Wondering if you could contract something ghastly and get holed up in a cosy hospital until the spring? Yes, that’s what I like to see – a positive spirit.
Now you may regard New Year as an arbitrary mark on our Gregorian calendar. But whether you’d prefer the Julian or the Babylonian calendars – or even the latest pin-up, come to that – matters not a jot. New Year is a time for some positive thinking, for a new ethos, to change your horse.
Yes, we’re in straitened times. Some of you have had to eschew high-end supermarkets in favour of Asda for your weekly shop. Energy is through the roof – quite literally in my draughty Victorian house – and wages, if there are any, are rising at the rate of continental drift. Penury is staring us in the face.
Well, and the screaming children; and possibly the fathead partner without any soul that you thought it was a good idea to tie your lot to all those years ago; oh, and the weather that’s no doubt cut off your electricity in what is turning out to be a decidedly breezy week in the UK.
Even part of my local cliff, in the true spirit of a lemming, has lost its balance and slipped disconsolately into the English Channel. However, there really are so many opportunities in life, some of which we’re scarcely aware of. Why aren’t we? Because we plod along with our eyes metaphorically closed, afraid of leaving comfort zones and taking unfamiliar paths. I’ve done it myself. And I still do.
San Francisco Sunshine
There I was in California the other week – on a shoestring, naturally – and I gave a friend of mine a little errand. ‘Chad, old horse, run that folder up to the second floor, would you. There’s a good chap. And do stop wheezing,’ I said pleasantly.
Do you know what he shot back with? ‘Funnily enough, I was going to train to be a butler.’ And he let me in on the money involved. Well, cut out my heart and throw my liver to the dogs – we’re looking at salaries of £100,000 if you’re properly trained.
There’s a course involved, though. And probably a move – to live with and serve a Russian oligarch or a billionaire in Bahrain. But this is simply an example of a life shift that one is oblivious to. No, you’re right, it is much easier to stay at home and complain about everything being awful. To wit, it’s raining again and I’ve run out of decaffeinated teabags. Marvellous. Happy New Year…