Compare and contrast

I have a good feeling about 2017. Compare these two scenes:

The first, in the dying days of 2016, was a special festive outing with the wider family. A show had been chosen to appeal to as many of us as possible and we were meeting at a restaurant in Borough Market beforehand. I arrived and rushed to the loo, slinging my handbag on the tiny basin in the cubicle. It was only a minute before I realised that my bag was merrily filling with water from the super-sensitive automatic tap but, by the time I had grabbed it, my iPhone was floating on the top, in a soup of tissues, lipgloss, keys, Oyster pass, purse …. Gah!


I was frantic, mopping up with yards of the restaurant’s loo paper, shoving bits and pieces into the hand drier and generally flapping. The next hours, during the celebration meal and the child-and-relative friendly show, were consumed with worry about whether my stupid phone had drowned. At first it had seemed fine, but it had gone a bit funny during the starters and wasn’t making much sense by the time the pudding came around. No one say a word about dinners with relatives, please. The phone spent the next few days reclining in a bag of ridiculously expensive arborio rice (I didn’t have any Uncle Ben’s left). I’m glad to report it has limped successfully into 2017 and can now do the backstroke.

The second was today. It sounds so simple. I cleared out a drawer in the kitchen, where I work these days, and I took the Christmas tree to be recycled. Though these are trivial chores, they both mark big steps. For two or more years I’ve been in denial about being shunted out of the study. I’ve worked in the kitchen, yes, but it’s been an uneasy arrangement with nowhere to store my stuff. No longer. I now have enough space and I’m not just setting up camp. I have an officette and it’s here to stay. And the Christmas tree? Last year, our tree was still lingering, unloved, in front of the house until February. This year, I insisted we got a smaller tree and Child 2 and I took it, perfectly happily, to the designated council recycling place so it could be with a forest of other ex-Christmas tree friends as soon as decently possible.

I think it all bodes well. Hello at last, 2017.

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