22 Dec Baubles, Bells and Bah Humbug!
To be perfectly honest, for most of the world 2020 has been a right SHITE year. And the way things are going in the northern hemisphere, 2021 doesn’t look all that promising either. At least until people everywhere are vaccinated and this virus can receive some of the biff-boff it dished out to humans! January held so much promise, but it all went quickly downhill from there. It’s the reason why the song, It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, means very little to too many this December.
It has been a year of lockdowns and isolation. A year where kisses and hugs have been totally banned, and the good old handshake has been forced to a weak elbow bump or ankle knock. Families have been separated, even if they lived close by; forced to wave to a face in the window rather than have a meal together. People started working from home with business being conducted through Zoom. Freeways no longer resembled car parks with traffic doing a slow crawl forward and, for once, public transport at peak hour had plenty of empty seats. Bars, cafés and restaurants were forced to shut their doors, as were gyms and health centres. Hairdressers, beauticians and nail technicians also had their CLOSED signs up. Shopping centres and entertainment venues were like morgues, while morgues and hospitals were like nightclubs, with bodies strewn everywhere. It was as if the world had been turned upside down and no one knew how to set it right again.
So, we did two things. We ate and we hoarded toilet paper. That was the go-to solution for most people. We probably drank too much also. We started to live in our sweat pants and tracky tops. That’s if we actually bothered to get out of our pyjamas. Without regular manicures, haircuts and waxing, many of the female species resembled those living in neanderthal times. And we all started to act like them too. Grunting and groaning became the common form of communication. Personal hygiene took a back seat as people didn’t leave their homes and barely moved, let alone exercised. This became the norm. We moved from the bedroom to the lounge room, which basically started to look like an additional bedroom complete with pillows and quilts. We lived on our laptops, tablets and mobiles, watched way too many Netflix series and became recluses. People who’d previously never contemplated being on social media suddenly had sites on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, expounding about all and sundry. After a glass or three of something alcoholic, their usual mild-mannered ways led them to follow the examples of Donald Trump’s writings! And… we didn’t even have televised sport to keep us entertained. Football seasons, whatever the code, were cancelled. At least until committees were able to make hubs, where a small number of teams were isolated so they could play a mini-version of the real thing.
Worse of all, for P-i-C and me, was that travel was cancelled! SHOCK! HORROR! We now have credit vouchers from several airlines and are praying they don’t go down the gurgler with our money. With premium economy return seats to London, there’s quite a few dollars in their coffers… not ours! So far three cruises have been cancelled. We live and breath for these. It’s coming up a year since our last one and we’re like meth addicts coming down from a high. How the hell are we going to survive to next November? We go to our local beach often and I’ve even taken to doing my writing at a café there, hoping for inspiration. But it’s not the same and runs a very poor second. First world problem I’m told, especially since here, in Western Australia, we’ve generally been COVID free and have had the luxuries of freedom even the other states missed out on. And I truly feel for the millions, possibly billions, of people suffering in every other continent of the world. Except Antarctica. I’m pretty sure they’re COVID free.
So, I really should be grateful for all we have. We’ve celebrated Christmas already with our family, and also with lots of friends. Our shopping centres are open for extended hours, as are the hotels, restaurants and cafes we frequent. I’m able to have the necessary areas waxed, have my hair coiffured and nails decorated. I can shop to my heart’s content… or at least until I max out the credit card! And I could, if I really, really desired (which obviously I don’t) go to the gym to make sure I have a toned body for Christmas. It’s never happened before, so why start now!
However bad many think this Christmas to be, I believe we should give thanks we’re able to celebrate it, even in limited circumstances and with few family members. Many haven’t survived this year to be able to do that. And compared to the Christmases during the war years, and even those currently in areas of conflict, Christmas celebrations aren’t a given.
From my home to yours, wherever you may be and however you are able to celebrate, P-i-C and I send our very best wishes and virtual hugs and kisses to those who need them. Take care, be happy and, most of all, don’t hoard the toilet paper!
Annie, her Partner-in-Crime, Grant, and their faithful sidekick, Missy the dog xx