Brenda’s Unfortunate Christmas Record


So I’m walking up the street the other night, gazing into people’s windows (a favourite pastime), checking out their trees and thinking, ‘fuck I am already so done with Christmas’. This was around the 18th. I dunno if it’s just me, but 2017’s festivities have been full-on. Feels like we’ve been at it for an eternity. I can’t wait for all of London to piss off home so I can get my head down and crack on with some work. Bah!

Not that I’m ever properly into the season, but this year’s left me feeling more despondent than usual. It might because the annual Christmas card didn’t go down quite as well as I imagined. It’s the one Yuletide thing I do – crank out around 60 homemade pieces – a fun, reliable December activity. I mean when else can you purposefully churn out so many variations on the same theme? I totally don’t expect anything in return, but still put a bit thought, and sweat into them. I always hope they work.

Anyway, I was quite proud of this year’s. To me, the anti-capitalist, counter-festive, feminist baubles were obvious & camp. I figured at least some of my nearest and dearest would find ‘em as hilarious as I did. But I seem to have failed. Barely anyone’s mentioned it. I brought one down to my favourite bookstore thinking for sure he’d understand, but nah, tumbleweed … my consolation was it going on the shelf next to John Waters’ & actually, the thought of mine being up there beside his fills me with joy. Still, next year I think I should go back to pom-poms & kittens. I’m obviously not cut out for anything more subversive. 



So that’s the cards. I sent one to Mr Ransom Note himself and managed to spell his name wrong. The night before I was out with some friends, getting very excited about a trip to Thorpe Park. It’s rare to encounter anyone who shares my passion for rollercoasters-slash-over-priced-thrills, but my new friend Alice is just as (if not more) enthusiastic as me. Utopia’s shut for winter but we set up a WhatsApp group to plan a springtime visit. The next morning I’m typing away to her whilst simultaneously addressing envelopes and well, the brain took a one-tracked wander. When Wil sent me a picture a few days later, ‘Is there anything I should know?’ I was down pub and didn’t clock what he was on about til I woke up with a start at 7am thinking, ‘ah shit I wrote Thorpe instead of Troup!’ 

The noggin never fails to amaze. Sometimes even just turning on a tap fills me with wonder – how the mind’s capable of coordinating all these complex actions and yet at the same time, it can be so daft …..

Back on the subject of Christmas. The highlight of this seemingly interminable string had to be the other night when I was invited to a secondary production of The Little Matchgirl. Boy did it deliver. The school was like a New Labour prison, a windowless cylinder with a bleak assembly hall plopped in the middle. We were seated in front of a row of the stuffiest looking teachers imaginable. You know, your stereotypical, pierced-lipped, drably-dressed, educational administrators. Eagle-eyed and 100% institutional. Cull the fun but hey the performance … aie aie aie, totally dreamy. First off you had beginner band pushing their way through all the standards. I don’t think there’s anything as blissfully tuneless. The level of dissonance they managed to achieve is unattainable. And then there were the wee girls struggling to sing along. The dance routines were pretty impressive, which made sitting through the rest a lot more bearable, but all that teenage angst and over-acting, oh my god! I was in heaven. Talk about classic of the cinema.

So on that note, I’ll sign off. Let’s hope 2018 delivers. Thanks for reading, lots of love and errr Happy Birthday, Jesus. 

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