04 January 2007

evidence & resolution

I've posted a heavily edited selection of photos from last weekend's parties. They're here. Some of them turned out well, some not so much. Not sure I needed to take 300 in total.

My resolutions for this year are not coming as easily as I'd like. Last year they were obvious - finish the book and exercise more. Amazingly, for the first year since I quit smoking, I accomplished both. People aren't supposed to fulfill resolutions. Not all of them anyway. They're supposed to lay in a crumbling heap with all the rest of the damaged goods after new years: broken by the third. It's the fourth and I've not worked mine out yet.

Listening to Takk by Sigur Rós and it all seems resolved.

Draw again. Write more. Keep exercising. Do stand-up at least once. Get a job. Get published. Read more.

Some of those are more difficult than others.

03 January 2007

Psychosomatic Detox

I'm not crazy.

If you accept that as fact, then the following are not the words of a lunatic.

I can talk to my cats. And they talk back to me.

I just don't know what I'm telling them.

It's easy to work out what they're saying, though. It's either: 'feed me', 'let me out' or 'stroke me'.

They have their own voices - Sam's is a sort of deep whine, whereas Bagel's has a bit more of a chirp to her meow. I imitate Sam's voice when speaking to him and Bagel's when chatting to her. Sam's banshee wail is more fun to do.

Sadly, as another season of seclusion has begun, just chatting to the cats is already losing its novelty value. If I knew what I was saying, I could be assured that my rapier wit was appreciated, but mostly I just imitate what they're saying. That makes it boring for all three of us. No one likes they're sentences repeated to them ad nauseum. Five-year-olds throughout the world have known that since time immemorial.

Resigned to the failure of my feline chat, I've cast aside inhibitions and decided to sing to them instead. Humans wouldn't tolerate this. I'm not a very good singer. To be fair, I think the cats only barely tolerate it. They view it as a necessary suffering while I dispense their dinner to them. Their stomachs drive them far more than their ears.

To be honest, I enjoy singing to them. They get a bemused look on their face and I'm sure release a giggle-like purr. And they get their food of course, so it works out for the lot of us.

When I'm not singing to the cats, I'm attempting a some sort of detox. It's a cynic's exercise as I think the vast majority of 'detox' practices are total bollocks. But I need the change of pace. It's detox for my brain and the habits and dependencies it builds up. If my body happens to benefit as well, so be it, but I'm not expecting it to. Nor is my detox quite what a hippy nutritionist would recommend. I won't give up marmite or white bread or any such thing. It's the hardcore junk food, stuffing my face and the endless fountain of beer, wine and all else that I've been drinking deeply from that are finis for a few days. The invigorating buzz of multiple espressos are on hold as well, replaced by herbal teas and mineral water. No booze, no stilton, no beer, no pizza, no wine, no fun.

It's dreadfully boring.

However, like singing to cats, it's suited to seclusion.

And it's only until Saturday.

02 January 2007

Whirligig of time

"...thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges."
(Twelfth Night (or What You Will) V,i)

It's arbitrary, I know that. The difference between 2359 and 0000 going from Sunday to Monday is only that of a minute. It's my choice to make that minute important, to take stock of life and see for only a moment the future stretching ahead, bright but out of focus. I know the cynics brush it off as just an excuse for a party (and there was a party, of that I can assure you). They're right, to an extent. It's just another day, another night, and another day again.

I see it as a new year. I buy in, gleefully, to the idea of closing the door on the past year and facing the new one with a big grin and hope of adventure.

Sometimes though, the past year shoves its foot in the door, not wanting to leave, not going quietly into that goodnight but rearing the uglier aspects of its 365 days gone by. The party was a roller coaster, some moments sheer joy and giggling delight, the tickle of champagne bubbles a tease, the laughter of good friends a song, and the road ahead clear. Then came the downs; the memories and emotional detritus of the last year and some before bubbling up thicker and more viscous than the champagne. Wonderful, beautiful, awful and horrible, surrounded by friends and sometimes very alone, the party New Year's Eve was epic on an intimate scale.

I finished the first draft of my book. Sometime between the late afternoon and early evening on New Year's Eve, perhaps later, I wrote the last sentence. I tried a couple of small celebrations - parties within the party - bottles of fine champagne with a few select friends. It was lovely, but left me in a daze. Only tonight has it sunk in entirely, when I've realised that I don't have any paper to print it out, and I haven't read it yet.

Now I feel I'm on a precipice, and I'm trying to work out whether I've just climbed up it, or am about to fall off of it.

I choose the former.

Happy New Year all, the best is yet to come.