Sunday Before Christmas Musings

I lose track of the days at this time of year. By the time January 2nd is upon us, I will finally be able to stop having to look at my desk calendar to know what day it is. Things break my routine during the Chriistmas season. Dustbin days are changed, shops have different opening hours, many not opening at all. The kids are not at school, and new faces appear in the group of dog-walkers.


If you saw my post ‘The Bird Has Flown’, you will know the pigeon has finally left the garden, its wing healed.


We have our first seasonal visitors today. One of my stepsons and his girlfriend, travelling from Bedfordshire to deliver and collect presents. There will probably be no other visitors until the 27th, so we anticipate a very quiet Christmas.


The TV shows are appearing. Those usually dull ‘Specials’, reviews of the past year, the same old familiar films. As a rule, the TV season at this time of year provides little worth watching after the autumn drama series have all concluded until 2022.


Blogging is different at this time of year too. People are busy, some travelling on visits, many not blogging at all. On that subject, I need to mention Mary Smith. She is facing her last days in a hospice, dying of terminal cancer. She is unlikely to see Christmas 2021. So just for her, I am determined to make the best of it, as a tribute to one of the best bloggers, authors, and genuinely nicest people I ever met online. Please read her incredibly moving post. It will make you grateful for whatever you are doing this Christmas.


Wednesday Thoughts

Reading things online, and looking at Twitter, I am suddenly reminded that it is Wednesday.

For everyone still working, at least those still able to work during lockdown, that middle day of the week has some significance. It still seems a long way to go until the weekend promises a break from toil, and the chance to do ‘weekend stuff’.

And it is two more days until that ‘Friday Feeling’ brings the promise of two days not having to get up early unless you want to.

I have to go back a very long time if I want to recall either of those feelings associated with days of the week. Almost forty-one years, to be precise. Because that was the last time I ever worked in a nine-to-five job. Friday evenings were either ‘eat out’ nights, or ‘go to see a film at the cinema’ nights. Something pleasant crammed in to the end of a working day, to get a head start on a weekend of enjoyment.

Saturday nights were ‘friends over for dinner’ nights, or ‘going to friends for dinner’ nights. Sundays were usually reserved for ‘visiting mum’, or ‘roast dinner with family’. By the time it got to four in the afternoon on a Sunday, I was already dreading having to go to work the next day. That feeling usually ruined the rest of what became a dull evening.

If we were really lucky, the whole weekend might be a ‘weekend away’. Friday and Saturday night staying in a hotel somewhere, the enjoyment only dampened by returning home in the usual heavy traffic on a Sunday in London.

Then I started to work in a job that involved shifts.

Weekends became a thing of the past. I was working three out of four of them, so they lost any significance. Then on the one when I wasn’t working, I slept away most of the first day after a night shift. Monday morning stopped being something to dread. I was either out of the house well before six, or sleeping in until getting up for a late shift that started at three in the afternoon.

No boring ‘midweek Wednesday’ feeling any longer. No ‘Friday feeling’ to excite me.

Just shifts.

Now my life could not be more different. The days of the week have no relevance to my life whatsoever. I might go shopping on a Monday, or I might not. I take Ollie out every day, whatever day that is. I don’t miss any ‘Friday feeling’, because every day might just as well be a Friday. Or a Sunday.

Or a Wednesday, for that matter.

Time Slip

I have written a lot on this blog about how time seems to pass by much faster as you get older. Over the last eight years, each Wednesday seemed to appear two days earlier than I expected it to, and Christmas felt like it came around every three months.

Some individual days just fly by, even when I don’t have to go to work, and stick to a fairly regular routine. It often feels like I haven’t been up that long, and here I am at 6 pm starting to prepare dinner. I have to stand there and think back on what I have done. Blog posts, taking Ollie out for a couple of hours, maybe a drive into town, and a supermarket shop. I realise that it has actually been quite a long day, and I have been occupied for most of it.

But on the surface, it has felt like two hours, not ten.

Then it dawned on me today that it is still only just May. January seems a distant memory, as if it was two years ago, not five months. It has to be the unusual pressures of the coronavirus measures that have made 2020 seem like one of the slowest years I can remember since my childhood, but I have no real explanation as to why that has happened in my brain.

For the first time in a very long while, time has slowed down for me.

I rather like it like this.


The lockdown has gone on a long time, and is fast becoming ‘normal life’ here. We have at least another two weeks, if not more, and I think that’s a good thing. If not for the economic fallout once we return to the way we lived previously, it might be a good idea to keep this going until at least October, to reduce new infections. That is unlikely to happen, as no industrialised country can tolerate such a loss to production and trade.

On the bright side, I have not received a single unsolicited telesales call since this happened.

Many people have not been in lockdown of course, and their routine has not changed. Medical staff, delivery drivers, shop workers, bus and train drivers, and the behind the scenes people like those who work in sewage and garbage, water plants, and power generation companies.

For all of those, today is another Monday morning.

But for everyone else, it is just a ‘Day’.

A huge number of people are discovering what I found out when I retired in 2012. Days are a construction of working life. I suspect that ancient people thought nothing of days, and didn’t name them until modern civilisations emerged. The only relevance a named day has is to know whether or not you have to go to school, to work, to a hospital appointment, or expect to receive a delivery. Whether a shop is open or closed, or a specific TV programme is being shown.

For my dog Ollie, there is no such thing as a Day. Nor for the animals on the African plains, the birds in the air, or the flies hovering above the river in Beetley.

Days don’t actually exist. They are a human invention.

The same applies to months and years of course. There are only seasons.
A product of nature, not mankind.

And human interference has changed those too.

I was not imagining it

I moan a lot about the weather. Guilty!

I suspect that many of you think I exaggerate it, and that’s understandable.

Fortunately, the BBC have just confirmed exactly what I already knew.

During the last 25 days, it has rained here EVERY day.

Forecast for tomorrow?

You guessed it. ‘Heavy showers’.

I think I might actually go insane.


The disappearing year

Hard to believe it is already the 6th of April. It won’t be long before some bloggers are counting down the days to Christmas, and I still have unused presents from the last one.

It must be an age thing, but this year seems to be flying past faster than any I have ever known. March felt like it only lasted a week, and before I know it, it will be May. I am haunted by the words of my late Mum, who talked often of how her life seemed to slip away, toward the end. When she remarked that she had hardly noticed a year pass by, in 2010, I thought she was exaggerating at the time.

Now I know exactly what she was talking about.

Maybe it is because I don’t have to work, and rarely leave the cosy confines of Beetley and central Norfolk. My days no longer drag waiting for work to finish, or dreading the shift to come the following day. I have an easier life, and a relatively contented one.

But a much quicker one, undoubtedly. 🙂

Just another ‘Day’

Today is the national day of England, and of our patron saint, St George. It is not a public holiday, and hardly gets noticed, or mentioned. Lost in a sea of days that are better celebrated, like ‘Stroke your cat day’, ‘Eat a doughnut day’, or ‘Arabic transgender literature day’, that’s understandable.

Think of something, and there’s a day for it. Social Media is awash with ‘Days’, but the national day of England avoids the limelight. Irish people everywhere anticipate St Patrick’s Day with relish, and in America, The Fourth of July is the biggest day of the year. However, in England, our ‘stiff upper lips’ prevent us from making a show, letting off fireworks, or dyeing our beer red and white.

So for those of you who didn’t know, and for the few that think it still has any traditional relevance.




I got to thinking about Wednesdays this morning. As it is Wednesday, I suppose that’s to be expected. I have never cared much for this day, to be honest. When I was still working, the weekend seemed a long way off, and a working Wednesday always seemed to drag longer than any other day of the week. Even though I was working shifts and often had a Wednesday as a day off, it never lost that feeling of being an unwelcome day.

Since I retired, I often say that the days of the week are irrelevant to me now. That’s not strictly true of course, as Julie gets weekends off, so we can still look forward to that time together. But retired or not, there is still something about that day that always makes me uneasy about its arrival.

By a strange coincidence, the evening TV shows are always less interesting on Wednesdays too. It’s as if the schedulers suffer from the same malaise as I do, and can’t be bothered to offer anything worth watching on that day. Instead, they cram all the good stuff into the next day, Thursday, showing every programme worth watching at the same time too, 9 pm.

Thinking back, I cannot recall anything interesting happening on a Wednesday, either. I am sure that someone can tell me the anniversary of a special Wednesday, or that it is the International Pea-eating festival somewhere on the planet, but as far as I am concerned, Wednesdays are just dull. The most important thing about the day for me, is to remember to put out the rubbish bin, for the Thursday collection.

Today started off with some promise. The sun was out, and it was uncomfortably warm. However, the cloud soon descended, until the outlook was more like evening, than morning. Something had to be done, so we decided to drive out somewhere into the gloom, and try to make the most of another Wednesday.

Missing a day

Because I was travelling back from London on Monday, my week has gone all topsy-turvy. It is a sure sign of getting old, when missing a day can put out your whole week. I forgot that today was Thursday, so didn’t put out the rubbish bin for collection. Then I realised that tomorrow is Friday already, and wondered where the week had gone.

Not that long ago, I would never have been so confused by the loss of one day. I would have slipped back into the routine of life, well-aware of what I had been doing on that particular day, and not in the least put out by the small alteration. But now it has assumed an unnecessary importance, as if that travelling time was stolen from my week, instead of just being what I happened to be doing.

I know this makes no sense, and I am probably not explaining myself clearly, but this is actually quite worrying. Time has started to assume a great importance to me, and time spent doing things other than what I usually get up to has begun to feel like time that didn’t exist. Perhaps I am just thinking too hard, or possibly beginning to lose my mind a little, I don’t know. I had to write it down on here, as a reminder of a significant change of feelings, something of a milestone in my normal thought process.

Maybe I should have just saved it as a draft, but I might as well publish it anyway, and see if anyone else feels the same.

Trying so hard to stay positive in 2017 seems to have affected my brain!