There is good anticipation
like looking forward to meeting again or going on holiday, some kind of a longed for date, your exam results (if they work out), something new (kitchen/coat/grandchild) – when you look forward to being pleased – and are pretty crushed if you’re not. And there is bad anticipation
when looking forward to something already arranged gives you everything from palpitations to collywobbles and you work yourself into a state. Almost without exception, no matter how terrifying, disappointing, unsettling the thing is when it comes to pass – it will be easier to bear than thinking about it coming ie anticipation. And your anticipation is all your own, nobody else’s.
Once whatever it is begins to happen, your mood changes. You are now on the road. Whatever it is, is going to happen. That’s why the modern thing or not returning the promised call, whether it is to do with the delivery of wine or a three month wait for one specialist to liaise (his idea) with two or three others, is worse than rude, it’s unkind.
Because you can’t say “Damn the delivery!” and go out and leave the wine on the step – it will almost certainly be pinched. And you can’t tell the specialist how disappointed and upset you are, suspended without his offered opinion, because you can’t speak to him and his assistant doesn’t return the call.
Anticipating Christmas is not on my list of things to do, any year for the last long time, and this year I find the oversell and glitterballs excessive in the worst and most irrelevant way. There are troops massing on a border in the European mainland. The Chinese are pushing forward to different bits adjacent to their landmass. Hundreds of animals (winged and creeping included)
are being wiped out. People are without homes here, there and everywhere, in the American continent by reason variously of Covid, opioids, and savagely errant weather. That rich rich country is poor about its poor.
Back in Blighty, we are in an economic morass, facing the simultaneous disintegration of the government in power, its system and several massive institutions. Why would a wreath on the door fix this – or fairylights, flickering or plain ? And so often it seems that the wreath is to distract from uncovered mess and soaked garbage, while the Big Sell this year is more than ever based on what you’ve got to have, much of which will be dumped in the same way in due course. How I wish common sense was compulsory.
Last week I saw a documentary on the Smithsonian Channel about a wolverine,
filmed on the Russian/Finnish border. Solitary, savage, naturally programmed to do what she does, she isn’t beautiful though the body is miracle of natural development with tiny pretty ears, paws with built in snowshoes and a bite that would frighten a hyena. As the film ended, I found I was smiling. I smiled at the moon as I closed the shutters. It smiled back.
Then I looked at Win’s name (NHN) in my address book and wondered, because she has had a long and miserable haul – her father’s illness and death, her brother’s cancer, she hit the bottle and was then threatened with the loss of her beloved flat. You can’t impose jolly. She wasn’t up to much last year and I wondered. Bought a very pretty card and wondered who it was for ? Came home to an envelope on the mat with a letter – brother better, she dried out, sale of father’s house brought them both security, old flat safe in her name, love and wishes.
I rang her to tell her about the card I had bought. And walked about smiling after we had spoken.
We have a grand old grocer’s nearby which you only go into for one or two things because the prices are eye watering. I buy excellent Italian biscuits there, one for breakfast, but last week I bought a pack of ginger biscuits dipped in dark chocolate from the supermarket – saved £4. And they are luxuriously good. Smile guaranteed every morning…
Oh listen … the faintest jingle …………………….