Christmas Thoughts

I’m in Turin. Church bells ringing midnight, calling in Christmas. I just cracked a cold beer and nestled under the blankets on a sofa-bed that creaks every time I move.

My parents bought me here. Dad is renting this apartment for a short-term work contract. He’ll be moving out in a week or so. They paid for me to come and spend Christmas with them and see Turin before he goes.

This is the first Christmas I’ve had with my parents but no brother. It’s different. No partner in crime.

Turin is beautiful, historic and grand with the joins showing where history and war and modernity have built palaces, torn them down, added and removed bits according to the whims of kings and the visions of architects, the necessities of time and change. Streets are grand avenues wider than anything in London, in this city with a single Metro line. Walking through, you can feel dwarfed by the scale of the huge buildings, rising solid and ornate, ten stories high. That is, until you see the graffiti tags, the stickers on every lowered shutter. I even spotted a few posters for anarchist federation demos plastered in the grand arcades.

It’s history but not a theme park. People live here, really live here. Christmas Eve, and the centre was packed. Last minute shopping, enjoying the Christmas lights. We walked all afternoon, walked for hours just looking in windows and at buildings and statues, at a culture similar but different.

No Christmas traditions this year, apart from eating and drinking too much, and exchanging a couple of gifts. Which is, I guess, the essence of the thing. Gluttony and goodwill, a shout of drunken defiance against the long Winter nights, a warm hug to hold us until the Spring sun thaws our hibernating hearts.

I’m not going to pretend I love this season. Yule, Christmas, Winterval… it’s always been a source of anxiety as well as joy. I know some of you are suffering, while others are loving it. And many more are somewhere inbetween, fighting life’s stresses and darkness to claw out a nest of happiness and ragged tinsel, a drunken sanctuary, a holiday holy day for the holes in hearts and minds.

As I grow older, it becomes clearer how valuable, how absolutely essential it is to take time out to connect with your people, to take a moment away from the usual hurry and distractions of life to say: “You are important. You are loved. Your love gets me through the dark Winters, and I share with you alike, the warmth of my heart.”

So, from Turin, I send you my love.

Merry Christmas, buon Natale, Winter wishes, and may Spring come soon.

 

 

Advertisements
Christmas Thoughts

It’s a whole new year, and I’m still here

Well. I did it. I’m still alive. Christmas and New Year were actually excellent. I gave people some homemade gifts and cards, and even managed to make Christmas scented candles which burned properly. So, I think I managed to fulfill the promises of my last post. I even managed to not be an asshole, most of the time. I think. Except for that one time. But mostly things were good; we didn’t let our issues get in the way of having a good time.

Christmas was a family thing, spent at home with parents and brother. It’s not too often these days that we spend that amount of time together, so it was really nice. We did the usual festive stuff, eating, drinking, and persuading the drunk parents to play Cards Against Humanity. That was disturbingly hilarious, and my dad is disturbingly good at that game!

img_20151225_135522533.jpg
Bro, me, fairylights, tree.

After Christmas, I basically slept until New Years Eve, then went to London. I always love seeing my friends down there, and it had been a while since we last got together. I stayed on my lovely boat-buddy’s new boat! We went to a stupidly overpriced hippy-infested all-night gig, because the bands were great and the venue is love. T-Chances in Tottenham is a place where I’ve spent a lot of time, and it’s always good to go back and say hi. It was also good to dance all night and drink fizzy wine in the carpark and sing Auld Lang Syne hand in hand with beloved friends.

Of course, after all that I felt terrible, and I still have a cough because apparently going outside is just too much for my poor feeble body. But hey, it was worth it. As I’ll be going into in my next post, hopefully in 2016 I will become less weak, and maybe even (quelle horreur!) less drunk.

 

 

It’s a whole new year, and I’m still here

Advent

I know my last post was a pretty full on blast of negativity and rage. I’m not sorry, but I don’t want you to think that I’m just a walking miasma of psychopathology and self pity.

So: Christmas! I usually ignore it aside from the drinking part. The forcest jollity makes me ill and the consumerism is unfathomable. I can’t really remember the last time I made an effort further than handmade cards. Not knocking the cards though, they were made with love and just enough design nous to cover for my appalling lack of actual papercraft skills. People liked the cards.

But this year, I’m trying to do a bit better. Not by spending a load of money on corporate crap to gift to my loved ones (so sorry if you were after anything electric), but with trying some more craft stuff. 

This was my Facebook update today.

Done therapy and 75% of Xmas shopping.  Now I deserve this £1.49 lunch. Christmas fuckin spirit OK?

Posted by Pippa Nayer on Wednesday, 2 December 2015

This does not signal that I’ve joined the sad dash towards the zombie hordes of Black Cyber whaetevethefuckday Buy Many Things league.

I did buy things, some new, some charity shop. Mostly, ingredients. And of course some random fun girly shit for my laydies, who appreciate that the pantomiming of femininity can be hilarious vodka hi-jinx, highly therapeutic, and serious fucking business. Darlings though, my Xmas present to you is a true get-together. A drunken Princess’tea-party conference and a celebration of our 3 girl love.

*And because I don’t (and do… know who reads this, Girl Love is not a metaphor for lesbian sex.We are not a lesbian threesome.

As to the remainder of my Xmas supplies and crafting plans, this is now a tightly controlled secret. Christmas Morning gotta hold some surprises.

***

They could be shit surprises. If you still get nothing, or some Poundshop chocolates, I still fuckin tried. My only hope, now is that my lack of craft skills and knowledge will be overcome by my essentially innovative nature, Google, and Youtube tutorials.

I got only a couple of weeks to get this right, but I can do it. So family, friends, whoever is ‘lucky’ enough to get a weird handcrafted gift this year: It means I really fucking love you and I really fucking tried.

***

I know, for countless years into the past, my whole beautiful family have put endless efforts into bringing the family together (a logisitcal feat of no mean skill) and celebrating Christmas. And I’ve always been kind of an ass about it. Just sorta sitting on the periphery, getting as quietly drunk as possible, accepting presents as rightful tribute. (I promise, right here right now, I will post of some the amazing jewelry I previously received, so at least the world can share a look.) So yeah, I am making an effort this Christmas to retire the sulky ‘too good/alienated/sad for this’ persona. It was acceptable as a teen, barely, but now it’s time to step up, at least a little bit, and appreciate the real love of family and friends that is celebrated at this dark time of year.

 

You may not see me for a while. I may drown in glitter or burn my hand off trying to make candles. But by the end of it, I’m gonna try to do ‘love and good cheer’ or whatever you call it. Reaching out to those people who have always been there for me, and trying, however unskillfully, to show my love.

If all else fails, I make excellent mulled wine.

Advent