2017 feels a bit scary.
I don’t make a habit of attributing characteristics to years. It’s not exactly rational. But this time I’m making an exception.
Because in important ways, this year is make or break for the Yak household.
I’ve got six months to get Book 2 into a state where there’s some prospect of it bringing in some cash. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it has to be something. If it fails – if I fail – it’s back to the day job. Except that the day job isn’t there anymore, so I’ll have to persuade someone, somewhere that 17 years of making Government policy equips me to do something other than make Government policy.
Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.
Then there’s the not-entirely-unrelated issue of having a two household marriage. Two salaries and one home, it turns out, was infinitely more comfortable than two homes and one salary. Who knew?
Finances aside, saying goodbye to the Husband as he left last night to return to the Sad Pad where he now spends the working week was hard. Not even the prospect of not having to share the Waitrose chocolate truffles did much to help. The cats are discomfited by the lopsided parenting. Patsy is anxious and needy, and Poppy is cross about unnegotiated changes to the parental timeshare arrangements.
And that’s before we get to the big stuff. The Brexit and the Donald, and the it’s-OK-to-be-sexist/racist/fascist/just-unkind-because-we-won-and-you-lost-so-fuck-you. And all the sound and fury is bad enough, but what happens when the shit actually gets real?
This doesn’t feel like the way to start a New Year. This should be a time of hope, of resolutions, and fitness regimes and brand new word count targets. So let’s turn that frown upside down. What we need at times like this is a list. A top ten. Perhaps a top five then. Top five reasons for us all to be cheerful.
- Difficult times make for great art. Lots of writers hang around here – just think of all the material!
- The weather is pretty mild for the time of year. That’s good, isn’t it? Think of the little birds. And the sheep in the fields. And the hibernating ladybirds. (And if anyone knows of any reason why mild winters actually aren’t good news for particular species, please do NOT comment and tell me.)
- There’s a new series of Sherlock coming! You see, it’s already better than 2016.
- David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince and even George Michael can’t die twice.
Ok, top four. Over to you for the fifth. In the words of Ferris Bueller’s teacher, “Anyone? Anyone..?”