That time between Christmas and New Year. It is different yet the same. I’m doing normal everyday activities, work, home, laundry, potato cooking. Yet the world feels different, provocative, pensive, slow, quiet, introspective. In the morning on the way to work streets, shops, trains are quiet, spacious, comfortable. Now, in early evening, the streets are impossibly crowded with families and tourists, aimlessly thronging in unshaped groups, like headless ameobae, looking at bring things displayed to draw their attention, filling the time, giving reason to their exertions in coming here, validating the occasion.
The days have been darker this winter. We are in the fallout of a disastrous election, seeing a horrific fascist undercurrent emerging, to a blatant level of hate not seen by me before. Right wing wealth using power to protect itself. The nationalist underclass mass assuming (being given?) free reign to attack, terrorise and exclude those displaying qualities of otherness. Jewish business premises have had swastikas painted on them overnight, by narrow-minded cowards.
Because of work hours I haven’t seen much daylight since early December. Working in theatre means odd, irregular, sometimes long working days. I’m not going to say “anti-social hours” because I don’t think the hours are anti-social, they suit me fine. I would find Monday – Friday 9-5 far more uncivilised and stifling. People who work that type of pattern often can’t comprehend anything different. My mother viewed the 9-5 pattern as some sort of social status, an achievement, a visible flag to wave, as if telling others that one has established oneself. I can’t imagine anything worse.