Great Expectations for 2012

1 01 2012

Happy New Year, one and all!

And in those immortal words, of Robbie Burns, I hope you all enjoyed a ‘right gude-willy waught’ last night, and aren’t suffering the consequences too much today.

I find a bacon ‘sarnie’ and a strong black coffee always help to put a better complexion on things. And it’s always good to start the New Year as you don’t mean to go on!      

Assuming it’s not too painful for you, here’s a worthwhile thought for New Year’s Day:

‘Learn from yesterday,

Live for today,

Hope for tomorrow’                                                                                      

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

I’ve just received a ‘Happy New Year‘ email from ‘Word Press’, complete with my annual  stats.  I posted 70 ‘Pipedreams from the Shire’ in 2011 and my blog was viewed 23,000 times which apparently equates to nine sell-out concerts at Sydney Opera House – another of my must see places on the ‘before I die’ list!     

In all honesty, last year I failed to give the same regular commitment to ‘Pipedreams’ that I had previously managed with ‘Out of Africa 2010’, where I made 123 posts, attracting nearly 59,000 ‘hits’.   

This time around I posted only once during April and  didn’t post any ‘Pipedreams’ at all in December, not for the want of subject matter but, that priceless commodity, time.

Increasingly, Twitter and Facebook have eaten into my social networking time, with the result that, latterly, the ‘blog’ has become side-lined.  

One of my New Year Resolutions (see below) is to restrict my daily use of social networks, to a couple of hours, which means that if the blog is to continue, future posts will need to be significantly reduced in size.

With this in mind, for 2012, I have resolved to attempt a day by day diary format, adopting a simpler style and restricting myself to a maximum of 800 words. I think journalistic ‘Gem’ might refer to this as disciplined writing!   

Anyway here goes…

2012 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, one of our greatest novelists. I’m taking this as a good omen. As a child I was called ‘Pip’, so I have ‘Great Expectations’ for the New Year. Come back Bob Monkhouse, all is forgiven!

Talking of ‘Great Expectations’, what about the Beeb’s 3-parter, screened over Christmas? The return of X-Files Agent ‘Dana Scully’ (Gillian Anderson) as a disconcertingly youthful Miss Havisham, dusted from head to toe with a light with a light covering of talcum powder, took a bit of getting used to.

Despite her ghostly appearance she was still better looking than the extraordinarily plain Estella (Vanessa Kirby), but not quite as pretty as Pip (Douglas Booth) who might have been  more at home in an X-Factor boy band!

It was down to the ever reliable Ray Winstone, as convict Abel Magwitch, and David Suchet, lawyer Mr Jaggers (Poirot without the Belgian accent), to save the day and bring a degree of sanity to proceedings.

Regardless of my, perhaps, overly scathing comments I must confess to quite enjoying it, in between stifled titters!     

Moving away from the generally dismal Yuletide TV…         

it strikes me that if my customary New Year Resolutions are to have any chance of surviving beyond mid-January they need to be formulated in much the same way as I previously approached ‘target setting’, in a previous far away life.

Resolutions should be ‘smart’, challenging but achievable, with measurable outcomes. Oh my, I can’t believe I’m writing this!  

Leaving aside aspects  that are beyond my control, on which I can only hope the fates smile kindly, my Resolutions are simply a modest attempt  to enhance  my lifestyle, which all sounds rather pretentious doesn’t it?

Anyhow, for what they are worth, here in the public domain (so no hiding place), are my top ten 2012 resolutions (in no particular order):       

  • Complete a minimum annual total of 2000 km on the exercise bike
  • Follow a step by step introduction (idiot’s guide) to folk guitar so that I can brush up on a few chords to accompany simple tunes. (This is my least confident resolution!)
  • Complete the Michel Thomas  Spanish Foundation course
  • Keep a daily Blog – restricted to 800 words,  within a quota of 2 hours social networking time    
  • Cut out all chocolate Easter, restrict caffeine infusions to one Americano Grande, equivalent, per day, and  keep  my weekly alcoholic intake within the recommended total of 21 units
  • Discover, or rediscover, 25 previously unvisited or seldom visited places of interest in and around ‘the Shire’.
  • Visit at least 3 more places from our, 101 things to see before we die, list   
  • Extend my culinary repertoire by cooking the evening meal twice per week (big commitment, huge!)  
  • Try to programme in  a visit the cinema, once a month   
  • Read or re-read a minimum of 30 books during the year, with at least a third from the ‘50 books to read before you die’ bookmark received at Christmas.        

I’m exhausted just thinking about it!   




One response

2 01 2012

Good to see you’r back and very impressed by the statistics. Good luck with the resolutins!

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