You know those TV shows where contestants have to make their way along an assault course, negotiating a series of obstacles and traps to reach the end and win a prize?
That’s what I’ve been doing recently!
It’s brought a sense of danger and excitement to my life. Every day I get a pump of adrenaline at the thought of the risk and hazards I face as I set out to win.
One Sunday every month, in a small English town somewhere south of Manchester, market stalls spring up along the pedestrianised streets to attract fat-walleted locals from the surrounding area.
On this particular Sunday, in late November, the streets were more crowded than usual. With the orgy of consumerism known as Christmas on the horizon, many bargain-hunters were in town looking for unusual knicknacks, hand-crafted cards or jewelery, or interesting local produce to gift to friends and relatives who would rather just have the money.
Overhead hung sad monochromatic arcs of twinkling lights. A band played instrumental carols outside the town hall, overlooked by a sparsely-decorated tree and dull carven nativity scene. The warm scents of hog roasts, burgers and mulled-wine only served to accentuate the chill in the air.
I don’t like things.
I’m a grumpy person, and so, I like not liking things. I get a sense of familiar reassurance when there is something I don’t like, a sense that everything is right with the world – that I can clearly distinguish between good things – which are likeable – and all the other shit on the buffet of life.
Conversely, there are some things that I do like.
And, as a grumpy person, I don’t like this fact.