Wednesday, 31 December 2014

What A Difference A Year Makes

Fragility of health

In January 2004 I had a mini-wake-up heart attack.  A million and more historical events prove to us that a heart-beat of time can change lives, from freak accidents to man-made evil crimes (in peace and war), to unexpected natural disasters or virulent diseases.  But, more mundanely and frequently, the wear and tear of modern life on one’s own body and mind can contribute to life-changing reassessments of priorities.  My own parents and my mother-in-law died over relatively short periods (see blog below.)  Ray my father-in-law’s long slow decline from Alzheimer’s was not an ending anyone would hope for.

Questions, questions

Should I have worked less hard during my career?  Would that have prevented my heart attack in 2004?  Should I have changed my working life more profoundly after the heart attack in order to reflect what I knew about my unhealthy working habits?  

Giving Attention  

All the above questions are of course pointless.  Pointless, I tell you.  The past is a country you cannot revisit; only the present and future can command attention.  And thus, in my newly-retired and philosophical state, I look back on the maelstrom of Christmas 2013 and thank goodness for the impending arrival of 2015.  I’m looking forward to Giving Attention to things I want to give attention to.

So Goodbye to the elements of 2014 – in an order that makes sense to me….
Kitchen transformed....

Game of Life, Dorking/Dorking Halls, Old Tiles,
Hello Dorking.... Farewell Dorking....
Polesden Lacey, Blake Ward, Elgar Ward, Retirement, Box Tree Dinner, Bistro Pierre, Farewell Raymondo, Top Withins, Zaara’s, Ghosts, Johnson Over Jordan, Wolf Hall, Bring Up The Bodies, King Lear, The Likes of Us,

Hailsham, Pevensey Castle, Battle, Sissinghurst, Monks House, Chawton, Paris, Denbie’s, Pericles, University Reunion, Goodbye Work, Recipes, Cooking, Menus, Walking, Northcliffe, Hirst Woods, Canal, Salt’s Mill, Macmillan Cancer Support, Kerry Madden-Lunsford and Norah, the Bronte Parsonage,

The Lancelot-Barr Crew and The Unicorn's Ruin at Saltaire Festival...
Lancelots, Brown-Shelton, Thompsons, Tuffnells, Hickey-Howsons, Boyhood (my film of the year), Houses, Gardens and Abbeys, Hampton Court, Kew Gardens, Wandsworth Common, Tower of London, Wicked, North-South Divide, Margaret Atwood, Owen Jones, Flaxby and RR Donnelly.

Images of New Year's Eve at Bolton Abbey

Many of the above elements will return

More Shakespeare, of course.  And blogging and starting to learn how Facebook works....  Many of the above elements will return and a welcome return they will be.  Family, friends and beautiful places – may there be many more of those memories.  But there are a few nuggets amongst the list that I hope will never return…. Here’s to 2015!

Happy New Year One And All