28 days and counting…

3 01 2013

A thought for 2013:

charles dickens

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year. I will live in the Past, the Present and the Future. The spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”  

           Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)

jamesbondDanielCraigIt began on New Year’s Day, with Great Expectations for 2012’ and fizzled out, on October 30th, with ‘Skyfall- shaken and stirred’.

Surprisingly, despite having not posted for the final quarter of the year the year, the annual Crunchy numbers summary from Word Press indicates that in 2012 ‘Pipedreams…’ had 54,000 views (from 174 countries) – which is more than twice the number of hits for 2011.

BB_logoI embarked upon my blogging career with ‘Out of Africa 2010’, in March of that year. It coincided with early retirement and time spent abroad, doing charity work, in Zambia (The Bookbus Project) and Rwanda (VSO). Despite having added no further posts since my return to the UK in December 2010, amazingly, it still continues to attract visitors – 170,347 since its inception, with 52,890 of those last year!

I had resolved that after nearly three years, on and off, and 307 posts, enough was enough and it was time to draw a veil across my journalist efforts. But as we know, all too well, resolutions are there to be broken.

Speaking of which, my performance, against a far too ambitious 2012 list of resolutions, was patchy to say the least

Bradley Wiggins: New Year's knighthood "a great honour" — video

  • Pedalled 1800km on the exercise bike by the end of August – and then hit a wall (metaphorically speaking) and nothing since. Sir Bradley, newly crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, has nothing to worry about 🙂
  • The beginners’ guitar and the Spanish Foundation course started well enough but petered out by the end of March – manana 😦
  • The ‘daily blog’ became a chore at times – and I haven’t written since October 30th. Nevertheless, I added 67 new posts and the blog had 54,000 views – an average of 150 hits per day 🙂
  • Successfully cut out chocolate until Easter and pretty much for the rest of the year 🙂
  • The caffeine habit proved harder to crack, as did cutting back on my alcohol intake 😦
  • Chris and I did visit a few new places in and around ‘the Shire’ – but nowhere near approaching the over ambitious target of one per fortnight!images
  • Our Highlights of Indochina trip through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia enabled us to tick off a few more must see sights from our ‘bucket list’ – including Halong Bay and Angkor Wat 🙂
  • An early burst of enthusiasm in the kitchen flattered to deceive and culinary inspiration came and went in fits and starts, with a twice a week commitment to knock up an evening meal proving unsustainable. Thank goodness for jacket potatoes and baked beans! 😦
  • We managed seven outings to the cinema and, as recently as last week, went to see Ang Lee’s 3D adaptation of ‘The Life of Pi’ – a cinematic delight 🙂
  • Pleased to say I did read 30 plus books this year; funnily enough, starting the year with Yann Martell’s ‘Life of Pi’  and finishing it, aptly enough in his 200th birthday year, with Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ 🙂

According to psychologists if you want to keep New Year’s resolutions they should be clear, realistic and brief.  So this year there are but two:

  • A dry January – no alcohol until February
  • No coffee for the same period

I’m not sure which will prove the most challenging – 28 days to go and counting…




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