It's silly, I know, but I am always sad to see the year drawing to a close. Last year at this time, still recovering from the shock of my illness, I was just very grateful to be alive. This year has been one of good health I am glad to say - and I am sad to see it go because of all the good times we have had.
One of the best of these has been our monthly Poetry meetings, when as a group of friends we meet in one another's houses to read our favourite poetry. Today it was my turn to host the event. The day turned out bright and mild, so road conditions were no problem, and there were eight of us sitting round the fire and reading our favourites - and what a selection.
The poems make us recall events in our lives, we reminisce, we discuss the poets, we laugh at poets like Wendy Cope and Brian Patten and we get that warm, cosy, Christmassy feeling when poems about Christmas are read. Christmas can be a sad time if you live alone, as quite a few of our members do, and I like to think that this coming together in friendship goes some way to overcoming this.
I really feel that the celebrations have started now, although after the Cookery Programmes on television tonight I shall probably be adding more things to my Boxing Day menu. At least the Cookery programmes give one food for thought (sorry about the pun) unlike the Perfume adverts which I think suggest to men that the sky's the limit if they buy a certain perfume for the woman in their life; closely followed by the adverts for jewelry - buy this necklace or that bracelet and you will pull some very glamorous twenty year old rather than the old dear you have been living with for the last twenty years. (I count myself in the latter, by the way!)
I think it is worth reminding ourselves as the jewelry adverts seem to take over the papers at this time of the year, that most of the words for items of jewelry (necklace, bracelet, ring, ear-ring etc.) have their origins in slavery.
And while we are on the subject of crazy things - a friend went into our local superstore, which is on the largest army garrison in Europe, to buy a CD of the wonderful Army Wives song destined to become number 1 at Christmas (fingers crossed), only to be told that they weren't stocking it as they were not a big enough store. Those women are inspirational to us all I think, and what better place to have it on sale than one where the women know all about what it is like to be here while their husbands, sons and brothers are fighting overseas.