Post 250 – Christmas is coming
It’s my 250th post, but not a time for celebration of introspection. There’s enough of that every other day. Today is the 1st of December, which I can barely believe. Another month of my life has slipped away from me and I have little or nothing to show for it. I fear December is going to do the same, but not without punishing me physically and mentally.
It all looks good on paper; have a few weeks of doing what amounts to two full time jobs. Oh, yeah, actually even on paper it doesn’t add up, but the last couple of days have made me question a lot of things, including ‘why am I doing all of this?’, to which the response is obviously that I need the money. Also ‘which of these two jobs is actually what you want to do?’, which I don’t really have a response to, though yesterday was the most fulfilling of days I’ve probably ever had here – maybe it’s because all the other staff were away!
For those of you in the tiny bit of the venn diagram of people who don’t know what I’m talking about and yet do care, I’m opening Manchester panto on Saturday as musical director. Actually I’m dep musical director, but because of the timings of said dep situation, I’m doing the opening night, and the subsequent twenty seven shows. I know I’ve been going on about Preston panto, but I’m musical supervisor for that, so just go and hang around looking important, I don’t have to do any shows. It does mean I’m getting slightly confused between Aladdin and Cinderella though. At the same time I’m trying to get through a period of assessments on the ‘proper’ job, so as of now, I have to get to Preston every morning, five days a week (plus an afternoon on my ‘day off’) then do twelve shows per week. Sounds tiring. And impossible.
And if recent traffic nightmares are anything to go by, it’s going to be logistically tricky. Yesterday I found myself in two traffic jams, and was late for an evening rehearsal. On Tuesday it took me fifty minutes to do a fifteen minute journey, making me late for that rehearsal too. It’s just about OK to be late for them, but it anything happens over the next two weeks I’m buggered. Still, it’s only two weeks. All I have to do after that if prepare a full show of music for a very close friend’s wedding, featuring celebrity ‘turns’, fix Christmas, do two gigs and write band parts for a show which starts the week after new year. Whilst I’m doing that, I’ll also somehow be doing another show.
Yes, some of you know this, I guess I’m just thinking out loud. It’s not actually what I wanted to talk about today, but I’m a little tired and I have a sore finger and I’m a bit thirsty. Oh, fucking woe is me.
Anyway, the phrase “Bloody Christmas gets earlier every year” is bandied around rather too often for my liking, but it’s interesting to note that…well, it’s interesting to note quite a lot of things about that. Firstly, Christmas doesn’t get earlier, obviously. It’s always on the same day. I think what the idiots who say that are getting at, is that the Christmas based products begin being advertised earlier every year. Of course again that’s not really the case. It can’t keep getting earlier. The people who say that (idiots) are just unhappy about any early Christmas advertising, and remain so every year. They’re not doing any kind of study about when different kinds of shops and different media begin Christmas themed advertising campaigns. They’re just idiots.
However, I am not one. I think there’s a slightly different cyclical thing which happens, which itself is beginning to change. I think an ‘early’ year is followed by a ‘later’ year. One year shops will start very early with the advertising and then there will be an inevitable Daily Mail style backlash, full of nonsense and lies. The following year things will be slightly more measured and people will forget all about it. They won’t notice that September is less Christmassy than the previous year, and when things appear in November, they won’t mind so much. OK, this isn’t scientific by any means, but in my head it’s fact.
However, things have seemed a little different of late. Halloween is to blame. Suddenly (or maybe not suddenly, I don’t really pay attention to rubbish orange things with fake cobwebs on in late October) Halloween tat is everywhere from late September. All kinds of orange and black food, clothes, decorations and general shit is all over all the shops. I have no idea why, and isn’t this all rather American and shit? I know, I’m not at my most eloquent this morning (no I’m really not, I just wrote elegant. I’m certainly not at my most elegant this morning) but it’s all rather crass and tasteless isn’t it? Not a single person knocked on my door doing the trick or treat thing and I saw nobody in the streets around where I live. Perhaps it’s all just for idiotic students, who, let’s face it, don’t need another excuse to get drunk on a Monday.
Really, I don’t care. I don’t walk down every aisle in the supermarket anyway, but the point I’m making is that this mass commercialism of Halloween has the positive effect of keeping all the Christmas tat locked away until at least the 1st of November, which suits me fine. Again, I don’t really see it, it’s passes me by to some extent, but it’s for the common good that, at least in some places, it’s kept out of the way until then. The down side of Halloween hysteria is that we seem to have lost a bit of interest in bonfires and what not. Or maybe that’s just passed me by too.
You know what, I’m aware that things are rambling on. If you keep reading this for the next two weeks you might see a gradual decline of my mental health into some kind of gibbering panto obsessed maniac. Certainly the posts over the weekend will talk of little else other than tiredness, panic and Louie Spence. There’s so much to write about, but I think you’ve read enough for one day. If you haven’t, click on another post why don’t you? The stats will cheer me up!