Wednesday, 1 January 2020
Whooping It Up!
WELCOME to 2020 or, as the Chinese will have it, the Year of the Rat.
They're predicting a strong and prosperous year - for us all, so let's hope they're right. It's also my wife's birth sign, which makes her - as a supposedly shrewd and artistic home-maker (which, of course, she is) - a perfect partner for me, the plodding but dependable and strong Ox. (I've other attributes - and failings too!).
However, I'm going to have to change. No, I don't mean the usual resolutions - cutting down on fattening foods and drink, while getting more exercise. I try to do all that in moderation anyway, but often fail.
No, it's my outlook that's out of date. It's time I whooped it up more or, at least, didn't shudder and shun those who do. I'm not going to start partying again but must learn to accept that TV and theatre audiences, or even people just gathering in a pub for a chat, now whoop and shout loudly, into phones and generally.
My old set of ideals and social 'mores' are dying out, like many friends. There were over half a dozen funerals last year and I'm considering buying condolence cards in bulk.
Still, I've a few younger followers who enjoy my writing, so I'm approaching the New Year with vigour, confidence and hope - just like Boris Johnson and President Trump. Like them, I'm not sure I can learn to be more 'inclusive', or never use outdated expressions like 'oriental', but I'm determined to maintain my sense of humour and tolerance. I was much less tolerant when younger of older people's views and now, at 70, find it ironic that those with the most time - the young - have the least patience. Still, when they calm down they're uplifting and fun to be around.
So, whatever your age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or politics, I hope you enjoy this light-literary and uplifting website started 10 years ago by retiring journalists fed up of all the bad news around.
Our Pages for You (see top of column, right) are fairly regularly updated, particularly our weekly newspaper Column/Memoir, and there is plenty of free reading of fiction and humorous anecdotes in our Chapter/Story and Books pages (from numerous extracts), or contributions for the Poem page.
Also, if you wish to purchase one of our books, either on Kindle or in the uniquely writer-designed paperbacks sponsored by the Arts Council, the price is kept to a minimum, as recommended by our publishers, but will help maintain this non-profit making venture followed by readers from Peru to China and beyond!
Whether you are a Rat or not . . .
Have a great New Year!