I've been thinking about how the years seem to develop their own kind of personal rhythm (now I type it, it looks like a typo), beyond the usual Christmas, Easter, summer holidays routine that's imposed upon us. I started to think about this when I read a 'top tip for surviving Christmas' in one of those interminable lists that magazine editors foist upon us this time of year because all the writers, editors and magazine folk are working on their spring issues and started thinking about Christmas in July.
The 'top tip' was, and I quote 'have Christmas when you want to have Christmas'. I think the list had been made up from readers' suggestions. The blurb underneath the suggestion explained how you could, actually, have Christmas whenever you liked. Now, is this a sign of sanity or complete madness?
In our house, we have 3 birthdays in October and November, with the last one, exactly a month and a week before Christmas day. Every year this results in a great deal of entertainment, joviality, happiness and the accompanying festive panic directly afterwards. I'm aware that others are planning Christmas and have been doing so since the school term started. I think about it and then tell myself that it's OK, I can think about it after E's birthday.
Today is the day after E's birthday. I find myself ahead of the game. I have bought 6 Christmas presents, including one for myself. I feel organised. The alternative would be to have our Christmas in March - I don't think it would be quite the same with a view of daffodils in the garden.
My year goes something like this....
January - make resolutions, don't keep them, sit on the sofa quite a lot
February - think about doing something useful in the garden
March - do something vaguely useful in the garden, look forward to the end of the football season
April - decide to start doing some exercise, wonder what the point of Easter eggs is and wouldn't we all like a proper chocolate bar instead
May - do a bit of exercise, give up after a couple of weeks
June - flop after finishing college for the year
July - wonder what to do with the kids in the summer holidays
August - enjoy not doing very much in the summer holidays (although 2012 will be a pain as I'll have to look as if I'm interested in the Olympics)
September - get excited about going back to college, think about new boots
October - wear new boots when it's still too warm and enjoy the birthday season
November - demand a fire every night, wish I'd done more exercise in the longer days
December - think about getting more organised for Christmas next year
On another matter, I heard this great programme about Malmesbury, The Philosophy Town this morning.