In which I look backwards to Christmas and last year’s desert island.

Christmas, I think we have to acknowledge, is over. The decorations are still up but they’re starting to feel weirdly out of date and inappropriate. There are still leftovers in the fridge but no-one can really face eating them anymore, so they’ll sit there a couple more days before being thrown away with lots of comments about how chucking food out is bad and how we’re going to shop more carefully in future and only buy what we absolutely and definitely need.

So, how was your festive season lovely readers? Please do feel at leisure to tell me all about it in the comments. Mine was good in a traditional family oriented sort of a way. We did the usual couple compromise of my family at Christmas and his at New Year, with a 24 hour “just us” break in the middle. And that’s probably enough about that. I don’t want to turn into the sort of blogger who witters on about random personal details like what I had for breakfast. Marmitey toast, obviously. I’m not uncivilised.

But a very long time ago I did blog about a Desert Island Discs party and then totally failed to tell you what I’d actually picked. So belatedly and with apologies, here are my choices:

1. Tim Minchin, White Wine in the Sun

I love Tim Minchin. I don’t totally agree with all his lyrics here. Regardless of religious persuasions I don’t see how anyone could prefer the idea of hanging out with Richard Dawkins over Desmond Tutu. Tutu just comes across as jollier, and definitely more like to have anecdotes about Nelson Mandela that end, “Of course, we were both very very drunk…” However, I endorse the sentiment. Christmas is commercialised and gaudy and should be terrible, but I really really like it.

2. Jools Holland & the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Enjoy Yourself 

A top song for a desert island. It is important to enjoy oneself. This is also the track Jools Holland usually ends live performances with, so has good associations for me of outdoor summer gigs with friends, alcohol and little sausage rolls. Very few situations cannot be remedied by the addition of friends, alcohol and little sausage rolls.

3. Pure, Lightning Seeds

This is me and the Boy’s official Song. We picked it on a car journey to somewhere in the early years of The Relationship. I believe we’d decided that if we were in a Relationship we ought to have A Song. And so we do, and it’s sufficiently unsoppy not to cause nausea, which is also nice.

On the music front honourable mentions should go to Semisonic’s Secret Smile, The Danse Macrabre by Saint-Saens, Tim Minchin’s Not Perfect, and pretty much everything by The Beatles. On another day any or all of those might have made the cut.

That just leaves a book and a luxury item to select. I wimped out on book, and went for The House at Pooh Corner. I call this wimping out because it avoided picking between all the incredible grown-up books. I could have picked one (if I had it would probably have been between Margaret Attwood The Blind Assassin and Kazua Ishigura Never Let Me Go – at least until someone gets round to publishing all the Discworld novels in a single massive volume) but that would have felt like I was rejecting all the other books and I couldn’t do it. Anyway, In Which Tigger Comes to the Forest and has Breakfast is a work of unadulterated genius and I would lift my mood during any low desert island moments, so Winnie-the-Pooh it is.

And for my luxury, it would have to be paper and pens (which would somehow magically never run out) so I could write write write. Only having one book to read would be a personal nightmare, but if I could write I might just manage it. There are lots of elements to trying to become a published writer that are a real pain in the behind, not least the actual trying to get published part. Editing and proof-reading can also be something of a bind, but the ideas are things of pure joy, so if I could live half on my island and half inside my own imagination I might actually be quite happy.

So comment away below on all things Christmassy or desert islandy, and please come back later in the week when we’ll be talking New Year’s Resolutions. Probably. Unless I see something more interesting before then and end up writing about that instead. Farewell.

Author: Alison May

Writer. Creative writing teacher. Freelance trainer in the voluntary sector. Anything to avoid getting a real job... Aiming to have one of the most eclectic blogs around, because being interested in just one thing suggests a serious breakdown in curiousity.

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