1: Two of the nicest people I ever met live in a place called Gargunnock in Scotland. I'd lost touch with them, and a few weeks ago was idly googling Gargunnock plus their names as the quickest way of finding them. The first thing that came up was a notice to a walking-tour group that for one of their walks through the area, my friends had offered their house as a place to stop for a loo break and a cup of tea. That offer was what made me absolutely sure it was them. Then, a few weeks later, up turned a beautiful little Christmas card from them. I remember them telling me that in Scotland, New Year -- Hogmanay -- tends to be a bigger deal than Christmas so one of my New Year's resolutions is to write them a New Year's letter.
2: Five minutes' drive away from my house there is a lovely beach. I resolve to go and swim there in the early morning at least three times a week, as a way of waking up and getting everything moving, before I sit down at the keyboard to
3: finish writing this book about Adelaide. Which I am enjoying very much, but which -- as a New Zealander recently said about living in Adelaide itself -- is like trying to swim through treacle. And speaking of sweet things,
4: I am going to christen, at last, possibly today, the ice-cream maker, and make Fresh Cherry and Toasted Almond Ice Cream to go with the experimental (for me, I mean) Burnt Brown Sugar Ice Cream I also plan to make, from a recipe I like the look of very much but have never actually made, though perhaps bypassing the praline as it is much too hot to be faffing around with toffee, before I then
5: go on a diet of fresh fruit, raw vegetables, mineral water and peppermint tea for the rest of my life. Or at least until January 25, 2012 (this January being out of the question, because of #3), by which date I plan to have
6: finally got my act together and organised a Burns Supper, with compulsory singing and poetry recitation from all parties. Haggis optional; the haggis cowards can fill up on neeps and tatties and Tipsy Laird.
Happy New Year to all, and everyone stay safe tonight.
In which the pond counts its blessings and is lucky the Terrorists have Claire Harvey ... - With the Pellists long gone from town, and the Jensenist heresy now disjointed and forlorn - oh complimentary women, why do you forsake us? - the pond us...
3 hours ago