There were all sorts of things I was going to do today. I was going to see friends, do some publicity photographs, pack all my stuff for Sheffield, build a tower of wood and stone that reaches to the very heavens, cook roast dinner, build a garden bridge across the Thames, fix up my car, and write a load of emails.

About two hours ago I put a chicken in the oven. The rest of it went south. I haven’t left the house except to go shopping and I have no intention of doing so. It’s a lazy Saturday with Brian. This is the last chance I have for a day like this until Christmas and it’s worth taking advantage of that. I’m sleeping on the sofa tonight again, but my sofa is comfortable. All is well.

I haven’t spent much time at home recently, but it’s good to know that I finally have a place that I think of as home enough that I miss it when away. I struggled with that for years. This is a home, with the chaos and the cat and the people. Always people, often a little sad at this time of year, coming in and coming out less sad and probably a little bit tipsy.

We had a few tears from one of our number tonight and the solution turned out to be Muppets Christmas Carol. A little early, for sure, but to hell with it. I’m about to start doing that story for a living again so it’s always good to kick my head back into it via Kermit and Michael Caine. After the film it just seemed logical to break out the Christmas lights and stick some baubles on various objects and generally scatter festivities about.


After all, once I walk out of the door tomorrow, the next time I walk back in it’ll be Christmas Eve. Sad not to do it in London – I had Camino friends messaging me today because they wanted to come en-masse which would’ve been absolutely lovely but I can’t get them to come up North to see it.

But now I’m sitting on my sofa surrounded by garish lights and tinsel, watching Brian shoot people in the brain on our incomprehensibly vast television screen, and wondering what I’ll forget when I up sticks tomorrow. I have two candleabras. I have a papier maché bust of my head. I have my accordion. I have tinsel. My iPad. No charger – that went to someone else years ago. My brilliant Bose travel speaker. I don’t even know where my pants and socks are so I’m still just living out of my rucksack. At some point in Sheffield I’ll go to Primark and just buy enough sweatshop clothing to see me through December. Then on Christmas Eve I will come and reclaim my territory, a conquering hero, probably having lost even more weight through sheer volume of sweat. The plan then is to throw as much as possible away before I get too attached to it once more. Let’s see how that goes in January…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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