Another long absence. No intrigue or excitement about it, I’ve just been reading. I say ‘just’, but as it’s a key part of my existence, that seems a touch unfair; if I hadn’t spent so much time reading as a child (and most of the time since then), I’d never have started writing. Though maybe I’d have had more friends.
Anyway, it’s been cold here, relatively speaking, by which I mean it’s dipped barely below freezing a couple of times in the last week or two. I know that’s just a bracing autumn day for some people, but round here it’s cold enough to be an event. Out has come my absurd woollen hat for long waits at the bus stop, and my free time has begun to revolve around hot drinks, mince pies and novels.
This close to Christmas everyone seems to be immersed in traditions, whether it’s stirring the pudding mixture and making a wish, trimming the tree, or fighting to buy the last example of this year’s must-have toy. Big Brother insists on re-reading Dickens’ Christmas Carol every Christmas Eve – if you’ve read my earlier thoughts on Dickens, you’ll know how daft I think that is, but his yuletide is incomplete without it. I don’t often re-read books, but my Christmas has always centred on reading. BB and I would spend a couple of hours in silence on Christmas afternoon, engrossed in the comic annuals, and books were always a favourite present (for either of us, or my dad).
These days Christmas is an opportunity for guilt-free all-day reading. Curl up in an armchair with tea and peanuts to hand, float off into a fictional world and stay there for a few hours. I’m looking forward to it already, but I’ve also promised myself that I’ll find some proper time for writing over the festive break.