps, Cookies, Cold, Cheese, Calories, Cocoa, Comet & Cupid, Cake. And most of all Charity, which isn’t just for Christmas.

There. I think my work here is done. Thankyou all for nominating me in your blogs. I hope anyone here who doesn’t already know you goes and takes a peek. And also at the other nominees. I was in very good company. Muchly honoured.

Right then. Let’s give 2019 a go shall we? Good Luck Everybody.

 

19 comments

  1. Ha, I was a fellow recipient of Sadie’s questions and I have also been to visit your recommendations today. I know I can count on your good taste for blogs (if not your ability to be up to date… 😉 )

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi Mrs Lockwood!
    Wow. That gave me goosebumps. I felt a bit tearful after reading those lovely words about my writing, so thank you so much, that is so kind of you and so appreciated. It makes me feel it’s possible, that I can do it, and that it is a worthwhile endeavour! I will definitely get my bum on the seat and get to work for a solid couple of hours today.
    Anyway enough about me, I loved the rest of your post. I immediately followed your other recommendations, like Mr B, I trust your good taste. And I love the pudding thing, thank you for taking a picture and showing us that.
    I once had a party at my house where I just served mainly 1970s desserts: Trifle made from Birds Instant Trifle mix, Angel Delight (butterscotch of course), jelly, etc.
    All the best, and thank you for absolutely making my day!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Aw, le Pudding–the cause of my meeting chairperson shame. I’m glad to see that other people appreciate the liquor filled chocolates more than my co-workers:-) I’m getting caught up too, so I know how you feel–great job here!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. OF COURSE you were mentioned so many times. Your blog has always been one of my favorites. Congrats! Sorry I’ve been MIA recently, I have barely let myself see the light of day as I’m studying for my level two sommelier exam in March so that’s all I’ve been doing! But thank you for the blog recommendations, I’ll definitely check them out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, you just earned yourself a shiny gold star for your lovely comment. And now I’m worrying that sounds patronising, but it’s a heartfelt thankyou! Funny how autocorrect changed ‘drinking wine’ to ‘studying’. That must be frustrating for you if that always happens. And I assume you use Grammarly? It’s taken your sentence ‘off my trolley’ and replaced it with ‘let myself see light of day’. Clearly a glitch in the software. Anyhow, GOOD LUCK with your sommelier studies and exam. Thankyou so much for squeezing out time to drop in. And yes, my nominations came from good places. 😉

      Like

  5. I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful comments you made about me! Would you believe I am at a loss for words?!?! As I left the hospital today lecturing my daughter that she has to take care of herself when her boys are ready to come home, it dawned on me that I should take my own advice and do something for myself. I ended up here, and I am glad I did 🙂 TY again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, well thankyou for the mention in the first place, sorry it’s taken so long to respond to it. I usually play things my own way with nomination and award stuff, but I ALWAYS acknowledge it somewhere down the line. Hope the boys are home soon. Exciting time for you all ;). Yes, keep practising what you preach Grace!

      Liked by 1 person

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