A very quick one. Happy New Year! Thank GOD 2016 is over. Did anything good happen in 2016? Not to us it didn't. I mean, yes, good things happened, but nothing enormously good - certainly nothing good enough to outweigh the very very not-good things for which 2016 will always be remembered.
It being New Year's Eve, I had my customary why-do-I-even-bother resolution-making session yesterday. In 2017 I resolve to be: more engaged; more interesting; more informed. I will face – not fear – my endless admin.
So to this end I have deleted FB from my phone. The liberation! (Also - whisper it - the boredom. All those dead minutes - when you’re waiting for your son in public toilets, or driving around, or having dinner with your family, or out with your friends, etc* – I could totally be engaging my brain in finding out what other people are doing…) I have also paid all my speeding / road fines where I was clearly in the wrong, and downloaded the appropriate road user regulations where it was less clear, so I can FIGHT THE SYSTEM. (We all know how well that goes in Singapore. I wonder if they have wifi in prison here? Not that that matters to me, of course, because of the UNPLUGGING…)
Holiday highlights included:
- The Boy waking up at MIDNIGHT on Christmas Eve (technically Christmas Day, I guess) and opening all his Santa presents, then falling into our room wailing about how he didn’t like ANY of them;
- The Baby waking up at 3am – about 20 minutes after we’d gotten the Boy to sleep – and screaming HE’S BEEEEEEEEEEEEEN! SANTA HAAAAAAAAS BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN! And then staying up FOR THE REST OF THE DAY to play with her presents.
- The Girl copying her sister almost exactly, except about 40 minutes later.
We got no sleep. Not a peep. It was like having the newborn triplets of a crack-addict mother. I had (stupidly) envisaged Christmas Day being something calm and twinkly and pleasant; not us weeping with exhaustion and just willing night time to come so we could go to bed. (In fact as it transpired we got a second wind and had a quintessential Irish Christmas Night – visiting friends and sitting in the kitchen eating ham and bread (or just bread, for some) while drinking pints and ignoring the rampaging children. It was quite lovely actually, and made the day for us.)
There was also a very un-Singaporean road rage incident, where all the petty traffic fines I KEEP GETTING collided with all the petty traffic inconsiderations I KEEP SEEING, and they all turned to straw and I became a camel with a broken back, and I went totally mental - yelling at some poor man who WAS IN THE YELLOW BOX. (By way of background, I had also just lost the car in an enormous car park, and had literally been walking around in an underground furnace for 45 mins, futilely calling its name; and then there followed 20 minutes of sitting in the underground traffic unable to get out of the damn place because CARS WERE BLOCKING THE YELLOW BOX AT THE EXIT; oh, and I'd just suffered 90 minutes in the Mall From Hell with all three kids; who knew malls were where every single Singaporean spends their Christmas vacations?) As I said (loudly, and in a manner perhaps unhinged) to my friend the offending man – THE BOX IS THERE FOR A REASON AND THAT REASON IS NOT FOR YOU TO NUDGE YOUR CAR INTO IT TO STOP ME GETTING OUT OF THIS DAMN CARPARK AND AT LEAST LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M YELLING AT YOU. (On the plus side, all of my kids were in the car, and so when my friend the offering man drew up alongside us and starting his own bout of yelling – AND finger pointing, which is really bad manners in Singapore – they decided that he was even more mental than I was, and forgave me my transgressions.)
Ooh, before I went mental, there was a sneaky weekend in Hong Kong – my first visit there – which was fabulous beyond words. I found some notes I had scribbled down re my first impressions: “smells like boiled chicken; there is a peak!; it’s v. cold” – which I think we’ll agree might not reflect accurately the enormous joy the city gave me.
So, see? There was one thing good about 2016. I'm hoping there will be more of such good things in 2017. If not actual visits to great cities, free from the shackles of adult- and parenthood, then at the very least, the occasional whiff of boiled chicken to transport me back there.
And if 2016 has not blighted your spirit, or good things have happened irrespective of the bad stuff - good things which you can appreciate and are joyful of - I hope 2017 is even better. And, it goes without saying, if 2016 SUCKED EGGS for you, then 2017 has got to be better. Right?
Either way I wish you all a very very happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.
(*I AM JOKING! Obviously the Boy can take himself to the bathroom.)