Well a Happy New Year to one and all. Am I the only one rested, and with a clear head? Oh yes, having been in humbug mode for the duration once again it was an early night with a good book, and a warm wench, eventually.
It is the time of year when there is much looking back, reviews of the one just ended. For my part it is forward I prefer to gaze, to what might be, hopes and health. 2014 promises to be a pretty monumental year in these parts. For some it will be games that are important, Commonwealth, Ryder Cup, and for others there’s the Homecoming of hie’landers, a mini gathering of the clans. But if there is one focus this coming year it comes to a head on September 18th, Referendum Day.
And that is one area where many have been looking back; taking in the campaigns to date; taking stock of the movement in the polls; circling the wagons. The best reviews I’ve come across are over at Wings, where Rev Stu has been busy putting up quotes and quips – some forgotten, others unforgettable – on a monthly summary. Here’s a link to the last one, December, from where you can work back through the year if so inclined.
It’s not been a bad year, some things parked in distant corners of the brain never to see the light of day again, others driving us forward. My hosts at WordPress have provided an interesting report card on these witterings. 63 countries we’ve reached, with 192 posts and 165 pictures. But at the bottom, deep red ink I sense, Could Do Better. I aim to try.
The round chap with the red suit and the white beard has been in good form. The Bedside Table is fair groaning with goodies, nameless for now, and some of those I’ll report on in the months ahead. Right now I’m enjoying a wee escape, with that man William Horwood, the fourth and final instalment of his Hyddenworld series, Winter. He’s long been a favourite writer of mine. There was talk of a second instalment of memoirs, following his Boy With No Shoes, and I’ll keep an eye out for that one. I’ll watch too for a promised volume from Christopher Rush, Penelope’s Web – Odysseus Unravelled. No word yet on a publication date but he’s such a master of his craft it’s one to watch out for.
The floods have receded, but may be back. There are times when it’s good be at the top of a windswept hill. The ground is saturated; even Lonely has taken to a perch a foot or two off the ground, in the maple hedge beneath the guzzling goldfinches and the chattering chaffies. And beneath the laburnum the pheasant and collared doves take their turn with the wee ones. Under the car though, lies the head and wings of a rook. That must have been quite a catch for the stray cat.
And the festive period; what did it hold? I caught little television, but was thrilled to beat both teams in the final of Only Connect, though it was only a Morecombe & Wise sketch where the next in the series jumped at me quickly, so it’s probably an age thing. And the cricket’s been fun to watch, after many lost hours on the wireless.
There’s been some partying too. And a memorable trip to darkest Ayrshire, where the yellowhammers feast in the garden. A family gathered, four hingers-oan joining in, and all of them, but the four thankfully, in their onesies. It was like Nightmare at the Safari Park, with giraffes and zebras; but there was Superman too, two of them in fact with Y’s on the outside, and a large green dragon with more chance of spitting fire than taking flight. Only a toddler bear cub could quite carry it off, but it made quite a picture. I’ve spared you that, continuing my policy of no images of children on the net. But if you want to see Tractor Jim at his best…..
Last night I surprised myself by enjoying a Hogmanay play, a sort of McAbigail’s Party. Two Doors Down I think it was called; some moments of cringe, others of real mirth. And off I went to bed with a chuckle, and a tumbler of Taylor’s LBV; and a little piece of Christmas cake; it’s a good one this year.
But Hogmanay, it’s not a time I enjoy, and haven’t done since realising a lost day is not worth it, especially when Urchins are abroad before dawn. But others are further afield, and missed greatly. FirstBorn is probably enduring that lost day right now, Do Not Disturb, and The Prodigal, far from home, where the year turned half a day earlier, pulling the thoughts across the seas.
And now it is quiet at Grasshopper Towers, as The Urchins head for the Northern Wastes for a few days. Time apart is a good thing, an hour or two here, a night there. But we have three days to gather thoughts, braced for routine starting again. Three days of solitude and peace. Bear with me.
My apologies, for I’ve gone on a bit today. Whatever is in store in 2014, enjoy every minute, live it to the full. For life, as well know, is much too short.