Tag Archives: December

Shaman

It’s time to shut it down, pack it up and box it away. 2014 is done and finished. Christmas is over and there remains only the hurdle of new year’s eve before it is finally over. For better or worse, 2014 happened. There were highs and there were lows. But regardless of a geopolitical shitstorm(s) threatening to swallow us all, I remain resolutely alive. Any day above ground is a good day. I have recently returned from a brief sojourn to the frozen north and once again masterfully avoided the yearly rail meltdown. December has left me tired, strung-out and worn-down. Because that is how December rolls. Yet despite this, there is as always, stories to be told.

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December’s Pictonaut Challenge

The weather outside is not as frightful a popular song might lead us to believe.It certainly isn’t snowing, it’s just a bit damp. Nor do I have access to a fire. My heating comes from an oil filled radiator and the stove is electric. I also have quite a few places to go, like work, or down to the local shops to buy milk. Grossly misleading songs aside, we are no firmly into the realm of the festive season. Out comes the gaudy and functionless frippery, we commence our decking of the halls with symbols of fertility and eternal life, and then ensconce the fresh corpse of a tree in the corner of our living room, assumedly as a warning to other trees and forestall there plans for revolution. But while many of us gather to celebrate this Christian festival, let us not forget its distinctly pagan roots. The height of winter, the fear of the long night and the darkness out there, a time of spirits and mystery. A festival where you did not wait for the arrival of a jovial old man in a red suit, but a festival where you await a visit from a Shaman.

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Pay Day

Somehow we have made it through the festive gauntlet. An onslaught of food, drink and society mandated family contact. And now we reach the 31st of December. This is the end. Two Thousand and Thirteen lurches drunkenly and broken to its final day. Its passing left a trail of chaos and carnage that would do its forebears proud. In celebration we will leave the safety of our domiciles to roam the high streets and city centres, glasses and tumblers of intoxicant clutched reverentially in our hands. Clustered in groups of friends and acquaintances or folk we have never seen before, together we wait loud in our silence and silent in our loudness. We wait for time to tick its way onward to the edge of our Gregorian precipice, to the beginning of the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Fourteen. Well, you might. I’m going to sit in my front room and drink whisky. If I’m feeling extra fancy I might even turn the lights on.

But whatever the evening may bring and whatever the state of your wallet in the aftermath, just remember: Pay Day is coming. Pay Day is always coming.

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December’s Pictonaut Challenge

Today sees the beginning of December. Two thousand and thirteen takes one last, deep, rattling breath as it summons up a final burst of speed as it hurtles towards two thousand and fourteen. Ready to pass over the baton and see the continuation of the Gregorian calender’s endless relay into eternity.  Gleefully ignorant to the inexorable wheels of time, children across the nation rend tiny simulacra of doors in twain and loot the precious chocolate totems that dwell within. The united forces of consumerism dust of their festive arsenal and array it in full force before us. Ready to assail us in full force with tinsel and baubles and carols and seasonally altered prices. War and chaos are upon us my friends, it will come hard and fast, before rising to a terrible crescendo on the 25th. To a lot of you the 25th is Christmas Day, but to me? To me, the 25th is still Pay Day.

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Leviathan

Another month down and another 1,000 or so words churned out for the faceless masses of the internet to ignore. As ever the end of the year has been a hectic time for me. The jaunt back to the northern homeland always takes a massive chunk of time out of the schedule and as ever travel over any appreciable distance usually leaves me feeling like someone’s stuck a hosepipe into my soul and siphoned my life essence off into a jerry-can. Add to that all the other writing work I’ve gone and committed myself too: two pieces of anthology work, a short screen-play, a guest blog post, the pictonaut challenge, a new blog project, all my weekly blog posts and then a few odds and ends here and there. Needless to say I’ve been getting a little snowed under. For a little while it even looked like I might not get anything written at all as I sank further and further into a pit of my own ennui. But then I pulled my finger out and managed to crank out about 700 words in a night and all was well. So to business, Leviathan.

Leviathan

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December’s Pictonaut Challenge

And so we reach the final month of 2012. This is the home stretch, the swan song, the last hurrah, the end times. December is what I would call a proper month. It’s got 31 days, the weather’s usually cold and about as awful as it’s ever likely to get, there’s holiday time; things happen in Decembers. You’ve got Christmas, you’ve got New Year’s Eve, you’ve got the inevitable fight with your family. It’s all of the things which fundamentally characterise a whole year squished up into one nice, parcelled up, 31 day period.

I’m coming to the end of a week off from work, using up my remaining holiday allocation before year’s end, pissing it away doing nothing in particular. This has been a week of rest and relaxation, a recharging and revitalisation of my mystic energies after a trying couple of months. I have done more or less nothing, and achieved more or less nothing, and this has left me utterly exhausted. Never underestimate just how tiring inactivity can be. Writing has kept me at least moderately occupied, preventing me from slipping into a coma constructed from my own listless ennui.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, I should probably cut to the chase: it’s Pictonaut time, this month we square off against Leviathan.

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