Saturday, 31 December 2011


As we approach the compulsory shit & piss-fest that is the NYE celebrations, I guess we should review the past year, recollect the bad memories and good, and be thankful that some of us are still here.

I nearly lost the wife back in July.
Not in the garden centre as per norm, but to a collection of pulmonary embolisms and secondary pneumonia.
Like George, it was all a bit 'touch & go'.
We also had to move house whilst she was in hospital.
As a consequence, we got behind in our regular readings of Tim Dowling's column in the Guardian Weekend supplement.

It's become a fairly pleasant routine.
I read the wife to sleep with a series of back-to-back TD escapades; ones that I rehearse in advance, in order to provide humour or gravitas when required.
I even do the voices.
I never attempt TD's mid-Atlantic nasal drawl, but I've mastered a trio of teen petulance for the kids, and do a slightly bored, if massively indignant wife.
I've even bestowed a Southern Irish lilt upon TD's best friend Pat, and my drummer from the band can often sound like Mick Jagger.

The problem we have with Mr.Dowling's articles is that they are far too short.
Reading them is like watching the daily half-hour repeats of 'Come Dine With Me'.
After several recaps and an abundance of DFS adverts, you're not left with much substance.
We now record CDWM and watch them back-to-back with the assistance of a f/fwd button on the remote.
And this is how we enjoy TD, with a few of his columns back-to-back.

In July of this year, we had several TDs outstanding, but there was no immediate fear of not completing them by year end.
Most of them focussed on yet another holiday in Cornwall, or yet another festival appearance by the band.
But by the end of October, I had so many Weekend's piled up, that they resembled a dog-eared bedside table.
Tim Dowling was growing in stature, but only on my bedroom floor.
I set about reducing the dust topped mountain with passion and theatrical prowess, and I'm happy to be able to tell you that we are down to the last three (yet another technophobe one, Dinner with the kids & Choosing the Xmas tree).

Tonight we will spend NYE with my friend Luke and his family.
I have less than ten hours to complete my task, a task that looked improbable in August of this year, particularly when my wife was hooked up to a life support machine.
Perhaps I'll read the final three to tonight's assembled party-goers, whilst quietly praying that this year can happily come to an end?
Or perhaps I'll save them for the marital bed later?
Or perhaps I just won't bother?

After all, I'm no Tim Dowling.

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