Happy New Year!

2 January 2011

I hope you all had a good start to 2011, where ever you happened to be. And hopefully you made it back home safe and sound. These kinds of questions were of no relevance only about 10 years ago, when the winters were getting milder and people were still talking of global warming and how much better Christmas used to be when we had real snow, mountains of it. You don’t hear much of this kind of talk nowadays anymore. I guess what is really hitting us is more ‘global climate destabilization’, a term much favoured over ‘global warming’ by my hero and me. It will be interesting to see what’s going to happen next year, sorry, this year. I talked to someone from Germany today and was told that the two extremely harsh winters that struck Germany in the past couple of years are to blame on ‘inactivity on the sun’. Supposedly everything is going to be fine next winter, because sun activity (what the hell is this?) will be up or down or whatever. Thus the coming winter of 2011/ 2012 shall be not quite so long and cold. Somehow I don’t buy this theory. It seems to me like timely brain candy dished out to make us feel better, to make it easier to remain in a blessed state of denial about the climate doing weird things and affecting our lives profoundly. Having lived in Europe all our lives, we have never been in a situation where the weather conditions dictated our whereabouts to such an extent as this year. In the past, the deciding factors have always been work, money, opportunity, etc… and ultimately it has all been our choice, because it used to be more or less safe to travel at most times of the year, even in winter. I am intrigued now by the recent changes and wondering whether we will take more risks in the future or whether we will get used to staying put over the winter months and start travelling in Northern Europe only between April and November. But then, the sun might increase/decrease its activity and all will be well… and I will look like a fool pondering on such issues in a few years time. Let’s hope I’ll look like a fool. 🙂

But back to the present. We had a quiet albeit good start to 2011. We just stayed at home and celebrated – German style- with Raclette and watching Miss Sophie’s 90’s birthday party :). The children burnt fireworks at midnight and afterwards we all went to bed and got up late the next day. Yesterday was the first New Year’s day in over a decade where I
a: woke up in my own bed (just to clarify this, I am not a girl of loose morals, but we happened to be visiting friends or family for New Year’s Eve in the past years)
b: did not feel hung over (due to too much food or wine)
c: felt fit as a fiddle (see above)
d: had a great lunch with American friends of ours about 4pm in the afternoon and got to enjoy magnificent views over Lyon from their flat
e: am full of chocolate rather than new year’s resolutions.

So, all in all a very unusual New Year’s Eve and Christmas period for me. Okay, the bit about the chocolate might not be so unusual, but the rest is. And what is striking that I don’t have a single resolution. Not one. No diet, no preparation for a marathon, no facelift or total change of direction professionally… This peaceful silence is weird. On the one hand it’s great not to be one of the crowd who rush to the fitness studio tomorrow morning to sign up and change their lives completely for the umpteenth time, just because it is January, on the other hand it makes the start of the New Year feel less significant: The arrival of 2011 seems not really like a fresh start, but rather like a continuation of things started in 2010. And that’s good, really, because the fresh start with a fresh New Year never happens: all of last year’s personal and global garbage, hopes and chances will be staying with us and bear fruit at some point in the future. Despite some bleak outlooks and forecasts that I have read in the past few days, I am looking forward to all the events, people and things that we will encounter in the next 12 months, may 2011 be an exciting, happy and healthy year for everybody!

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