I am so full of wisdom me. Well I blog don't I? So I must believe this crap. I must share my intellectual insights with those who are open to my droplets of divinity. And yet I know I must appear to some as incredibly stoopid. Some might say that funny froggy phrase.... 'idiot savage' is it? No 'idiot savant'. Gods I'm seriously stoopid. There ain't much 'savant' about me. But I do have the occasional clarity of .... something. Must Google that in a minute - clarity of.... bugger. I'll get back to that. I come up wiv some choice verbals now and then is wot I mean.
I once gave this advice to my cousin regarding his imminent fatherhood: Don't take anyone's advice.
He asked: Including that piece?
I replied: Especially that one.
I still hold with this. And today another little gem popped into/out of my head: I don't approve of people who don't approve of people.
I understand myself perfectly. Bit of a shame noone else does really. But how could they? I mean...... I don't make sense to normal people. Normal people are happy to do normal stuff, normally. I always have to stick my oar in and stir up the demons. Take our seasonal punctuations.... (please, take them.... ho ho ho) Who thinks about the origins and the religious significance when there's chocolate up for grabs? It's pick 'n' mix culture. We'll have that Easter but can live without the Lent shit. No brainer. I'm always up for a good reason to buy more chocolate. But the tick tock box is fluttering..... Alright I'll buy the chocolate, but not the ones YOU want me to buy. I'll have THESE ones so I can pretend I'm not merely succumbing to marketing mind games 'cos I'm cleverer than you...... Contrary Madame. Normal peeps just get on with it don't they? Is it that time already? Alright then..... They don't sit up late at night tapping out their unwanted opinions. But if you're still reading, then you're not normal either are you? So you deserve it.... You can pick out the bits you like and keep 'em, and flick away the rest. It's called Freedom of the West it is. It's our right!! OK here's the rambling rantings.... I'll wave a flag when it's over.
As you may well already know I hate Valentine's day, always have, but still always put chocolates in little home-made felt hearts that I dangle off something (usually the still-unfinished pap mach tree) for the 4 monsters. (Not shimmery Valentine's chocolates obviously.... something crap on offer. I would have SO bought it anyway....) I honestly don't know why I persist with this - I just do. I can't help feeling I'm pricking the pinkness and bucketness of this whole spectacle by throwing goo at children - instead of slopping slush at a grown-up who should also know better. The Tesco's garage shop tonight was rammed - I'd abandoned a couple of the sproglings in the car for a two minute sweep but was captured in the till queues for an aeon by drooping-shouldered figures clutching flowers and posh chocs. Oh fuck off will ya. When I got back to the car it was a howling battleground and all me windows were steamed up. Thanks St Bloody Valentine for spreading the love. Still, must dig out those ratty felt things.... I must make my point. Whatever it is....
This is just like I hate Xmas but sweat blood making 100 Advent thingies every bleedin' year. AND do the carrot for the Red-Nosed One and the mince pie and something liquid for The Red-Suited One (it's non-alc now of course, but I refuse to slide down to the cute American 'milk' thing..... it was a cup of tea one year with a lid on). AND then there's the flour in the fireplace to catch the elves' footprints ye gods..... It's 'what you do'. Innit? But all that manual effort is me sticking up two fingers to Marks & Spencers I reckon.
I hate birthdays too but they always get presents. Have mostly given up making cards now tho'. Feel guilty if I don't but feel fucked off about having to use my brain which is already exhausted with everything else birthdayesque. Always left to the night before (if not later) - but again it's my 'up the little people' stance that I never buy cards. Nothing to do with my crap memory at all no. Or simple meanness. Not at all....no no. I'll grudgingly stick something on knobbly paper for the immediate descendents but everyone else gets a Facebook nudge.
Not keen on fireworks frankly. But love a good bonfire. Have let the 'guy' thing drop tho'. Still have jumbled-up feelings about all that. Having been brought up Catholic, I should be anti the anti-Catholicosity of it all. But as I am pretty anti-Catholic anyway, should I join in the larks? But I'm not anti-Catholic exactly. I'm anti-all of it. Don't see the point - 'opium of the people' and all that. Even as a wee one I loved the idea of someone blowing up the Houses of Parliament. So in my head the bonfire and bangy-flashy shit is me imagining the spectacular death of the jowly stiffs. Chuck another on the pyre missus. Still, thinking about how real bods were burnt to death is pretty twisted. But so are fairy tales. And I like them. And surely the 'guy' can just be who/whatever you want it to be. It's only symbolic innit? See wot I mean? I have no idea how I really think. Except that fireworks are too bloody expensive and I have to go out in the cold and I can't see what I'm treading in. And I really really don't want to know how much the local council has spent on this bollocks. But if someone I know invites us round to a home-spun shindig we're all there with our fairy cakes and sparklers. Hoping for a good soup. I like soup.
I might no know wot I fink, but I still understand it.... at least I forgive it.
Now I like Easter. Yeah weird.... Last year I gave up fighting against brand 'big' eggs in muchness packaging too. Now that's not like me. Surely all this previous stuff is me railing against the commerciality of everything - especially the Xmas and Val's Day shit. But being superior is quite exhausting. I decided to go with the flow and be like everyone else. Just another one of those ancient cherished standards that went by the way - like sweets, telly, computers, coke, Mc D's..... I'm so flipping glad I dropped all those poncey standards and now kick about in the filth like everyone else. So liberating not being a high-horser. I now look down on people on high horses. Another bonging perverse Madame statement there. But I really do - I feel like they're not fully developed yet if they're still clinging on to standards of any kind. And it's not at all contradictory to wot I just spewed about Val's Day - really it's not. It's for the kids! Of course it is.... And anyway, I eat it when they're not looking.
And it's Pancake Day next week I believe. Not Shrove Tuesday round 'ere. I bought some maple syrup the other day. I bet my mother doesn't even know what that is. She'd freak if she knew what we've slapped on pancakes over the years. Very traditional my mother. It's lemon and sugar (white) on lace-thin offerings, folded, and only after a proper dinner. But I have inherited her 'oh the first one's always the worst one' chant. This reminds me - driving back from something the other evening the horror-bags were politely discussing (like hell) the order of things, ie why did I have to continue to produce babies after the first two etc and who would be where and like what if my first attempt had actually been born (they're not remotely sensitive about things like miscarriage my lot) and I think it was Cheetah Boy who likened the 'failure' (for want of a better word) of this first one to the mess of the first pancake out the pan. Well, I had to laugh. They do see the world in an interesting way sometimes. Very matter of fact - and yet pleasingly skewed.
I have always always always loved Halloween - I felt like I always flew the dark flag of this hit even as a mini heathen. Way before anyone else really got in on it bigtime. I remember sitting in my bedroom window peering out for witches - eagerly hoping. Truly believing. Spiders, bats, black cats, skulls with snakes curling out the eye sockets.... what's not to like? Hate fucking trick or treating tho'. Am happy to have a houseful of artificial colours and sweeteners - but hate knocking on someone else's door to get it. I can go down to Morrison's and get it myself I can. I like the idea of naughty larks and getting away with it - I just hate traipsing. Never carved a pumpkin or went out after dark with a lantern or nuffink when I was a madamelet but it's 'normal' now. I like the pumpkin and lanterns stuff. It's just the getting in the car to civilization, to wander around someone else's street to go begging, do smiling, judge how quickly we can scarper and drag home again bit. I have a garden for gods-sakes, and no neighbours to suffer - we can go out there and find sweets and come back in before X-Factor starts. I can turn off the lights and scare the shit out of my kids without any diesel consumption. Peasy.
These are the punctuations of the year.... the 'normal' ones anyway - the ones that cost money that is. And so these are the ones we have to take note of. And we've added stuff over the years - not just the extra emphasis on Halloween and Val's that have grown bigger lately, we've added all sorts: Burns' Night gets a thought, Chinese New Year is part of the annual deal, St Patrick's Day fills a window, Diwali is as known to kids as is/was Harvest Festival no matter what shade or flavour we are. The Harv Fest's not so known to mine as we don't do either church or school and it doesn't get an eyebrow twitch in Clinton's. In my memory it's handing over a sorry tin of peach slices from the back of the cupboard. (I'm sure I'm not alone in this one.) St George day is practically myth. We were 'allowed' to wear our Brownies or Cubs uniforms on the national saints' days. Woopdedoo. Don't know how singy and shouty the Scots or the Welsh get on their ones. The English are much better at stuff you can buy. If I can rustle up some dragony beer-holding hats for next umm... hang on... 23rd of April (I just had to check that on Google but I WAS right I was) - I might be on for making a few pennies..... if there's an England footie match on around the same time. 'Cos that red cross on white flag is a football thing innit? And that other one with the blue bits and extra red diagonal bits is a nice cushion or a tea cosy now. Or a kid's t-shirt. Better in more muted colours these days... greyer or browner. The original colours are a bit BNF.
We've dropped a few ex-notables. Michaelmas is just for Steiner kindergartens now. More dragons for that one but only dry-felted. Wholesome ones. They do the all the things that end in 'mas'. Martinmas, Candlemas etc. They pretend they're non-denominational but they ain't. They have their seasonal list and stick to it rigidly. Sticking rigidly is what Steiner does best. No deviation. And 'cos of our two year dalliance there I am now stuck with bloody St Nicholas' Day shove-a-walnut-in-their-shoe malarkey. I don't like this one. It's not just the embarrassment of that first morning by the pegs when I shrieked 'Who's stuck a bloody great lump in your slippers?' It's just not me. Despite swapping healthy bloody great lumps for proper bloody great sweeties - it just reminds me of that hushed dustiness of self-righteousness. Boring. I do enough in December. But if I tell 'em this one's just made up, the penny'll drop for all the other lovely lies.... like elves, tooth fairies and the Easter Bunny etc. And they're kinda fun. (Not to mention useful when you want to get rid of a rabbits-heads-eating cat for example - our fairies did a very good job there). But the Steiner Christian pinny folk do that pole dancing tho'. You know.... that maypole gig. That's alright in't it? That used to make me laugh. Make the little impressionables dress in white and skip around a giant willy. Always a corker. Kept me smirks to meself tho'. No point trying to have a funny with the brown-clad basket carriers. Deviation denied. Rigid is king.
But the 'real' world evolves and soaks up stuff like a culture sponge. Like the ol' Chinese New Year. Tunbridge Wells, of all ethnically undiverse places, does a lantern procession every year - with a Samba band leading. It's pick 'n' mix. Like our language - it absorbs and adapts what's on offer. I think it's a laugh. Didn't go this year tho' 'cos of the ol' snow business but if you're stuck up that way 'cos your kid's in some blinkin' play about a rabbit and an ox it's in for a penny wot?
A friend of mine and her Druid chums did a Green Man kinda procession last year round there. I have no idea how it went (was busy moving house that day). But I bet it wasn't met with as much enthusiasm. We only like NEW things!!! We can buy things with Chinese stuff on it - who's knockin' out the Green Man balloons? Can't buy it - don't want it.
I don't know if it's bad that we've 'lost' the national fervour for our pagan punctuations. I mean them Romans fiddled with some, the Vikings flung some more in, then those Christians thieved the lot and now look.... the shops own 'em. For those that still hold 'the old ways' dear, they are still unsullied and can be carried on without a plastic loot bucket. Maybe that's much better eh? Although I reckon a thermal 'nude suit' for those chilly sun-up gatherings would fly off the back of my Fiat.
There's a fair few of us in our Home Ed gang happy to celebrate the unpronounceables with a bit of round the fire crafty muddlings. Cheering on a spot of Imbolc this week, cancelled last week due to projected frostbite. (See we even muddle about with the dates to suit ourselves - much easier than being outlawed for failure to spend before the 'how COULD you forget' sales.) Doesn't take much to Google up on what's when and why for those like me who are a bit lacking in true devotion. But I'm kind of joyed that reminders are not being flashed up inbetween chunks of Dancing On Ice. Leaves us alone to twiddle about with leaves and sticks without being patted on the head for it. (And gods forbid those people who make misty purple wizardy figurines or pictoral waistcoats out of dog wee and woad soaked-placentas get too above themselves.) No let's keep it quiet yeah? I likes me pagan stuff but know enough to keep shtumn in the company of stooped beardy types. See I'm not ALL that stoopid after all.
Anyway, time to hook these soppy heart-shaped pockets on my dark and spiky gothic tree. Give with one hand and fuck 'em up with the other. More Madamey wisdom.
(Sorry I forgot to wave the little flag - it's safe to come out now. Be nice to yourself, scavenge a bit of choc off your last minute present and read something more cohesive. Won't be too hard to find.)