Ten Years Asleep In The Queue For The Late Night Bus - Dirty Dancefloors and Dreams of Naughtiness
Dec. 18th, 2015
08:26 pm - Ten Years Asleep In The Queue For The Late Night Bus
1. The Americans have Black Friday. Here in Yorkshire, there’s Black Eye Friday (also known as Mad Friday) – the last Friday before Christmas, usually a time of carnage in town centre alehouses. So here I am at home, stone cold sober (i.e. Mrs B is off on her work night out, and I’ve been reading Danny Champion Of The World plus some Alice In Wonderland).
2. For someone with over fifty bottles of whisky in the house (genuinely), the only alcohol I’ve had in 2015 was a couple of pints of ale in January/ February. Didn’t intend to go teetotal, it just happened. Waking up hungover to deal with a rampaging toddler was never much fun, so I’d been cutting down anyway. I’m more bothered about Saturday morning runs than Friday night drinks these days.
3. I’ve finally had some salted caramel (Mrs B bought a Greggs doughnut with it on, which I snaffled a bite of). Historians will probably have 2014 down as the year of pulled pork, 2015 as the year of salted caramel. Both of which are in the “nice enough, but can’t see what the fuss was about” category of foods. A culinary Ed Harcourt?
4. If you think Morrissey is the expert on anxiety and social awkwardness, you’ve not seen a four year old boy arrive in a playground with Christmas cards for the girls who’d given him one (first year at school; I thought we’d better at least get cards for all the kids who’d given him a card – all of which were girls). He’d meekly stand there and gesticulate towards a girl, but (whilst I can probably identify at least half of the boys in his class) I had no idea about whether that was Poppy or Milly or various other cutesie names, so didn’t know which card to hand over until he plucked up the courage to at least utter a name... I was never good with girls. That never changed. He’s certainly inherited my shyness (that is criminally vulgar).
5. The worst card to hand over was for Boshra (who had sent J a sweet “holidays” card). She’s the girl he’s told us is his girlfriend – I don’t know if she realises this (?) - he was trying to hide behind me whilst handing his card over – very nervous. I’m looking forward to explaining to his UKIP-voting Daily Mail reading grandparents that he has a girlfriend called Boshra – it should be the highlight of my Christmas day. Despite this, every time you ask him about marrying, he tells me it’ll be to a girl called Zoe he went to Nursery with. Has he told Boshra that he’s planning on breaking it at some time during the next fifteen years? TEH DRAMAZ!!!11!!!
6. I’m in a difficult place politically at the moment. I’d probably describe myself as broadly where Corbyn is, in terms of most policies. It’s a strange situation, having been to the left of Blair/ Brown/ Miliband, being challenged by someone more extreme than you are. The problem I have is that there aren’t enough people like me to make a political difference. Since we are all individual muddles of contradiction and hypocrisy, there seems little point in a political party without an aim of winning power. Otherwise we might as well all fragment into single issue pressure groups. And, if there’s to be a left-of-centre Government then it needs to win places like Croydon and Nuneaton – seats that didn’t “swing” at the 2015 election. Attracting people like me isn’t the problem; it’s attracting sufficient “normal” people. People who don’t watch Question Time, people who don’t really have politics on their radar most of the time and probably couldn’t name their MP.
7. So, whilst I prefer Corbyn’s policies, I think I’d prefer someone like Burnham for getting the message across and converting the kind of people needed to gain power. It’s not popular to admit, but I think I’d rather have Liz Jones PM than Corbyn as the (principled but powerless) leader of the opposition. Trouble is, such thought seems heresy these days, given the “why don’t you just join the Tories” mantra for anyone right of Corbyn. If I want the cosy certainty of someone agreeing with everything I like, I’ll stick on my own. But I’d rather have the grubby compromise of a watered down left wing government than see Osborne in power until 2025. I’m not trying to be contrary, I appreciate that orthodoxy is to demand principles above all else, but I’d prefer a “Red Tory” to a blue one – and I’m worried that Corbyn will mean sitting on the sidelines watching Osborne continue to dismantle what took generations to build. Does that make me a sell-out?
8. Christmas will be in Crookes. There will be LEGO. And Trifle. Other toys and foodstuffs are available (but I know what’s on my list…).
9. Parenting wise, we are at the “briefly scratched the surface of Harry Potter and Star Wars with him, but still Fireman Sam and Thomas The Tank Engine” – a confusing mess of independence and innocence. In a couple of years, he’ll probably spend twenty hours a day playing Minecraft and we’ll only see him at meal times though.
10. I started blogging in December 2005. Apparently that’s ten years ago… makes me feel old. That seems a long time ago. I’d not been diagnosed with Crohns (though the symptoms were all there in hindsight). No parenthood to worry about. Twentysomething. Still just as daft though.