#142: it’s all gone mince pie (6/Dec/18)

free offer for those who make it to the end… no peeking ahead now….

I keep trying to write something about Christmas but every time I do it just ends up making me feel desolate, isolated, disconnected, and yes, even bitter…… I don’t aim for this but it’s where I seem to find myself once I put pen to paper with all these mangled thoughts caving my head in and I just need to get them out but however hard I try, like a frustrated painter never quite able to paint the picture they see in their head, the words refuse to come out as they should, instead emerging less formed, shapeless, garbled, hasty, spilling out before they have time to even know what they’re trying to say… it’s not easy being surrounded by it, Christmas and all its trappings, and trappings they are… which way to turn, which way to turn, it’s the time of year when societies contradictions are exaggerated and shockingly exposed, hypocrisy becoming the advent norm, a sense of elation and despair in the same winter’s breath all threatening to implode in a single day… I’m not religious, nor a pagan, nor big on consumerism being more a minimalist, nor am I sold on the sales and special offers, the promises promised by marketing, whether from the godly or godless, the Church of our Lord or the Church of our Greed… should I be on knees or pillaging the Temple before all the chestnuts are gone?…… sadly, the most exciting thing I’ll probably do on Christmas day is treat myself to more cranberries on my porridge…… once upon a time I used to get tens of dozens of Christmas cards, so much so I’d run out of wall space and string on which to hang them, but now there are less than I can count on the fingers on one hand… of course, my inability to get my own act together to send any is evident, even if I knew the addresses of people I claim to know or to be my ‘friends’, these days it’s all about social media, email or texting, few can even recite anyone’s phone number anymore… it’s not just apathy, it’s finding space in the panic, a totally illogical panic I know, makes no sense to me either…… see, see, see what I mean, I try to write something, and what comes out is either a rant, a tirade, or some other self-serving, self-pitying nonsense…… every year as the dreaded time gets closer I vow I will get involved this year, hopefully in some worthwhile and worthy way, I will send cards, I will accept invites to everything (although to be fair I haven’t actually had any), I will get a proper bed and stop sleeping on the floor, I will put up a tree, although for me it would be a Holly tree and a living one at that, in a pot that I can plant later outside… the Holly was here at least the original Christmas tree and not the now more commonly-used Spruce, and if you find a female plant you may indeed have berries already growing: instantly-decorated tree!… I will, I will, I will… and then I don’t… and this year is heading the exact same way, surrounded by good-time festive revelling and those who believe in something at least even if it’s just eating mince pies and claiming they have to eat Brussels sprouts even though they hate them because it’s what you do at Christmas… I actually like them, have them any time they’re seasonal, albeit in moderation, they do have a reputation after all…… you will never see me wearing a Santa hat though, that’s one festive frivolity too far…… it’s strange to feel this ambivalent, to want to take part at least a bit while at the same time feeling almost threatened by it all…… you see, it’s the hypocrisy, the contradiction, and the exclusiveness of Christmas despite all its claims… it’s all gone a bit moribund this blog, I warned you it might, this is exactly what I mean when trying to convey what I mean and it never quite works out, and there’s much more to it, not to mention my tendency to go around in circles, but clearly I’ve gone on long enough, too long…. I will stop, I will stop, I will……………..
//this transmission has been interrupted for an important announcement: Chestnuts! Two bags for the price of one, a special and limited pre-pillaging the Temple offer…. exclusive! (terms and conditions apply, this offer expires at the end of this…..)//

© 2018 robert greig

#133: mightbemaybenot (1/Dec/18)

[written on the 30/Nov/18…. posted as I thought you may like to read it…]

  1. comes around

another last day comes around
shh, don’t make a sound
not yet
don’t ruin it…

  1. the usual it seems

.. I woke up early, little sleep, the usual it seems, it was dark, the usual it seems, it’s autumn, or winter, who can tell, it’s dark, the usual it seems… though matters little though just enough to leave a small niggle in the forefront of my thoughts, the usual it seems… it’s not unusual to not tell twins apart; are they twins?… it’s hard to tell if there’s even two as one bleeds into the other almost seamlessly, or in fact seamlessly… the usual it seems… when all the leaves are gone is that not winter then?… but I see five leaves left on the gingko, and three left on the apple and one remaining on the once-adorned maple, and as for the oak they must be double-figure still though low they still cling on in vein (sic) hope, they’re there still singing autumns praises, flying the flag, so to speak, albeit waning flag… the usual it seems… so is it winter yet or am I simply wishful thinking, or longing for an autumn gone to linger that bit longer?… I think it might be, maybe not, or mightbemaybenot……

  • strewn

… driveway strewn with acorns some still on their branches some just free-fell from above, luckily before I got there otherwise my head may come to grief… road strewn with cars   in a typically British orderly way, even here in Wales queuing is the same, confined between the kerbs, the lines and to the left, always on the left, a trait you’ll find on escalators, stairs and even footpaths a tendency to keep to the left leaving anything oncoming for the right… an unwritten truth… woodland path strewn with leaves not unlike a snowfall but instead in all the colours of the rainbow if said rainbow was sepia, making drifts along the edges leaving just enough to walk through, a parting of the waves as Moses-like I stride forth through a flurry here and flurry there tantalised by wind gently stirring  its autumn soup…….

  1. still slumber sleeping

… buildings caged in scaffolding as though turned inside out with their viscera on show… a dragon waves and I wave back, it’s flapping slashing through the air sound, a ropes loud objection to being bound so as it is to the flagpole… some street lights don’t seem to know it’s morning while others think it’s still night: it’s the inbetween-time with their eyes about as wide awake as those of the parade of drivers, also in an inbetween, except the one between patience and not… most shops still slumber sleeping in until a no doubt designated hour when they’ll spark into life as though all at once like they were never closed at all; except there’s one or two who break the rules opening earlier, much earlier, to beckon in passing waifs and strays with tantalising rows of headlines bothersome or worrisome or absurdsome alongside bakery delights reminding some they forgot to have breakfast before venturing abroad…

  1. where they go

… sky strewn with clouds still unsure which way to go, how to play the day, keeping us guessing, wondering, or at least those of us who bother to look up as those in towns and cities all-too often forget to do anymore bearing an air of seen it all before… nevertheless today they’ll be glad they wore their overcoat to wend their way to where-they-go, in and out like ghosts street to street, they’ll get there in the end these where-they-go’s to where-they-go…..

  1. early worm

… the bins are being emptied, their discards discarded again but this time into wheeled twilight warriors who, kind of but not quite that stealthily, groan their way in their own inbetween, between the street and clumsy-parked cars leaving behind them  battlezone of empties at the mercy of the wind, some blue, some green, some black, some brown all become forgotten while some become blown so far from home they wander wind-strewn still-born streets like lost dogs… gardens fizz with bird calls, not song as such not being spring, but of other things in code that’s only known to them… meanwhile a blackbird gets the early worm, and the early worm gets eaten… the moral of this tale?… don’t be an early worm…

  • cue the queue

… people?… ah yes, people… they emerge from their cocoons just to climb into another then to sit in slow procession in this still-snaking pageant of traffic, patiently impatient, resigned, surrendered to a daily grind with Friday on their mind… it’s another day in paradise, apparently, as the light gets lighter and mundanity spills in stealing away poetic justice leaving just disembodied words to find their own way like the queue, like the dragon, like the bins, like the early worm, like the ghosts from street to street all strewn and cast like die upon a game on chance and circumstance, pick a card but don’t tell me what it is… never… the less I know the better…..

© 2018 robert greig

#115 secret blog: Glamorgan in Gwynedd (20/Nov/18)

apprehensively I stood on the brink, then entered…
the Christmas zone!……
… not by choice, hence the apprehensive part, but it was the only way through to get to my goal, to fulfil my quest, the café in this most excellent garden centre serving the most excellent veggie breakfast, or brunch for me was it as mid-morning, and to savour the some of the most excellent Glamorgan Sausages one will ever taste… happy the man who has enjoyed Glamorgan Sausage for brunch… all ye who read innuendo step away from the blog now and wash your thoughts out, and for the uninitiated they are basically leeks, Caerphilly cheese, herbs, mustard, black pepper wrapped in breadcrumbs in a sausage-shape… you may well be asking though, Christmas?… November?… me too, I know right… I braved the aisles of tinsel, baubles, faux-snow dusted decorations, snow globes of all shapes and ilk, willow reindeer, wreaths, dancing elves, creepy Santa reading Welsh Christmas tales, ducks dressed as Santa, dogs dressed as Santa, penguins dressed as Santa (!?), polar bears dressed as Santa (!!??), festive jigsaws, strings of LED lights, Christmas trees of cardboard, plastic, deadwood, and at the end of it all yet another Santa waving from the most ginormous snow-making machine will seemingly singing every cheesy Christmas pop song ever written… as I got closer it got louder, closer, louder, snow billowing, I was drawn magnetically to its turbulent cacophony, I knew all I had to do was pass within a reindeer’s red nose of touching to finally dive into the haven of the café, filled with glorious welcoming breakfast aromas and coffee and freshly-made that morning plethora of cakes and pasties… if I’d been a Labrador I’d have been drooling rivers by now, as it was I’m not and needed to maintain at least some sense of decorum in the circumstances, i.e. Christmas in November……….. but, make it I did and was rewarded with, you guessed it, Glamorgan Sausages for veggie brekkie……. now all I need to do is escape without being mugged by elves, trampled by reindeer or ho-ho-ho’d at by an army of mechanical Santas………

© 2018 robert greig