Ginger beer and cheese and onion crisps

That’s what New Year means to me. It has done for many years, since my parents went out one New Year’s Eve, leaving me alone with nothing but a packet of cheese and onion crisps and a bottle of ginger beer for company. I don’t even like cheese and onion crisps.

The week started quite well – I got my new external DVD /CD drive working, so now I can have music wherever I go again, or at least in my office. And I washed my car; it had reached the stage where dirt flung itself off the car and onto me for refuge whenever I went within a couple of feet, so it had to be done. And I did other useful things, like clearing the leaves from the patio and drive, and clearing old emails, and preparing for prison work, and assembling props for the play.

Tuesday was a good day at the prison. I started a new course for my main group, and we had two new members – a guy who had just been shipped in and was really bored because in two weeks he hadn’t been to the library. (Incidentally, here is a very good library at this prison, but when they are short of staff, the first thing that happens is that prisoners are not taken to the library. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Cutting down on a useful, peaceful, educational activity?) The other new one was a guy who suffers from agoraphobia, but has come a long way in the last couple of months and felt that he could join the group. And it went well. We have started writing stories – way out of the comfort zone of most of them, but they all had a go.

Wednesday was New Year’s Eve, and I tidied up and started decorating what we call the playroom, but what is really a living room… until the migraine
struck. And that was it. New Year’s Eve with a terrible headache, so no alcohol and no celebrations. I was bad the next day, too, and then discovered my cat had gone missing. She is blind! She never usually leaves the garden, but I thought perhaps she was out at  midnight when there were fireworks, and got startled and run off.  I was so worried; I trudged round the streets, despite my headache, looking for her and calling her, but no sign.

I decided that that was it. She was gone, wandering around, lost and bewildered and unhappy, and I would never see her again, and I would be living in a catless house. I left all the lights on when I went to bed – she can, we think, discern some light and shade – and hooray! At half-past midnight I heard her calling from downstairs. Phew.

And since then – well, the playroom will take a long time, but I’m ploughing on with it, having rest breaks fo work every now and then. And I’m still eating up food that was bought for Christmas – far too much of it, but fortunately no cheese and onion crisps, although I do have a bottle of ginger beer on the go.

As for resolutions, here they are:

1. When the playroom is finished I will put the rowing machine out and have 15 minutes on it every day.
2. I will lose half a stone before I go on holiday in June.
3. I will cut down on the amount of work I do (yes, all right, I know this is extremely unlikely, but I’ve got to try).
4. I will finish The Novel. This will not happen, of course, unless I succeed in resolution 3…

Oh well. Back to the decorating.

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