I’ve got a little pair of fatty balls. Whoah yes. And yesterday I pierced each one with a piece of wire and hung them out the window. In fact, one pierced ball coming up:
There’s a tree out the back of my flat and it’s alive with little birds, the names of which I cannot tell you, primarily because I’m an ignoramus. But they’re sweet and a pleasure to watch and it seemed like a good idea to feed them in these chilly times.
So far my little balls haven’t been nibbled by anything much but I’m getting disproportionate amounts of pleasure from the hope that something will eventually bite. I was sitting by the window yesterday, absent-mindedly keeping watch and became aware I was listening to a programme on the radio about happiness – what makes it, who’s got it, can it be bought etc. Various commentators were on, speaking about how it seems that in general, (a) having more money generally doesn’t make people happy but (b) having not enough can make you incredibly stressed out and miserable. The technical term for (b) is a no-brainer. So it seems that (c) once you’re past a certain level of material wealth (which I’ve decided to call the Goldilocks line – i.e. your cash situation is just right) the biggest influences on happiness are people and relationships.
All this watching and listening was yesterday, Hogmanay, which is traditionally a massive deal in these parts. Having had 42 of them, some magic, some mediocre, I really don’t expect too much from it these days and am happy to let it pass with a minimum of fanfare. This year, perhaps due to the incredible levels of switched-offness I’ve recently been feeling, it crept up on me to the extent that I didn’t realise New Year was coming till I woke up on New Year’s Eve. With no particular plan in place, I was quite relaxed about having a night in. Then a good pal called to arrange a visit to another friend who’s just had a new baby. Later, someone else came round unexpectedly for a wee dram, and we both ended up first-footing another friend who lives near by. It was a lovely and unexpected Hogmanay, like being in the Broons, except nobody broke their false teeth on hard porridge.
The radio may or may not have got it right, but healthy babies and good people and (not quite) feeding the birds made for a happy hogmanay. Here’s to more of the same this year.