Welcome, one and all, to the year of adventure
So, 2014 got a bit messy and a bit muddled both in my head and outside of it: the upshot being this blog got more than somewhat neglected. But such wilful negligence shall occur no more. 2015 is bringing with it several resolutions, one of which is my old promise from 2013 - a post a week for the whole year.
This isn't the first time I've felt inclined to dust off my Wordpress login and ramble about the keyboard; and a few times I've thrown together a rough draft, but nothing worth hitting publish about. So why now?
Because it's the new year silly! While of course New Year's Eve is no different from any other transition from one day to the next, us humans rather like to build our lives into neat little narratives.
We're natural storytellers and because of that we look for helpful chapter breaks to keep our progressions from then to now in hand. And New Year gives us exactly that.
So while there's nothing actually different about now, it feels like a good place to close the door on all that mess in 2014, and start a lovely fresh page with a big, bold 2015 sitting atop the beginnings of a new intake of breath.
The idea is to get back to basics. Not to worry about artful wordery and important meaningment. But just exercise my mental dictionary and see what hits me week to week, even if it isn't very much at all.
And beyond that? Well books, language and best of all adventure. 2015 is my year of adventure and bundled in with that comes the restart of my endeavour to learn Italian (coupled with a firm determination to reach the country itself) as well as a promise to make a pork pie from scratch and to (as everyone always says) read more.
Everyone loves a good book
So as I eagerly embark on my personal new chapter, I have a brand new list of reading materials to do just the same with. And I thought I'd give you a taste of my top three:
The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
Bit of a shot in the dark this one, I bought it thanks to a festive season perusal around a bookshop. It looked lovely and at only 140 pages, nicely achievable as a kick-off read for the new year. I have already started it - in my last few hours of yuletide freedom - and it is absolutely beautiful. And very Japanese.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
A Christmas present from my lovely fella, this has been getting great reviews and looks like something I can sink my fiction-devouring teeth into. It also looks rather salacious (as you might expect from Waters) which is no bad thing in my book.
Adventures in Stationery: A journey through your pencil case by James Ward
Call me a total geek, I don't care, I bloody love stationery. It is beautiful, practical and inspiring, so when I saw this sitting on the table in Waterstones, I could hardly walk away. Plus, for the year of adventure, it's rather aptly titled.
The opening line on the back cover hooked me instantly - you'll either get it or you won't:
From the first fresh sheet of a Moleskine notebook, to the gnawed biro lurking at the back of a desk drawer, stationery is an inescapable part - and pleasure - of our lives.
Hey, ho, let's go
Right then 2015, I'm locked and loaded - let's get this thing on the road.