Happy New Year Everyone!

Fireworks over Pietrasanta
We celebrated in true Italian style with lots of socialising and millions of fireworks! The animals we are dog-sitting were left at home suitably tranquillised.

I know that New Year’s Day is only a date on the calendar and that logically there’s no difference between one day and the next. But psychologically there’s always a feeling that you’re going through a gateway - glancing over your shoulder at the landscape behind you and then looking forwards again into the fog of the future just over the doorstep.
2010 has been a strange year for me - lots of travelling, living like a nomad, more airports, hotels and train stations than I can count, and saying goodbye to people I didn’t want to part with. England, Italy, Belgium, France, Cuba, Singapore, New Zealand - my life reduced to a travelogue.
The most memorable things?
The birth of baby Isabella in February.

An earthquake in Christchurch while staying with my daughter and grandchildren.

My first Whale in Kaikoura

The publication of the book in New Zealand; seeing children in far-flung places; lots of new friends; a new job.  The coldest winter for more than 50 years.

And then the other side, all the things you don’t blog about; family anxieties, personal disappointments, periods of depression and feelings of isolation. No human life can be without them I think, and writers (probably all creative artists) are particularly vulnerable - there’s a pendulum of insecurity inside you that swings from self-belief to unbelief and back again. And every now and then we have to peer over what Gerard Manley Hopkins called ‘cliffs of fall, no-man fathomed’.

The year ahead is going to be hard. Neil and I want to be together, but I earn my living in England and he earns his in Italy - a life in borrowed holiday apartments lent by kind friends isn’t good for either of us. We tried to sell the mill and relocate, without success in this economic climate and now feel rather trapped. So the main task of 2011 is to solve the problem of living in one place at the same time.
Meanwhile, one last very memorable and wonderful end of year present - finding the UK edition of my book at the top of DoveGreyReader’s* Xmas reading list. Yes!!!!!

*(Queen of the Book Bloggers)


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