It's the day after the 2006 Summer Solstice here in Barnsley, and these are my thoughts.
I write this as I'm still sick with the flu. All I need is a few days rest and I should be fine, but for the last five days I've been out and about for one thing of another. I don't normally buy Xmas gifts, though this year I got one for myself, from money my mother sent me. I'm 49 this year, and my mum still send me money for Xmas - it's an odd thing to think about. Nonetheless it's something to appreciate, and after my father dying earlier this year I appreciate that she's still there.
Anyway, I ended up buying a 1/2 priced "super joystick" for playing with certain arcade games that I recently re-discovered. I used to have a passion for these when I was young, and would spend up to $40 a fortnight in 20c on the things, mostly at a place called Strombeckers on Barrack St in Perth. Strombeckers is gone now, torn down and replaced with part of a hotel - at least it way when I was in Perth for my father's funeral. Just right now I seem to be re-discovering these simple joys. And why not?
Of course in the Southern Hemisphere the Summer Solstice coincides with Xmas, which never quite matches. I read recently that December 25th was originally the official birthday of Sol Invictus - an ancient sun god from the Levant. Constantine, the first of the Roman Emperors to officially tolerate (and also to largely support) Christianity synchronised both the Sun with "the Son" (Jesus) and declared that that start of the week should be the day of the Sun, or "Sunday". I found this out while researching for the current strip at my web comics - Tales of the Galli.
This is set c. 316 AD in Rome. Constantine has just won the battle of the Milvian bridge, and the title characters are members of the temple complex known as the Metro'on, the main temple of Cybele in Rome. I had been waiting to start this strip for a while and really had to wait until I'd finished my Honours course at university. My exhibition of my Trans Tarot Deck was held and I had a generally favourable response. After two years the course is finally complete, and all I do now is await my results.
A funny thing that, as the last four years were all study - first two years of a Library degree, and then 2 years of Honours. Off and on, I've been a student since 1997, and for now that's over. I just have no plans of further study right now. To do my masters I'll need inspiration, energy and an idea. Right now I feel a bit washed out on all three.
This year has been a year of changes and events, and a year where it seems that many things ended for me.
I've travelled to America and Perth, and visited friends in Sydney. It was the year my father finally died, and the year when I didn't struggle to keep my car on the road (officially out of registration now). Over the last two years pets have died or gone. Mutzy and one of the goats next door died last year, and the 2nd goat went this year. Some of the dogs in the street that always bark at Pegasus and myself when we go for a walk, have gone. I gave away my ducks last year, and today it's almost exactly a year. I miss some of them (like old Howard)still, but I couldn't bear the stress of keeping them any longer.
But with some things going, new possibilities came to be. Almost out of the blue I had a boarder. He's still here after 3 months, and we seem to be getting on together much better now - perhaps we've started to define our boundaries. With my board came the financial ability to (finally) afford broadband, and with it a new e-mail address. I'm still a member of Hunter Apana (for now), but what a difference (now we each have a working computer) it is to have Internet access at any time, without using my regular phone link, and to have relatively quick access.
Luxuries of course, but one which (for now) I can afford. And with the Summer Solstice, my thoughts go towards the result, the crop, the dividend of ones efforts or experiences, of what (relatively) for me is the "good life". For the most part in the last three months, I've been able to pay my bills, and still have money left over for other things. Some of this has gone on computer stuff, like broadband and new graphics cards, and the net effect is to make my use of the computer easier, happier, and more productive.
There are other things to consider of course - I need my lawnmower either replaced or repaired, and the gutters and other parts of the house need fixing. But maybe these can now be saved for. Maybe. And maybe in one way or another I might get a replacement vehicle. the other week I saw the Rauni's twin sitting in a used car lot. It's in much better condition, and would be mine for $1500, though just now I can't afford that. But for now I'm surviving without it.
Still, next year I hope will bring new ideas and challenges. I need to start several projects that have been on hold for the last four years. One or two books for example. And maybe, if I can swing it, some form of employment. We'll see what comes, for that will be the start of a new cycle for me.
So this time around, I'm not feeling as lonely as I have in previous years, not so desperate financially, not so isolated. In fact this time around I might even enjoy myself!
It's nice to have that feeling.