I'll get this over and done with now, if you don't mind, I'm not going to wait another 360 days.
On the New Year's Day I wake up to snow. This is how it should be in January in the country. It is the last full day of my non-denominational midwinter break at my parents' house. Everyone has been very kind and I now have a car that is street legal for another year and I didn't have to pay a penny. The following day I will be going back to the day to day grind of being unemployed. In the frozen north.
On the 2nd I drive home. I go via my very best friend's house in a fancy bit of Hertfordshire. I am welcomed heartily and my very best friend's husband, with whom I used to work a very long time ago and have not seen for over 15 years, immediately drags me inside to watch a youtube clip of his friend making an arse of himself in front of Harry Redknapp. It is indeed very funny. We all go to the pub for a shandy and I keep my fingers crossed that my very best friend's husband does not notice that I have noticed his wife is wearing a very flattering cardigan with not enough wool in it at the front and that I am more than occasionally struggling to maintain eye contact. I leave several hours later laden with the remnants of their New Year's Eve party food and a hug that nearly caused my eyes to pop out. My very best friend's husband shakes hands with me so I think I got away with it. It is very cold but I am filled with the warmth from people's kindness.
On the 3rd it is my Mother's birthday. She is 5 days older than Elvis but has a better diet so has managed to get to 75 pretty well unharmed. I telephone her to congratulate her. In the afternoon I go to Sharon's as I am taking her daughter and her chap to Liverpool Airport so they can return to Norway. It's John Lennon's very own airport but I don't think he uses it much nowadays. There is a panic. Bjorn's passport has developed a mysterious wound in the form of a three inch diagonal knife cut across the cover and the important page. It is obviously man-made but nobody admits responsibility. As I have been away for the whole duration of their stay I am instantly exonerated. I have a theory, which I venture only to Sharon, as we sit in the car for two hours under the landing lights at the end of the runway in Hale village waiting for the text to say they were let through ok and wouldn't need a lift home, that I wouldn't stick my hand up to it either, knowing her daughter's rather unpredictable temper. Sharon agrees. We go home. I reclaim the table and two chairs I lent her for Christmas and return to my house. It is very cold and I don't feel very kind.
Yesterday was very cold. In the evening, along with many others recounting weather woe, I texted Messrs Radcliffe and Maconie while listening to their wireless programme that I was "sitting in my so-called modern house with the heating on and I can still see my breath". Mark Radcliffe said that that couldn't be right. He was very kind. Although I think the house would be warmer if I could afford to put the heating on more and buy some carpets. And curtains. And an electric blanket. And move. I console myself with the thought that my suffering is making the world a better place for my grandchildren. On balance, at the moment I would rather be warmer and let them sort it out.
Today it snowed. Half an inch of snow. England is paralysed. It is not so cold as yesterday but I stay warm because I have found my fake fur hat. I don't care if I look like a prat. Tomorrow it will be -6c. I am prepared to kill the next person who says "I thought it was meant to be global warming". You tit. It's winter.