And here comes 2022!

To me, a New Year celebration means bubbly wine and fresh stationery. If that’s not a match made in heaven, I don’t know what is. I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: I’m a sucker for fresh starts and endless lists, which a New Year provides with a bang (literally). Yes I went there.
I always feel a surge of energy around January – a whole new year of endless possibilities and potential adventures – but there’ll be a dip around February, I’m sure (fingers crossed Covid follows suit).

2021 has been another year full of highs and lows, but these final few hours seem, at least, to have a tinge of hope to them. My reading list is full, my creative well is being filled; some illnesses in the family are improving, a brand-new family member came to join us, our cabin project seems to be moving along, and new writing projects are in the works. I could mention the lows but this is supposed to be an upbeat post so I’ll focus on the minor lows – like realising just how much slower the body gets past 30. I was told, you know, but I didn’t believe it. Now I do. I think the moment it hit was after I’d been carrying heavy boxes of firewood (for reasons) that left me with an impressive collection of bruises on my thighs. I thought they would have been too insulated to bruise, but there we go. They took weeks to heal. WEEKS. Meanwhile, my friend’s 8-year-old had an, let’s say, earring incident which I for a moment was sure would lead to infection and amputation of said ear, and yet she miraculously recovered within 24 hours. Is it wrong to be jealous of the healing powers of a child? Maybe, but I am a little.

On a more serious note – Good night, 2021, another year of pandemic gloom and global unrest. Please take all the sh*t with you when you go. Let’s ring out the bad, and ring in empathy, fact-checking, and kindness. We need a lot more of that, please and thank you.

Whatever this year has thrown your way, I hope 2022 will bring you more good things than bad.
Have a wonderful, healthy and happy New Year x

“Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”

– “Ring Out, Wild Bells”, Alfred Tennyson

Pandemic plans, plots – and plots

It’s really hard to make plans when the world is upside down, and it’s exhausting. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

My partner and I are currently trying to build a cabin…in a pandemic and in a country different to the one we’re currently in. I realised a year ago this could cause some problems, travel restrictions being one obvious barrier (and illness another…). Unexpectedly, the biggest spanner in the works (pardon the pun) isn’t travel. It is that this year, of all years, timber prices are at an all-time high, throwing all of our quotes and budgets out the window…

Our pretty little plot will have to sit empty for another year, while we hope that the vaccine-rollout goes well and keeps people safe, and for timber prices to drop. All I really want is for us all to be released from limbo and granted some kind of reprieve from all this uncertainty and the damn virus.

In happier plot-related news, I’ve focused on structural edits for my novel and have worked through about a third (woo!) – as well as started planning for a new novel and started on a short story. Yes, I know, I should work on my attention span. The short story is a nice break for my brain though. It’s fun working on a long project, but it does get a bit overwhelming at times, so I’ve enjoyed having a shorter project on the side. The game plan for the summer is to finish structural edits, send it out to be critiqued, and force myself to wait with any new, longer projects until then. And who knows, perhaps by the new year all pandemic-born DYI’ers have decided that building things just isn’t their cup of tea and the price of timber will crash. That would be nice.

Now I’m off to write a short story about a detective and a cracked frame. At least I know how that story ends.

Be safe out there! X