Tuesday, 17 December 2013


I’m often accused of humbug behaviour at this time of year.
My misanthropy  borders on the evil side, and I moan and grumble my way through the season of good will, hoping to achieve a sense of relief come twelfth night, and hoping to avoid the inevitable stress-related flare-ups.

But it’s not the season of good will I detest.

It’s the people.

Today I tried my hardest, with my last remaining fiver, to do a ‘Jack Monroe’ in order to feed my family and cats, until the next ESA payment comes in.

And I failed.
I ended up buying value pizza and out-of-date sausages.
(But I also managed to secure a massive bag of reduced sprouts, so that at least me and the wife and the vegetarian lodger can keep the fresh veg intake up for a week or two).

And today, before I left the house, I resolved to smile at everyone I came into contact with.

I felt today I should be glad to be alive, and walking, and warm
(the shops are a great place to go if you can’t afford to have the heating on at home!)
So I smiled and I waved.
I even patted a dog.

But everyone seemed terse and brusque,  fretful, worried and dare I say it, downright miserable.
It was the alarm before the swarm.
Panic filled their eyes and slumped their shoulders.

I let a kid past who was scootering on the pavement, and even though he thanked me, he got scowls from the lady on the motability scooter and “oi”s from a man with a big box of something electrical.
The post office queue was as long as it had been every day of this month (very lengthy) but it was filled with muttering o.a.p.s, angry men in suits and mothers talking out LOUD to their errant children

“ PUT that down!  Why? WHY? Because mummy has to stand here darling. Because we’re in a QUEUE and have BEEN for quite some time now.  PUT THAT DOWN!”

It was only a biro on a chain.
It’s Christmas for fuck’s sake.

Everywhere and everyone was glum, and by the time I smiled at the scruffy chap picking through the bin outside Laura Ashley, I was all smiled out.

Maybe feeding a family of three( + 2 cats) for under a fiver makes me happier than most?
Maybe Xmas has just run out of joy?
Maybe I really don’t like ‘other people’?

I’m not really sure, but I’m glad to be home again.
In bed.
In the cold.
With my emaciated cats and my vaginal knitting.

And according to my email inbox, Mehdi Hasan, Owen Jones and Clare Balding have got tweets for me.

Merry Xmas.

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