My new year resolution for 2017 was to plan more fun stuff. Planning fun, doesn’t necessarily equate to having fun, but if you don’t buy the tickets, you can’t go to the Stewart Lee gig. If you buy the tickets and stick them on your fridge they are reminders to get out and and experiment with becoming untethered from misery. I dragged Mr D out to see Stewart Lee. I laughed like I might have a full-on existential crisis, but that came later in the year. In my quest to keep to my 2017 resolution I have dragged many people out with me. Some have come willingly. One time I couldn’t convince anyone to join me so I went to the cinema on my own. I saw Moonlight. It was so good it has ruined the rest of cinema for ever. There were four other people in the cinema. I wanted to talk to them all afterwards about the film. I never thought I’d ever go to the cinema on my own but now I’m sold on it. You can go on your own in the afternoon on a Tuesday and take in a coffee you didn’t buy in the cinema.
Harry Hill signed my youngest child’s Tim the Tiny Horse books and was very kind to her. We love Tim the Tiny Horse. My friend Geordie Jane came with me to see Sarah Millican. Youngest and I went to Edinburgh mid-crisis and saw Mark Steel and Katy Brand. We drank Irn Bru and fielded text messages that you wouldn’t believe. We came home and booked tickets to see Cressida Cowell.
In June I no longer had to pretend to keep my OBE a giant secret. We celebrated with a party in our garden. We put up lights and everything. Most of our guests were very surprised by the news. ‘What is it exactly you do?’ they asked and I didn’t know how to begin to answer them.
As I was emerging out from under the party hangover the police knocked on our door with a special knock that means business. I’d like to say their visit was unexpected. What they told us was hair-raising and there was much worse to come. I barely slept a whole night for months after that. The worry has been almost physically painful.
When one of our flock fledged way before time and flew off with itinerate crows and vagabonds believing them to be friends and protectors, the future broke and it nearly broke my heart with it. I’ve had to learn to protect my heart by packing it with fun and good times and tickets for things and trusting that the future will come good in the end. I’ve had to reassess my No Matter What principle, and still find it holds up. No Matter What isn’t the same as It’s Fine, Anything Goes. No Matter What is I’m Not Sinking With You But I’ll Be Here When You’re Ready.
Our reduced number went to Buckingham Palace for the grand investiture and had a 100% good time. Youngest child said ‘I feel like a famous person!’ and I loved that she said that. It was like an out-of-body experience: a million miles away from the shitshow. Peak 2017. We planned an overnight in a hotel and an afternoon tea and the plans paid off.
My new years resolution for 2018 is more of the same. Safety nets are in place to catch falling fledglings and plans are being made for the rest of the flock. A long distance walk, a mini-break. Tickets for Richard Herring and David Baddiel are stuck to the fridge. Without the tickets, you can’t get into the gig.