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Happy New Year!

Do you make resolutions? Do you keep resolutions? Are you one of the wonderful people who live life however it presents to you and view plans as things that other people make? I’ve often wondered how that must feel, but I am one of the terminally organised sort who love planning, so I have accepted that that path isn’t for me and surrounded myself with people who need organising and are glad that I enjoy doing it for them.

One thing 2020’s Covid pandemic taught me was that New Year’s resolutions aren’t right for me in what the audiobook I’m listening to at the moment beautifully calls ‘this season of my life.’ I do love that because it reminds me that I’m living in now. Not a past, whether it be good or bad, not a future that is safely hypothetical, but today. So, rather than having New Year’s Resolutions I have things I want to do each month and if I have an idea then I add it to the list for that month and then see if I want to or need to do it then.

Some things are non negotiable. 2023 was the year when I earned enough from my writing again to call myself a full time writer. That’s definitely carrying on because I have so many ideas. It was also the year when I lost 3 stone and became fit enough to routinely enjoy a six mile walk. That’s only possible because it’s flat because it was also the year I had to accept that the combination of rheumatoid arthritis and becoming vintage meant that I had to gracefully let go of some things I valued. (Calling it vintage is so much nicer than old, don’t you think? It sounds somehow precious and proud of itself, and I am proud of my years and my wrinkles and my grey hairs. I like the age I am and I am determined to make every year the best it can be.)

I love my garden, my home, my sewing and cooking and taking pictures. I love walking by the seashore and stopping to chat to old and new friends and being part of a wonderful community. I love the people who’ve taken the time to tell me that they enjoy my books and that, just occasionally, my little bits of fun and fluff have helped them through a dark time in their lives, exactly as my own love of reading has saved what I jokingly refer to as my sanity more times than I care to remember.

So, as we stand on the threshold of a New Year, may I hope that you will make it the year that you go and find what it is that you want? Take baby steps towards the goal and have fun wherever and whenever you can. Ignore those who say it’s a horrible world; although bits of it are. Instead, balance it with the beauty that’s all around us. Look at birds. Enjoy cooking and good food. Walk… if that’s your thing. But please, as my heroine Kim Kinsella always says, remember that life is too short not to be happy and none of us know how many days we’ll have. So join me and try to make every single one of them count and thank you, yet again, because I could only be a writer because I had readers and you’ve made my dreams come true.

Today’s pictures come from Friday’s walk along the Harbourside because they sum up what I’m trying to say so perfectly. The first picture was taken at Steamer Point as we walked up towards Fisherman’s Quay as the wind got up, the sky darkened and the sea began to come over the pathway to the point that we walked across the car park instead. The second one, taken half an hour later was on the way back and is by the public slipway looking across to the Old Powder House. The squall had passed (although oh my, that rain was cold and the wind seemed to be determined to drive every last drop of it right in my face!) The wind had dropped and the sun had come out and I could feel the pale warmth of the winter sun on my face promising me that spring will come again.

So, may I wish you the fisherman’s prayer of ‘fair wind and following seas’ and more calm than storms? Unless, of course, you like storms. Sometimes I do, because they sweep away the debris and let you see what matters. Just not too often…


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