Reasons to be Cheerful – Happy New Year!

f5bf470759bdc5994e0bec7578072313To paraphrase her Majesty, 2015 has been, for me, something of an annus mirabilis.  Or in other words, the first year that hasn’t been completely shit in about a decade.   I feel guilty saying this, of course.  People like me are allergic to smugness.  There is nothing more nauseating than someone eulogising about how wonderful their life is.  It’s insensitive to the suffering of others and ignores the unwritten rule that as soon as the words are uttered, a large cartoon hammer appears and smashes everything.  Did I mention before I have a tendency to catastrophize?

Looking around there’s not been a lot to smile about in the world.  I didn’t get through reading the Guardian’s Year in Review today.  Between the religious despots, widespread global terror and Donald Trump’s head weave, the annual round up made me want to run howling into Storm Frank.  I feel I grew up in a more optimistic time.  We had student grants and illegal raves and crystal healing.  We had the Stone Roses for god’s sake.  And there were proper belly laughs too, and strange happenings.  Like Tribal Gathering or the night we discovered Val Kilmer on the landing wearing a small, fluffy towel and thought we’d done too many recreational herbs.

But maybe that’s it. Maybe we all view our formative years through a fine gauze that makes everyone look like movie stars.  The point is we weren’t worrying. At least not about debt, disaster and Armageddon. However, looking back over the headlines of twenty years ago, shit still happened:  Fred and Rosemary West, the Kobe earthquake, the Brixton Race Riots, boots on the ground in Sarajevo…There’s no denying that events can feel like a Sword of Damocles dangling above our heads, but didn’t our parents and grandparents feel this way about the Cold War?

As long time readers of High Heels will know, I love New Year.  I love it like a kid in a sweet shop. There are many things to be grateful for, so here’s my top five list for the year that’s passing and the one that’s knocking hopefully at our door:

  1. Carrie Fisher is in the world and she kicks arse.  NEWS KLAXON.  Few people under the age of 40 ever did or said anything that revelatory.  You earn the right to be interesting over time.  At which point some idiot(s) with an opinion and an internet connection will bitch about your jowls and the width of your hips.  Obviously this would never happen to Harrison Ford.  Thank the lord then for the dark wit of Ms Fisher.  Anyone who writes lines like ‘my father was best friends with a man named Michael Todd.   Mike Todd was married to Elizabeth Taylor.  Mike Todd died in a plane crash, and my father consoled Elizabeth Taylor with his penis’ is my kind of woman.
  2. Chris Hemsworth is in the world and he’ll have to beef up for his next movie.  Look he’s under 40, OK?
  3. They might have guns but we have flowers.  The Youtube clip of the French father explaining the Paris attacks to his child restored my faith in humanity.  And in millennial parenting.  But don’t get me started on that. 
  4. People keep on giving.  It’s not been the best year for the reputation of fundraising, but there’s been many, many bright spots from individuals.  Katie Cutler and disabled pensioner Alan Barnes.  The Canadian school children welcoming Syrian refugees with a song in Arabic. These were my top *there’s something in my eye* moments.
  5. Charlie Brooker’s 2015 Wipe is on TONIGHT on BBC2 at 9 pm.  Genius awaits us.

Writing this on a blustery afternoon, I’ve realised that High Heels is a whole six and a half years old.  A mere child. Thank you for reading and being the audience for this intermittent, slightly cynical, but fundamentally hopeful blogger.  Whatever you’re doing or however you’re feeling about the future, may you swing triumphantly from the chandeliers in 2016.

Happy New Year!  xx