Last December, I posted this about the forthcoming year (and reflecting on years gone by).I commented on how experience tells me that, even if/when there are periods of gloom, there WILL be things that fill me with joy that, at present, I know NOTHING about.
I just LOVE that this happens every year.
I listed a number of headings at the time and thought I’d use these to reflect on my personal memories of 2012:
A WONDERFUL BOOK:
My top six (I couldn’t limit it to just five!): The Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes); A Walk-on Part: Diaries 1994-99 (Chris Mullins); Love of the World (John McGahern); Churchill: The Struggle for Survival 1945-60 (Lord Moran); The Winter Vault (Anne Michaels) and The Dignity of Difference – How to Avoid the Clash of Civilisations (Jonathan Sacks).
A GREAT FILM:
My top five (again, in vague order – although we didn’t get to the cinema all that often): Samsara; The Artist; Barbara; Monsieur Lazhar and Beasts of the Southern Wild (and also Biutiful – but I only watched this on DVD!).
A BRILLIANT PIECE OF LIVE PERFORMANCE (spoilt for choice, so I’ve broken these into extra categories):
My top five (in order): The Odyssey (Paper Cinema at the Tobacco Factory); Comedy of Errors (RSC in Stratford); The Tempest (RSC in Stratford); Twelfth Night (RSC in Stratford) and Julius Caesar (RSC in Cardiff).
Karine Polwart (Colston Hall, Bristol); Joan Armitrading and Chris Wood (Colstan Hall, Bristol); King Creosote and Jon Hopkins (Iona Library); Exultate Singers (St James Priory) and the Gasworks Choir (Colston Hall and St George’s, Bristol).
EXHIBITIONS (live performance?):
Hockney (Royal Academy); Grayson Perry (British Museum); ADVENTurous (LeftBank, Leeds); Real+Imagined Lives (Mshed); Autumn Exhibition (RWA) and Matti Braun (Arnolfini).
A STUNNING SPORTING MOMENT: (again, completely spoilt for choice!):
The entire Olympics(!) featuring: “Super Saturday” night in the Olympic Stadium when GB won four gold medals (Mo Farah x2, Jess Ennis and Greg Rutherford); Kath Grainger finally winning her rowing gold medal; the amazing cycling in the Velodrome - especially the Women’s Team Pursuit (I just love Laura Trott!) and Chris Hoy’s final win; and, of course the incredible Wiggy and Usain Bolt..
MEETINGS WITH OLD AND NEW FRIENDS:
All the amazing new friends I met during my 2 month stay on Iona (resident staff members, volunteers and visitors) plus, obviously, all of the lovely special “regular” friends.
Drawing again (largely thanks to Ruth for this!) – Iona postcards and producing a drawing every other day (see new blog!).
Cafes, reading, drawing, painting, photography, walking (but see “Regrets” below!) and, of course, looking after grandchildren!
SOMETHING YET TO BE CREATED/NEWLY CREATED:
Photographic piece produced for the ADVENTurous exhibition at LeftBank, Leeds (only thanks to Si’s encouragement!); my photobook: “Iona: Threshold Place”.
EXPERIENCING NEW PLACES:
South-east coast of Spain (with Ken+Debby); visiting Leeds for the LeftBank exhibition (impressed!); and also experiencing a different perspective of St Ives from a new base off Porthminster Beach (with Alan+Lesley)… I’m sure there are lots of other things, but can’t recall at the moment!
My time on Iona provided me with lots of new insights (including an “equivalent” pilgrimage around Bristol!)… but, essentially, I’ve just continue to plod along!
I’m not really sure if I’ve actually achieved any reconciliation this year(!) – and certainly not with the Anglican Church after its refusal to allow women bishops or with the Labour Party after its head-in-the-sand attitude following the Bristol Mayoral elections!
1. Taking pleasure in seeing others grow and develop: loving seeing our daughters creating beautiful work (Ruth’s jewellery and prints; Hannah’s latest animal series of images; Alice’s writing); watching all our grandchildren learn new things;
2. I’ve really enjoyed revisiting the print room at the Ashmolean in Oxford – this year being so close to sketches produced by Michelangelo (what a huge privilege!).
3. Watching the dolphins play off the jetty on Iona for some 45 minutes was just a magical experience.
4. I’m not a keen TV-watcher (I find the prospect of watching soaps, talent shows and Big Brother celebrity stuff depressing in the extreme), but I have enjoyed “The Killing” and “Borgen”.
1. I’ve never been good at learning new skills or going on courses (I know it’s silly, but I think it’s something to do with the fear of failure/the embarrassment of showing myself up). I like the idea of printing, in some form, so maybe that’s one of the challenges of the coming year?
2. My biggest concern is my on-going hip(?) problem. Over the past six months or so, this has gradually become more and more debilitating. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed in retirement is my daily walks which, on average, used to be perhaps 4 or 5 miles. I’m currently undergoing physiotherapy and have been advised to try to limit my walks to perhaps just two miles – which is rather depressing. I just hope that the physiotherapy is effective (thus far, it doesn't seem to be helping)!
Photo: from my time on Iona.