Enough with the cheese. I have put on about 5lbs over the festive period and most of that is Brie and Stilton. Yes, there is some chocolate and mulled wine in there too but, in the main, it was cheese that did the damage.
When people visited I offered: “Tea? Wine? Cheese?” And then: “Cheese? Wine? Oh I know… Brie? We have a lump of Brie the size of Stoke draped over the top of the fridge. Take your coat off and I’ll get some crackers.”
I don’t feel good on it. I have an extra layer made of cheese and I have been having some very odd dreams. They are not just enhanced by the presence of cheese but actually include cheese. In one I fly an intergalactic spaceship made of cheese and I deliver Coldplay to some sort of space pirate in exchange for more cheese. Which isn’t a bad deal if you think about it.
Anyway, I am now immersed in the cheese detox and, although there is a lingering smell of Stilton and it takes longer to lose the weight than it once did, I along with the rest of the world am back at work/in the gym/eschewing dairy products and wondering about a summer holiday. Indeed, I was wondering if perhaps we should all have a party?
Forgive me for picking up so immediately on a pre-Christmas theme but it seems to me the national consciousness for 2011 is firmly set on austerity, cuts and the ongoing disdain for anything that costs money. Wasteful pointless stuff such as education, healthcare, social service, policing and so on. It seems uncritically accepted that the best interests of modern society are served by an assault on the things that civilise us. And I wonder how those of us who spend our time providing those things may respond to that?
And of course people will defend their jobs and services as best they can. There may be demonstrations, strikes and marches as public service workers and students alike are painted as resisters to necessary change - naïve and old fashioned or thuggish troublemakers - either way they are not acting in the best interests of the country or more importantly the economy.
So maybe we should have a party. A party that celebrates public services: the people who provide them and the people who use them. Surely the existence of public services makes us a better, more refined society? We could make some sandwiches, get some bands in - I’m pretty sure Coldplay will play although you’ll have to ask them as they are still a bit miffed with me because of the space pirate thing. In fact, loads of bands will surely come along and spend some time celebrating public services. I’ll bring the cheese.
Because at heart what we do is both useful and is something to be proud of, something to celebrate. It is something that defines the best of a civilised society, not something to be ashamed of or to be considered a burden.
No doubt the unions are going to be busy organising resistance but rather than just march or strike, and thus do what the government predicts and legislates for, perhaps we should first embarrass them by borrowing a park, gathering together as nurses, teachers, students, police, fire-fighters and everyone else in public services and dance, laugh, talk and play. Let’s celebrate public service as a means of defending it, and re-establish some clearer social values for 2011. Happy New Year.