Sunday, 12 December 2010
Friday 19th November 2010 - And so it Begins...
2010 has been the most thrilling of all my 35 hesitant years. Unfortunately, that is exactly why I am dreading 2011. My name is Marcella Muddleditch. I live in timid Middle-Muddlington with Hoobiz, The Little Perfect One, Bernard and The Tree. I‘m a level 74 million Dreamer and believe anything is possible, but in over 3 decades I’ve yet to live it. For example I’m learning to be 'of steel', but currently I'm mostly 'of batter'. If I can actually become ‘more steely’, then perhaps I can begin to prove that this impossibility lark is just a load of old tosh.
Facts I don’t do well, but here they are: on Monday December 13th I’m returning to work full time following a year’s maternity leave with the Little Perfect One. I’m riddled with all sorts of yuckiness and horror at the thought of it. I really can’t see how it isn’t all going to fall apart. I feel small, evil and a bit trapped. ‘Responsibility is the only song for you, forget all that Jazz you promised yourself you’d play one day. One day is history for you part-time Mummy! Mwah-ha-ha-ha!’ What I really need is consistency and that’s where I really struggle. I am brilliant at spinning around and getting over excited like a crazed setter in a playground, but I am embarrassingly mangy when it comes to formal obedience or agility. Yet the stakes haven’t ever been higher and if I follow this Auld Lang Syne with my clumsy ‘where’s the ball again?’ wagging, then I’ll be set for 12 months of poo.
However I’m hoping that Florence got it right on the radio this morning and that ‘the dog days are over’. The thing is that 2009 gave me back my life following a 7 year stretch of half-life in my own prison of shabby nonsense. I’m determined not to go back there and I’ve enlisted the help of a very beautiful tree to keep me out in the open. I remember seeing a program about a woman who married the Eiffel Tower, they were very happy and that’s lovely, but my friendship with the Tree really isn’t anything like that. My majestic Sycamore has been a calming presence, a steady barometer and constant reminder of the trickling sands.
About 15 years ago I happened upon Janine, a singing, South African Psychic who warbled repeatedly ‘what are you waiting for?’ It wasn’t quite in tune, but was pretty rousing and reminded me of the second half of Bohemian Rhapsody. I am not sure if she repeated it for emphasis or to buy time. Come to think of it I suspect it was for clarity, as these prophetic words blended quite uncomfortably her own Capetonian twang with that of her Chinese (Nun of course) spirit guide. Whether this was a message from the other side or Janine was just a Queen fan with a poor ear for lyrics is immaterial, the point is I am still just waiting. Well not any more...
Dreaming is delicious, but if you do it as well as I do there is really very little incentive to do anything for real. There isn’t a prize I haven’t won, a cure I haven’t invented or a peace I haven’t negotiated. My big red unfortunate face was willing my fingers not to type that, but it’s shamefully true. The sad thing is that when you are terrified and locked away from the rest of the world you can’t actually touch anything useful, not even any fun runs, jumble sales or Comic Relief for the Weirdos.
Oh diddums! You have the most edible toddler, gorgeous husband and good-ish job, ‘what are you whinging for?’ me thinks. Well yes and add in that I have the world’s greatest parents. Throw in two brothers, who are at worst entertaining. Not forgetting a Siamese cat who is slowly taking over the universe. Yes, life is for the most part pretty sweet. However, as I slowly come to terms with the fact that I might not ever actually win Wimbledon, I’m also realising that it’s time to give it a go. Well give life a go that is, one goal at a time, not Tennis per se. First up is the steely stuff and then it’s this Tree business. You see I’ve always ‘had a tree’ and I have always wanted a study of a tree over a full year. This is mostly because I’ve never actually been able to pin point the actual day when one season has given in to the next. This latest lovely has been mine for the last four years and sits just behind my back garden.
Every day throughout 2011, (I need a bit of a run up, which is why I’m starting now), I shall take a photo of my striking neighbour and with her gentle dance as my backdrop I shall remain focused and in control. What funny words are these? Well the point is that today I am going to try. Yesterday I was eight years old, building camps, writing books on newts and certain that I’d grow up to be David Attenborough. This morning I’ve woken up and although I still feel about eight, people have started to call me Madam in Waitrose. I’m a wife, a mother, and good grief I can even drive (well I have a licence) and I am still just dreaming of what I am going to do when I grow up. ‘Madam! Madam! Please wake up! We don’t do cryogenics Madam. I’m afraid snoozing here with the chilled goods for the next 35 years isn’t part of the service.’ Yes I do need a big kick up the bum. ‘Stop putting your life on ice Madam! Or next time you hear us we’ll be shouting.’ I also need frequent little punches, which is why I will report daily to my dear Tree.
Of course it could just be a midlife crisis... but if you’d like to come along with me on this journey I would be very grateful for the encouragement. I do also have a story to tell and with the help of my Tree I’d like to share it with you. The story is actually more about me than the Tree, but if you’ve just read the preceding 1056 words then I’m fairly confident that you will have guessed that.