Jude 2020 – A year of what exactly?

Crikey, we’re halfway through January already which is frankly really weird.  The weather is awfully odd too. Every day seems to bring its own season. I’m confused, my clothes are confused and the plants outside think they are in South America.

But how is everyone doing?  Have you all passed out from your post-Crimbo (we use this word in the UK-feel free to share) credit card statement, and sworn you will definitely cut back on buying gifts this next year?  Right – good luck with that one…..we tried…..we failed…..we’re broke…..

There’s been loads of sad stuff in the news, hasn’t there?  I really try not to bring my personal opinions about politics/religious/fashion sense and hairstyles into what I write on the blog, but it seems flippant to ignore some of it –

The plane shot down in Iran – Those poor people – all the families who were waiting for their mums/dads/sisters/brothers/sons/daughters etc. etc. I am so sorry for them all – tragic and senseless loss of life – makes me think twice about how ridiculous I am to be grumpy about having to clean the house when I’m not in the mood.

And what about Harry and Megs?  *Read above paragraph…………

Well, that’s enough of me making you sad. You don’t need my words to make you feel any worse, you are reading this to feel better…..really? You might want to examine your choices – just kidding – I’m flattered you are reading any of this at all.

….and speaking of that – a HUGE thank-you to all the folks who subscribed to my website, even though you were secretly nervous you’d be inundated with adverts, requests for money from Nigeria, and the latest cure-alls and extensions for bits of your body you don’t like to talk about, or show other people.

Fear not dearest readers!  All you signed up for, was more of this complete and utter nonsense from moi.  Your email addresses abide in my web account for my eyes only, well unless you remark on my hair still falling out and my ability to cultivate interesting wrinkles – if you do that, I’ll give your email address to that annoying guy from Minnesota who designed a pillow and advertises the blasted thing every morning on the local tv stations when I’m trying to digest my breakfast.

On the Gump front – he has been rather moody.  This I attribute to the following.

  1. Reading stuff about Medicare – which he signs up for this year
  2. Having a bad hip – even though it’s a fairly new one
  3. Not enough good Sci-Fi TV shows running
  4. That the price of oil is so low
  5. He can’t fit in his older jeans
  6. That he is not married to Kathy Ireland
  7. That he has a redneck accent (oops – sorry, that’s one of mine)
  8. That he has to live with me – the new 2020 Jude…….

And what is the new 2020 Jude you ask?  Well even if you didn’t, I’m telling you anyway.  Think of me as an old and chubby Barbie Doll – It’s quite a reach, I know.  I am ‘Selfish Barbie’.  I come with my own choice vocabulary with several ‘naughty’ words.  I wear whatever I damn well please, say whatever I damn well want to say – and I take no prisoners.  I told Gump it was going to be a new phase in his life now that I’m all different – oh and that I’m getting a dog.

Poor Gump. It was a lot for him to take in.  Sometimes he just looks at me with this strange expression and then I realize it’s the exact way my face probably looks when I’m looking at him, something like this……….

Don’t worry (I’m saying this to the one Gump fan out there) he’ll be okay. He’s already started behaving better and turning his socks the right way out before he puts them in the wash.

I don’t know why I waited until 2020 to actually look at my life with vision that is 2020?  Suffice to say I have, and the world here in Debtwood will never be quite the same.

Now I would like to share something with you.  I want to tell you about my name – Jude.

Back in 1946, my grandmother, Violet gave birth to her fourth child, a little girl called Judith. Judith was born with Downs syndrome.  Though I never met her, her big sister, my aunt Janet, told me she was a dear little thing who adored music, and a sweet girl who everyone loved.  Judith died at age eleven, two years before I was born.

As a tribute to her memory, my parents gave me Judith’s name, and so I’ve always felt a connection to her.  But when I was born, my father filled in the name on my birth certificate papers and he accidentally misspelled Judith with an ‘e’ instead of an ‘i ‘– so my name is Judeth – hence Jude.

We often forget our family members who we weren’t fortunate enough to meet – and it can’t be helped. But I have a couple of pictures (they’re pretty old) and just this once I’d like to share them with you.  Here is Judith, my namesake and auntie.

Judith with her mum (my nan)
Front row left to right – Maurice Bayton, Janet Bayton, their youngest sister Judith Bayton, at the wedding of her oldest brother Dennis (my father) – 1949

Life at Debtwood – I decided to sort out everything in my house this week because I have way too much stuff.  The original idea was to have a garage sale this spring – but I’m wavering already and thinking more consignment shop and donations.  Isn’t it amazing how much crap we accumulate without even trying?  It’s so tough to throw things out too.

Gump even went through his clothes, that’s a first since we married ten years ago.  I rather enjoyed seeing the look of astonishment on his face as one-third of his closet went bye-bye because the clothes were too small.  Some of you know this already, but Gump has a thing about grey.  Practically 90 percent of his wardrobe consists of all things grey.  Even his socks are grey. His vehicle is grey, hell, I’m even grey.  The colour (if you can call it a colour) does suit him, but I tell him he looks boring because he is always dressed the same.  But he won’t budge. No bright colours for him. Even a word on the front of a tee-shirt is dodgy as far as he is concerned.  I love colour!  Nothing too gaudy, but colour makes me smile and makes me happy.  Living with the grey Gumpster is rather like living inside an old black and white movie.

Today I decided to sort out my entire office. This is something writers do in order to avoid actually writing. Again, too much stuff. And dear God, the number of pens I have would kit out an entire country of doodlers. But can I part with them? No, of course not. I sort them into ink colours, and then separate the ‘special’ ones which go in their own box, and then put them all into little containers…..’my pretties’…Then there is the ‘tub of happiness’, which is a large trunk-size tub full of my notebooks – I have a bit of a notebook problem. I can’t stop buying them- there, I’ve said it, ok? I have amassed so many, I cannot fit them into any drawer or cupboard. So they have a tub of their own. Look, there are far worse things I could be addicted to.

I have discovered all the old stories/poems/laments I have written and kept over the years. It’s sort of like reading an old diary. For each thing I wrote over the past thirty+ years, I can read it and tell you what was going on in my life when I wrote it. Apparently I was depressed and very angry in the eighties. (I did get divorced). In the nineties, I was going to show the world what was up, and in the two thousand’s I’ve basically been rather annoyed. This time frame coincidentally parallels my marrying a certain Gump person, so you can think what you will about that.

What is cool though, is that all these words have come out of my head, and they have been doing so for more than four decades. There are all kinds of stories, all kinds of feelings, muses, wisdom and my take on life – and then there’s the load of old codswallop which I probably wrote after vodka consumption and a bad hair day……. Yet here they are, waiting to be read and then resurrected into something I can use now. It’s fun, like meeting up with old friends again after a long hiatus. My sixty-year-old eyes look at all that scribbling in a different way than they did when they were forty, or thirty, and if I look hard enough, I get a glimpse of who I really was back then as a person. And then I wonder why I bitched so much about weighing a staggering one hundred twenty-six pounds, or hated that my hair grew so fast and it was too thick. If I could see myself again in the flesh at thirty, I’d give myself a big slap around the chops and tell myself to stop whining.

Because my friends and family weren’t on that jet as it got shot out of the sky. They were all somewhere being safe. And at the end of the day, that’s really what counts, isn’t it?

So I’ll take my chubbiness, my wrinkles, hell I’ll even put up with my thinning hair. And I’ll keep writing about them like I always do, and I’ll put my blog out there for the world to see (but not your email addresses) and I’ll feel damn lucky that I can.

much love


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