The Old Year departed the scene. Consigned to the history books with its hopes, joys and sorrows. Volcanic ash, perfidious politicians and heavy snowfalls.
The New Year rode into town on a cacophony of fireworks which lit up cities around the world. The Sydney bridge, Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty. And holding tightly on each hand of the New Year were Hope and Promise. A new year. A new beginning. New Dreams. But hidden in the shadows was a gate crasher. An unwelcome guest at the table.
The Christmas decorations were consigned to the loft. Baby Jesus and the Shepherds gently bubble wrapped in the stable and placed in the box marked ‘Nativity Scene’. The Golf Police sighed thankfully as the last turkey and sprout dish was served along with the cold Christmas Pudding.
Golfers took stock of the golfing year and made their New Year Resolutions. The Sheriff planned to get back to Category One and fit golf around the treadmill of life. Maybe play a bit more.
“So more than four times a week?” said Gus
Big Rich vowed to accept ball drops with grace and humility.
“Give you till the third week of January” whispered The Sheriff.
Divot wanted to get back to the fairways by March with his mended knee.
“So did the White Coats say anything about losing weight to help the new knee?” said Pancake.
Sid put off the decisions about two new knees for another year.
“See what it’s like at the end of the season” he said. Everyone knew but no one said. Pain. Pain. Pain.
Ruggy wanted to get her handicap down. New Year. Same dream.
Big Rich ordered more cake. Coffee and walnut and another round of lattes.
The Big Boys on Tour took stock of their year, tweaked their swings and listened to their Mind Gurus. A new year lay ahead and there were majors and glory to be hunted down on the fairways. The azaleas of Augusta and the Claret Jug. One man. One name. One dream.
The New Year had started well in the house hold of the Golf Police. For one day. It had gone according to plan.
The Golf Police had been on his second helping of fish pie with prawns and peas. Glazed carrots and mange tout. A glass of chilled wine and black berry and apple pie served with ice cream.
The new blue oven gloves were on the hook and the one hundred hour candle on the windowsill. By each plate was a blank piece of paper headed Resolutions.
“Don’t believe in them” said the Golf Police.
“You know what they say” said the Thespian.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
“Still good to have goals. And dreams. Everyone has dreams” I said over the wine glasses.
Apart from the thespian, it was not a table of dreamers or goal setters.
Outside it tried to snow and the boiler hummed in the background. The kitchen smelt of fish and blackberries and the oven was still warm. The Waterboys were singing in the background. About palaces and piers, flags, rags and ferryboats and the moon.
The Golf Police had another helping of the blackberry pie. Another glass of wine. Another scoop of ice cream.
When the dishes were cleared away, I collected the pieces of paper.
Daughter No. One had written in neat capital letters. With a pink pen.
Lose Weight/Get Fit/Save for a rainy day
The thespian lost her piece of paper amongst the creative chaos of her artistically strewn carpet. Rehearsal schedules, scripts and a blank sheet.
The Golf Police had spilt some of the blackberry and apple pie on his paper. Other than the stain, the sheet was empty. He had torn a piece from the bottom of the black berry stained paper. It had my name written on it. A collaboration of resolutions from the leader and the Pink Pen. A hit wish list from the enemy camp. Honest. Brutal. Direct. Written in pink pen.
Spend less time on the golf course and more time in the kitchen
Buy food regularly. Do a stock check. Make a shopping list
Grow less mould in the fridge
Cut your carbon foot print – don’t burn every supper
Don’t watch so much golf
Don’t fill the garage with golf stuff
Don’t put golf balls in the fruit bowl and clubs in the hall
Stop blaming the squirrel for divots in the lawn
I pinned the lists on the memory board. Turned out the light, turned on the computer and typed in one word. Resolutions. I divided it into sections.
Family and personal goals
Make time for special people/read a book a week/learn to juggle/learn some Spanish/give blood/lose weight/get fit/save more/get into trousers which don’t fit/listen more/laugh more/smile more/give more
De-clutter house/sort out the garage and fruit bowl/Stay on page with recipes/don’t multi task when cooking supper/paint the kitchen and bedroom/ respect the lawn when chipping and the paintwork when putting against the skirting board
Practice more/work on willpower/commit/concentrate/never hit a shot without a pre-shot routine/get pre shot routine down to 22 seconds which is two seconds less than Annika/take regular lessons and practice in between them/avoid dull/arrogant golfers/sink every putt/ put draw on every drive/annihilate the opposition/watch The Master, USPGA and Open/tidy golf bag/research new driver
Travel/write/save for sparkly lap top/buy Royal St. Georges for the Swindle and Selected friends/walk inside the ropes with the Big Boys on Tour/play golf in the Emerald Isle/a week at Gleneagles/have a sabbatical to catch sunsets, sunrises and smiles of strangers
I then wrote a list for the family.
Try to fill in the silence when the radio is off – conversation is a two way street – try it
Try putting plates in the dish washer
Try unloading the dishwasher
Try making the bed
Try to have a shower which takes less than eight minutes
Try using the drill
Never try to understand a golfer
Try using the following words:
Can I do anything?
Would you like me to cook supper?
Shall I hang out the washing?
Want me to do the recycling?
How was your day?
Tell me about your dreams
I left their dream section empty. It is not possible to choose dreams for others. Only your own.
And so the New Year began. The drill stayed in its case. The shelf still hung precariously on the wall. The lights still fused and the fruit bowl overflowed with golf balls.
Australia went on flood alert and when no one was watching, a tiny shape appeared from the shadows in the kitchen. An unwelcome guest at the table. A mouse. Outside was a full moon. Twenty eleven had begun…..