Around this time last year I was sitting in the bath, fully clothed, with my laptop on my knees.
I was hiding from a mouse that I’d spotted scampering across the living room having figured that he or she wouldn’t be able to climb past the overhang of the edge of the tub so I could rest easy and carry on my hitherto solitary celebrations.
The celebrations themselves consisted of DVDs — I can’t remember which so probably just a mixture of US television comedies — and the Sprite left over from my Happy Meal. I’m not entirely sure whether the fact I had “grown-upped” the Sprite with liberal glugs of some homemade sloe gin makes this tableau more or less depressing.
So yes. Sitting in a bathtub, wearing lots of outdoor clothes in case the mouse somehow tried to touch my bare skin, drinking gin out of a Happy Meal cup and completely unable to enjoy or remember Modern Family.
I considered sleeping in that tub.
I also didn’t go back into the living room until my boyfriend at the time came home except for a trip (clad in wellies, gloves and a hat) to poke a mousetrap stuffed with apple and peanut butter through the door with a broom.
I’m not even going to concede that this was damaging to gender stereotype advances because, you know what? ANYONE can be scared of a mouse.
The fact that I later discovered said mouse had died, frazzled against the power pack of the boyfriend’s computer and that the way I found this out was by mistaking the corpse for an old apple core and almost putting my hand through it… Well let’s just say that species has not endeared itself to me any further.
This year I am hoping for better things. I have a house party I am about to head to, I live with a flatmate who has a cat and therefore a wonderful lack of mice, and I have even more sloe gin than last year.
But the end of this year has been a strange one.
In an email to a friend I described returning to London to find it feeling far less like home than before I went to see my family for Christmas. Like the holidays grabbed at the chessboard and shook it around just as the shape of a game was forming. Rootlessness, perhaps? Realising that the pieces which you had mentally fixed in place because that’s how you have to play are actually no more attached to their actual squares than you are to your metaphorical one.
A slightly odd sensation, then, but one filled with potential and with the idea that you take your own potential moves with you wherever you go.
I’m not sure what the next year will hold and I don’t believe that change comes from a calendar tick but I think it’s best to say that perhaps I am a person in flux and the flux will be the curious thing about 2013.