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Day 1

There’s something about New Year’s Eve that always reminds me of the fairytale about the woman with the all-day curse.

You know, the one where the spirit or demon or whatever it is (I don’t recall the details, & if I remembered the story’s name I could look it up) says to the woman ‘that which the dawn finds you doing, you will do all day without stop’. To outwit the curse the woman decides that, come daylight, she will be found counting her money. Her reasoning goes like this:

If I am pulling a coin from my purse at exactly dawn, then in order for the curse to hold, coins will need to be magically produced within said purse. This is the only way that I will be able to continue counting all day. Happily, by the end of the day I will be very wealthy indeed.

The night before, she realises she will need something in which to hold these countless coins. So she cuts some cloth to use as money pouches. She cuts some more and some more, because she reckons she’ll be able to count pretty fast. She gets greedy, of course, as nasty women in fairytales are wont to do, & she ends up trying to outrun the dawn. As the sky lightens, she cuts out just one more pouch and then one more, and yes, she’s sure she can fit in one more before the first rays of sunlight touch her window.

One more pouch and one more and then bang! Sun’s up. She spends the day cutting all the cloth she can find, sobbing and wailing and with her hand cramping in the scissors. Snipping away at any cloth she can find — her table cloth, her prized curtains, her clothes — even the gown she’s wearing. She ends up destitute and in rags.

By New Year’s Eve I always have this nagging worry that whatever I find myself doing the night before will end up colouring the rest of my year. It’s a stupid belief, and is proven wrong every single year (years being far too long to maintain any one state of being or one kind of activity). Yet, there it is, NYE fills me with superstitious dread.

So it is that, each NYE, I try to spend the night in the manner in which I want the following year to progress. Friends & family play a big part in this. Some kind of socialising is in order, & there should be talking and laughing involved. I’m not a fan of big crowds and lots of noise, but some years that’s probably nice. This year was an excellent NYE, with a couple of bottles of champagne, some good company, some music & some laughing and much pontificating.

If NYE sets — I hope — my social scale for the following year, then January 1 lays down how I want my quiet time to be. So on the first day of the year, I like to take it easy. Maybe I’ll see a movie, maybe I’ll spend the day in my pyjamas, maybe I’ll eat a nice meal, spend time on my own, go out for breakfast. Maybe a bit of everything. This year I’m also reminding myself to write a little something down. Just, you know, to start the year right.

Which brings me to my next responsibility.

Most blogs appear to begin with an explanation. A posting on ‘why I have commenced this blog’*. It’s an excellent place to start, but it usually leads me, the home viewer, directly to another question. And that is: who are you? Even with people I know, I want to ask them who on earth they think they are, filling the world with blogs and words and all manner of random thoughts and experiences, uncensored and unedited.

And so who on earth, naturally, do I think I am?

The only answer I have right now is this: J.A.W.**

* It is a curious circumstance that the most frequently given reason for starting a blog seems to be ‘because my friends made me’***. I wonder if this is because the unnamed friends feel the blogger in question is so erudite &/or witty that their views must necessarily be shared with the world … or whether said friends simply want the blogger to shut up & go away for a few minutes.
** J.A.W. = Just Another Writer.
*** Actually, no, in my particular case my friends did not make me. The reason I’ve started this blog is …. er, …. um … ??