Saturday, 7 January 2017

My six enduring memories of Christmas and the New Year


As we enter into a new year, I thought I’d share with you my personal highlights of the festive season, the most memorable moments of the last three weeks. In no particular order, they are:

1. Singing with my mother-in-law

Sadly, my 81-year-old mother-in-law is afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease; her memory span is no more than a few seconds, she’s lost her sparky temperament, and - even when surrounded by her family – she sits in silence with a blank expression. Well she does until she hears Dusty Springfield.

Late on Christmas Day, when all the feasting had ended, we played some songs from the 1960s on You-Tube. Watching mother-in-law belt out her rendition of Dusty’s ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ (word perfect, face glowing with delight) will be an image that will remain with me for ever.

2. Greeting cards from my elderly parents

Both my parents are in their mid-80s and, while yet immune from the ravages of dementia, they do tend to be a tad confused and forgetful. Sending greeting cards is a case in point.

We received a delightful Christmas card, wishing us wonderful cheer, but there was nothing written in it – completely blank. A process of elimination, and detective work of a quality Sherlock Holmes would relish, was required to identify the source.

For Mrs Jones’ birthday (2nd January) their greetings card arrived two days late due to their decision to use a 2nd-class stamp – my lovely mother is as tight as a her compression stocking – the post code was wrong, and their birthday wishes were to their ‘daughter’ rather than ‘daughter-in-law’. Ah well, it’s the thought that counts.
                                                               


3. Disturbing images of offspring
My two babies are now aged 26 and 22, both away from home and enjoying their lives to the full. Over the holiday period, each sent me an image that unsettled me.

Ryan opted to attend his football’s team’s annual fancy-dress pub crawl in the role of Alex, the
evil star from the cult film, A Clockwork Orange. Never one for half measures, the
resemblance with the Malcolm McDowell character was chilling, not least because he had            informed me that he’d recently rerun the film six times to get into role. I was left to hope that,
during his tour of all the local drinking holes, he refrained from beating an old lady to death
with a giant phallus.
Becca is gallivanting around the world and sent me a video of her sliding, head first at high velocity, on a flimsy piece of matting down an improvised mud slide in Brisbane, Australia. When she hit the pond at the bottom, she skimmed across the water and almost hit the banking on the other side. She afterwards tried to reassure me that the only injuries she’d sustained were 'a few friction burns'.
video
                                                                     
 

4. Arse grabbing
           
Shortly after midnight, in the midst of new-year revelry, the wife of my best friend grabbed
my right buttock. She can be forgiven for I was wearing my favourite slacks, the cut of which
shape my arse into an irresistible pout. The butt-clutching incident was made all the more
remarkable as the lady in question is typically reserved and self-conscious. Luckily, she was
so pissed at the time I’m sure she’ll retain no memory of her cheeky squeeze; I’ll choose the
right moment in 2017 to remind her of it!


5. A vivid dream
Over recent weeks, our house has undergone a few renovations and, as such, many workmen
have visited. One night over the Christmas period I experienced the most vivid of dreams. I
will not go into detail. Suffice it to say that it involved me, Mrs Jones, two burly builders and
a hosepipe. Watering the garden will never feel quite the same.


6. Prettiest lady in the pub
A couple of minutes before the end of 2016 I recall glancing across the table at the woman
opposite and thinking that she was, undoubtedly, the most attractive individual in the whole
pub. My second thought was that I’m so very fortunate, as the lady I was eyeing was none
other than Mrs Jones. And in addition to her beauty - inside and out - there is an additional
bonus: she can’t half hold her ale.
                                                                          
                                                                                
Best wishes for 2017 to you all.