‘Ends’ is a word that keeps returning. It unravels every time. Whenever I think it sufficient it fails. There is more to be written, even after ends. Sometimes I mis-type it as ‘dens’. And then I rearrange the letters again. Dens! Delete, delete, delete, delete.
I may recollect that these weeks at the end of the year have been full of ends. And in that thought comes the prospect of the unknown future.
Ach, and who knows what’s going on, I asked myself as I tramped across the garden and spotted daffodil shoots already two inches high, even now, here.
1. Dress up and jive dance at the Clore ballroom.
2. Watch carol singers on a giant screen in Paternoster Square.
3. Take the kids to My Brother the Robot at the Roundhouse.
4. Shop for last-minute gifts at a ‘German’ market on the South Bank.
5. Donate blood at Leytonstone Methodist Church.
6. Hear Atila, King of Crooners at the Park Plaza Hotel.
7. Enjoy a Victorian Christmas with traditional mince pies at the Charles Dickens Museum.
8. Check your numbers for the Euro Millions draw (top prize £62,469,261).
9. Watch Christmas Eve dawn on Walford.
10. Breathe. Sleep.
I watched him stare at his pint for an hour. He barely drank a drop. He does this every day at the same time, with the same words to the girl at the bar, shuffling to the same seat. These days he keeps his overcoat on. It is cold in the pub and word is they can’t afford to light the fire. The back exit opens intermittently for smokers and we shudder as a bitter draught blows through. It’s not for the pint I come but for company: his company. He shakes his head, like dad has done for years.