你好/ Ní hǎo / Nín hǎo / Hello / How do,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The yuletide arrived upon us, beating down on us like the summer sun on exposed earth. The relentless flow of festive cheer and cash registers slamming shut full of your hard-earned dough began and flashed by. Santa bar crawls, logo-covered bunting, and piss-poor parodies of Frostie The Snowman were go, go go. Repeated movies, dusty and scratchy Christmas songs and badly replicated versions of last year’s over-priced toy sat side-by-side with tinsel so dusty that it could line a funeral procession and not look out of place.
In some cities, villages and places around the world, there was loneliness and feelings of being so lost, poor, destitute or sad. It shouldn’t have to be this way. Jerusalem was unified and completely calm. So, we as people must also put aside differences and make those who feel alone, feel part of something bigger. Christmas 2017 was my fourth Christmas in China. I vowed last Christmas (2016) to go home, to Blighty. For reasons, visa-related and the like, that wasn’t likely to happen. It won’t be like this in 2018. I don’t feel that bad about being away from family at this most festive time. I hope that they can understand me. I hope they don’t think that I don’t want to leave gifts under Christmas trees or fill their Christmas stockings with a little thank you for their wonderful warm natures (Well, mostly! You know who you are!). I wouldn’t mind a Christmas tipple with my family-folk, but it wasn’t to be this year. Instead we can share one on the next occasion.
This Christmas, I made a charitable donation to a good cause and that was my main gift I gave, save for stockpiling thoughtful things to deliver to family and friends.
Anyway, I waffled on, I don’t have purpose to this blog post, aside from wishing everyone a late happy Christmas and a wonderful new year. Tomorrow is another day. I hope it brings joy and smiles for you and your family.
Christmas Eve was spent in Shenzhen watching the Hollywood Movie Orchestra perform themes such as Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, a James Bond medly, Somewhere In Time, Superman, Harry Potter, The Lord Of The Rings, and so many more great movements. I shed tears in the themes of Schindler’s List and Forrest Gump. They have always pulled on my heartstrings, just like E.T. and Bambi. It is mostly sentimental but always reminds me of how lucky I am. I feel really fecking lucky. At times, I have felt low, then I dig up a wonderful memory and all is good again. Lately, in periods of deep relaxation (sat reading The Fortress by Andy McNab, or during an Ox-horn massage etc) I have dug up some memories that may have slipped away for far too long. I think my 2018 resoultion is to write more. So, in January, I will write about my history, a kind of release of warts and all, with some love and hugs along the way. This isn’t showing off. I really like writing and there is no vanity intended. Each month I’ll slap some words on a palette and call it writing. A thematic bubbling pot of pish.
January: The Life of John
February: Manchester [Our City]
March: My favourite writers [musicians, journalists, authors and more]
May: MCFC, Okay.
June: The U.K.
August: The family tree.
December: Happy holidays.
To be continued…
再见/ Zài jiàn / Bài bài / Ta’ra / Goodbye