I was going to stay off the subject of politics until the new year, but having just seen the details of CaMoron’s new years message, I now think new year’s eve is close enough. CaMoron is warning of a tough year ahead, but he maintains that the cuts he will impose are necessary to ‘get us out of the economic mess Labour left us’. This is bullshit, and really makes me angry. The last government did not leave us in a mess by any means: after 1997, they built a rigid, secure economy which was able to weather the worst world banking crisis since the thirties. It was only due to brown that we aren’t now in another depression. How this unelected Tory Prime Minister can come on TV and try to pin the hardships they will make on the previous government shows us all just how little honour the Tories have. The truth is they want to impose these cuts: for them, the economy was too big and taxes were too high. They want lower taxation so that wealth stays in the hands of the rich: they want a system where the rich stay rich and the poor…well, the poor are just poor because, in Tory philosophy, they are just lazy. Why should the rich pay part of their hard-earned cash to the tax man, so he can give it to such slackers? This is Tory philosophy, and this is the reason behind the cuts. They are motivated by greed and the desire to keep wealth in the hands of the wealthy, and they don’t give two hoots about those who rely on public services. Thus for CaMoron to go on television and claim he has no choice and the cuts are all the fault of the previous government is the most discussing, shameful and bare-faced lie ever uttered in British politics.
All is well here in Charlton. The house is fairly quiet, apart from Lyn composing in her studio. She’s working on a new song, which sounds awesome.. We’re also trying out a new PA, Adrian, from Poland – he already seems a cool guy*. As for myself, I’m just catching up on correspondence, checking facebook, blogging and drinking coffee.
I find myself reflecting upon what a spectacular year it has been. It has been a year where, in a way, I finally grew up, going from essentially an adolescent still living off my parents to a young man, settling down, becoming engaged and building a new life. Now that I think about it, it’s quite remarkable how dramatically my life has changed. I still have much growing to do, of course; I rely on Lyn for a lot of stuff and I can still be quite childish. Yet I think I’m growing.
In about three weeks it will be a full year since I moved in with Lyn. It’s funny to think that there was a time when I couldn’t bear to spend one night away from my parents, and now ‘home’ seems quite a distant memory. Yet this is my home now, as I keep writing; it’s a very good, comfortable home,, often full of music and the smell of coffee. It is where I intend to build a family, and grow old with Lyn. It is Our house , and I never realised how amazing that feeling would be.
*Looks Like Felix Riebl from The Cat Empire, in a way.
England have retained the ashes in Australia. I never thought I’d have the chance to write that sentence. Mind you, we have retained them rather than won them outright. There’s the Sydney test tto come, and the Aussies will try their hardest to win that, so the series will probably end up two all, but under the rules a tied series means we keep the urn, which is good enough for me. In fact I reckon it’s enough to wipe clean the utter embarrassment of our last tour down under, as it is a victory inflicted on their own back yard, and by quite a convincing margin. As an English cricket fan, I am now incredibly happy – what a Christmas it is turning out to be.
I think something odd happened this evening – something worth recording, although it was only small. Lyn felt the need to get out of the house, which is quite understandable given she spends so much time here, so we went to a pub we know on the other side of the park. We’ve been there quite a few times, but not since the summer. We were just walking back, when I felt something: the type of feeling you get when you visit a place which you once knew well but had forgotten, or a place you loved as a child. We were walking past Charlton house in the pitch dark of a December evening when I suddenly remembered the feeling of last summer: I rremembered walking through the park in july, and how beautiful it looks when the flowers were out and the sun was beating down. In short I felt nostalgic.
Reading this back it seems silly, and hardly important, yet in a way this is very significant. The warmth I felt in that moment, as we strode past the dark outline of Charlton house, was the same warmth I felt when I drove out along the lanes back up north: a feeling of familiarity and of homeliness. It tells me that this is now my home, and that here, with Lyn amidst the bustle of this great city, is where I belong.
I woke up very happy indeed this morning, for I think yesterday was one of the greatest days of my life. It was the type of day which makes you reflect on how good life is. Despite the taxi being slightly late, we made it in good time to my grandmothers house on the other side of London. I think Lyn was feeling somewhat nervous, and to be honest I was too, but we need not have worried. As soon as we got there, my uncle came out to the cab to greet us, then my dad, and I felt as if I’d come home.
For as long as I can remember, my parents had taken me, every few months, to visit my grandparents in Harlesden, so much so that their house was as familiar to me as my own. Going there yesterday, with so much off my family there, felt like slipping into an old pair of slippers or starting to read your favourite childhood novel for the umpteenth time. It felt cozy and warm, and it was then I remembered what a great family I have. Luke and Yan were there, with Yan’s mum, my uncle and aunt, both my grandmothers, and, of course, my parents. I did my best to hug everybody. We sat down to talk in the front room while we waited for dinner.
There’s not more I can say, really, other than giving a rather tedious account of what we spoke about. Yet I must say how great it felt to be there with Lyn, and to see her accepted, as it were, into the family, not that there was any doubt that this would happen: everybody got on like a house on fire. Christmas dinner was excellent, and easily ranks alongside these three as one of my all-time favourite meals. I must say, too, of how proud I am of my parents, for various reasons. For example, mum made a vegan alternative for Lyn, Andrezj and Natalia, as they don’t eat meat
I don’t think I can explain fully why all this made me happy; it just made me very happy indeed. Sitting around the table with Lyn and most of my family, and then playing dominoes at the kitchen table in the early evening, made me realise what a bloody lucky man I am. I must admit I felt rather sad to hear the doorbell ring, meaning the taxi had come to take us home, yet I also felt refreshed and reinvigorated, as if seeing my family had reset something. The pangs of homesickness I’ve felt, on and off, for the last few days have disappeared and I feel keen and excited about the day, week, month and year ahead.
Yesterday, for me, was very special indeed.
I do not have much to write tonight. As I recorded the other day, tomorrow we’re going to have Christmas dinner with my family. I’m really excited about it, both because I haven’t seen them in ages -, I haven’t seen my grandmothers in over a year, a fact which has been playing on my mind someewhat – and because Lyn will get to meet everybody. She has met mum, dad and Luke before, of course, albeit separately, but this will be the first family gathering I’ve taken her to, and the first I’ve been to as part of a couple. That thought feels wonderful, not least because I’ll get to show everyone how amazing Lyn is. It’s funny how I once thought I’d never thought I’d get to go somewhere as ‘us’, but now it feels rather natural.
Well, merry Christmas everybody. Have a great day tomorrow.
I met Lyn’s brother, Paul today, for the first time. I’d never met him before. Lyn warned me he comes over every Christmas, but it was a bit of a surprise when he appeared at the door this morning. Lyn was still in bed, so when he appeared at the door, Andrezj and I just took him for another delivery guy. We were about to take his present and shut the door when he said ”tell Lyn I called’, and it was then that I realised who he was.
Of course we invited him in, and while Andrezj helped Lyn to get up, I got talking to Paul. I was, ii must admit, extremely nervous: it’s not every day that you meet the brother of your – somewhat older – girlfriend. I didn’t know what he thought of me, and half expected him to ask ”what are you doing messing around with my little sister”. I needn’t have worried: once we got chatting, I realised Paul was a very nice guy, and a family man. Lyn wheeled in shortly after, and we got talking. I must admit I was touched to see how well Paul and Lyn get on.
I realised, as those two spoke, that I have a new family to find out about. I don’t know any of them, but, if all goes to plan, they’ll be part of my extended family before long, so I best get cracking. Knowing that makes me smile, but most of all I’m really pleased with how I got on with Paul. It feels like a worry has been lifted from my shoulders.
I suppose I should say something about Vince cable today. What he said in the torygraph is all over the news, but I suppose it makes a change from reports about the weather. I think I’m in two minds about this issue: on the one hand, I’m glad that at least someone is standing up to Murdoch. If he takes full control of BskyB, sky will just become a British version of Fox news, which we can ill afford. On the other hand, I wish cable had kept his views about Murdoch to himself: we needed him in the cabinet, and a central part of it, as he is the only rational voice there. The other Lib dems in high up positions have all betrayed their principles for personal gain. Cable was the only true liberal there, as evidenced by his unease with the direction that things are going. How very telling that he has now been demoted, as it were, and stripped of some of his former power? CaMoron is forcing the lib dems to tow the line or disk demotion.
I can’t get too wound up about this today, though. We now have a tree – a real, live one – and we’ll decorate it tonight. I’m safe and warm with Lyn to snuggle up to. I feel like a kid again. Politics is politics, but those are the things that really count.
Just to get you all in the festive spirit, I think I’ll send you here. It’s one of my favouite christmas songs but cooler. I just heard it, and now feel like a party. I think I’ll grab a brandy and sit back while the government implodes.
Yesterday afternoon I began to feel strange. Oddly, I kept on wondering what mum’s kitchen smelled like, and whether the piano was still in it’s place in the dining room. I suppose I was feeling, for the first time since I moved in with Lyn, homesick. This place, of course, is my home now, here in London, but you can’t cut the emotional ties too the house in which you grew up, especially not this time of year. It is, after all, almost a year since I saw that place – slept in my old bed, sat at my place at the kitchen table.
There was only one thing for it: Skype! I rang my parents, and Mum answered. The kitchen, she explained, smelled of rice pudding, but the day before it had smelled of Christmas cake, a rich, delicious smell I remember well. Mum cooks one every year, and I suspect I’ll be having some of it on Saturday afternoon. Never have I looked forward to a cake more, for I’ll be eating it with my family. Aside from my older brother, Mark, and of course Kat, my immediate family will be together for the first time in months, and I can’t wait! Mind you, apart from email, I don’t think I’ve had contact with Mark for a year, so his presence will be greatly missed indeed, but he spent last Christmas with us so it’s only right that he spends this one with Kat’s family.
Skype helped greatly, and speaking to mum cheered me up a great deal, but a while later I decided I needed something you wouldn’t really expect from me. I sent Andrzej to by a copy of the Sunday Times. My parents get it, for some long-lost reason, and I used to love reading the Culture section with the TV guide. Every year they do a two-week guide, and for me, it’s arrival is one of the signs, along with the Coke advert, that Christmas is here. You have no idea how inordinately happy I felt when my PA handed me that paper; never before has a broadsheet brought so much joy. I opened it and found the two-week edition of the Culture supplement. And once again I felt at home and at peace: Christmas has come!