After something of a prolonged absence, I’ve decided to pick the old blogging reigns up again. The last year has been a bit of a ball ache on the writing front for two reasons:
I write for money now. Some days I literally do nothing but knock out words for spangly clients. It’s all rather aces, but often makes the idea of putting finger to keyboard out-of-hours something of a pain in the arse. After all, ones hands are also required for things like ‘loading the washing machine’, ‘mixing cocktails’ and (my personal favourite) ‘screenshotting pictures of mad shit for Instagram’.
Aside from all the socio-political malarkey, an unidentified death-plague wiping out more or less anyone we wanted to actually stay alive and the continued absence of Nigel Farage’s head on the purpose built spike on our front drive, 2016 was barely noteworthy. I mean, I discovered an awesome new eyeliner, learnt to mix a near-perfect Espresso Martini (look Mum, I’m a scientist!), read some spiffing books, lost my family to Pokémon Go and went on a ten day Amaretto-bender in Ibiza, but that hardly constitutes a dozen meaty blog posts, right?
Or maybe I’m entirely wrong.
I spent a lot of earnest hours thinking long and hard about all the shocking and hideous shit that bestowed itself upon the world over the last twelve months. I cried hot, bitter tears when I saw war and hunger and needless tragedy play itself out through every media my miserable body is subject to. My brain rang with headaches after manic episodes and sometimes, maybe once a month, I felt like everything around me was spiralling out of control and taking me with it. Like all this mess of horror and information went in, then refused to pop back out again. And I’m sure my brain hasn’t been the only insanity tumble dryer in the world over the last year.
So I look to the mundane. The voice of my daughter singing songs I don’t approve of. The incoming repetitive strain injury from constantly rearranging the contents of the dishwasher so that it fits in more than a plate and a sieve. The depressing journeys to work in the dark, The Siren In My Hand (Amazon Prime), zits and wrinkles and seemingly endless ‘just-in-case’ trips to Tesco Express. They are all so unimportant in a year that lost entire cities and David Bowie, but they are the small things that make our worlds turn. They create stability and comfort for our children, become sniggering anecdotes over glasses of wine and cups of tea. They are the normal we all need.
So I return to the keyboard, thinking about these things and in 2017 I will seek out the little smiles and traverse a shit-covered path of normal. And let far better writers than I tackle the topics that bend my mind. Well, until some bastard does something to set me off again.
Happy New Year. You’re all lovely.
(Except you, Farage. You’re a wanker. And so is your orange mate.)