28 Dec 2010

Post 262: Happy Winterval!

Reading last years christmas post makes me laugh a bit but it also makes me a bit sad. Christmas is basically a time where everyone is on holiday at the same time and therefore an excuse to get together in families (or whatever) and eat and drink too much, should we feel guilty at this overconsumption? F*ck no - as Tim Minchin says, 'nothing tastes quite as good as that first sip of wine that could have been used to pay for that TB vaccine for a child in Somalia. Broken down this maybe a bit of an evil sentiment but it is its sheer ridiculousness of the statement that makes it funny to me, speaking of evil, I went to see Jimmy Carr on Thursday before Christmas with Jose (my trainer) and his Girlfriend Bec. This is the 3rd time I've seen him. Now, I haven't always been complimentary about this tw*t who is 'half man, half panel show' but I'll say this, 'he is sharp', I wouldn't heckle him and I have been known to be the type of fool to have a go in full health, he's the kind of comedian who doesn't shy away from jokes (quite nasty ones) about your mum -for some reason people laugh (myself included). After the first half I christened this 'the apology tour' because I was convinced he was trying to make people like him by keeping his usual offensive and blue material to a minimum, toning down his usual off the scale smugness, maybe he has learnt that being a nasty b*stard doesn't always work, just look at the backlash against Frankie Boyle, a man who used to write jokes for Jimmy Carr and the nation found hilarious?! Anyway, it was a suitable warmup to the onslaught I feared Christmas was going to be at my parents. This was going to be a much less hectic Christmas because my sister and her 'little angels' (Tim, her top lad of a husband is excluded from this sarcastic label) were staying in America. I do love them but I just can't deal with the noise they make – this is the trouble with fatigue, it makes everything difficult and gives you fear of exhaustion which makes getting out of bed tricky, as someone who finds resting and being in bed boring and wasted time, I am in a dreadful and seemingly insoluble catch 22.Christmas was good though. Sometimes we can have over 20 for lunch on Christmas day and boxing day. This can be a powder keg of an occasion. With the volume my family can generate plus a veritable ocean of wine I'm not actually surprised I had my stroke at Christmas, it also serves as a fairly morbid reminder that puts a bit of a dampener on proceedings and despite my best efforts is never too far from my thoughts. What did however make this year for me was the fortitude of my carer Susan who eventually decided to brave Christmas with the Pardeys. She has plenty of her own reasons for hating this time of year, but we couldn't bear the thought of her having Christmas largely alone, So Christmas day it was a reasonable 5 of us and boxing day ½ of our cousins descended making it about 12 in total, the noise and exhaustion levels have been kept within acceptable limits which has meant I've enjoyed it. Christmas is what you make of it I suppose, and this year I lived through it. Job Done! In my quieter moments, I had another go at my dating advert. I hope it's an improvement:

I might as well get this out in the open straight away, I'm currently physically disabled and in a wheelchair but I am a hopeless Romantic. I just survived an horrendous stroke in Christmas 2005 caused by a blood vessel weakness I was born with but didn't know about until it tried to kill me. When I look at my situation totally objectively and dispassionately, I realise I have been fortunate because I have assets that I want to and can share with someone and one other major one, my memories and my past life, which I can try and sell myself with, many wouldn't even have these, two more of these assets are materialistic and the other two are not, the materialistic ones are a mortgage free 4 bedroom house in Oxshott (apparently a des res in London commutersville with excellent local schools), the 2nd is a decent stable pension, hardly riches but enough to live on, the unmaterialistic things are a big group of mates and a fantastic extended family, both are a huge support and source of inspiration for my future and my day to day plans. Finally there is who I actually am. I have somehow retained my dignity and sense of humour, some have even said this has added another 'darker' dimension to it, I am slightly concerned because they say that manic depression also does this, if 'they' say so, 'they' are rarely wrong! It has always been pretty dark and tended towards the sarcastic and nihilistic I.e, the world isn't fantastic, you get out of it, what you put in, this maybe one of the only clich├ęs I can put up with. Life owes you nothing, and there are times these days when I feel like making a tremendous effort but there are those when I feel utterly exhausted and need someone to metaphorically inflate me so I can make the most of what I have. Life can be tough but I try and soldier on. I guess it's because deep down I know life can feel so much better than this. In the words of genius Bill Bailey parodying Barack Obama 'It is the 'soul-crushing inevitability of hope' – this raises a smile on a face that used to smile so much more but a smile that will hopefully find reason in future to be used more often.

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