Joyeaux noel 006

New year has never had much meaning for me, except as an excuse to get drunk when I was young, stand in the cold waiting for a taxi, or work overnight on the most miserable night of the year, reflecting on what could have been……   Every day is the beginning of a new year, except my birthday which is the REAL new year for me.

But it is the time of year that people reflect and make lists of things they resolve to do in the coming year.  Not sure if I  really want to get involved in that., but here goes.

Here is what I wrote last January.

January 8th 2012

 “Every year I resolve to keep a diary or some record of my life, which is rapidly getting towards it’s end. Maybe I should write as if it is a trip report, which actually it is. The journey of my life.
Michael is watching football, United and City. I hate football. hate the sound of the commentary, hate the culture, all of it.
Anyway. I think I should be hibernating . Winter is dark and cold. We stock up on food at Christmas and our bodies are then prepared for a long sleep! I have not been out of the house since Friday just messed about, washing, cleaning and inter-netting ( mostly inter-netting!) to be fair. I am recovering from the worst cold I have ever had and I am easily tired.
This time next week I will be in my beloved Paris. Staying in the 10th near canal St Martin this time with Lizzie. I am plotting a solo trip in February but do not yet know if I have got the time off. The trip is turning into a bit of an internet get together as Jane  and Dawn  from US and Roniece from Austrailia are joining Lizzie and me to go to Marche au Puces on Monday…. should be good.”……………..
So, I am pleased to report that I have kept a record of my life this year in the form of this blog .  I DID have my solo trip to Paris in February  and I am still planning trips to Paris. Roniece and Jane are now really good friends and my friendship with Lizzie  survived the trip!… I met Dawn and I am seeing her again in January, I hope.
I do wonder why I am compelled to keep this blog though.  Why do I want to share my life with a bunch of anonymous internet strangers? …some of whom have become my friends, which is very nice.  But why do I want to be so public? often baring my soul to anybody who happens to read it?
I am not a writer, I write in what my son, a professional writer, calls   ” a stream of conciousness”  but I do find some therapeutic value on getting things out on paper.  Love, joy, fear, sadness  I have written about these during the year.
 I have a tendency to introspection,  (” tendency” is an understatement!”)  which can take over if  I am not careful.  I can hide myself away just to indulge  in my thoughts.   This is why it is so important to me to take solo trips.  To allow me to get this aspect of  me out of the way as this tendency  can lead to depression, when my thoughts get more and more complicated.
Blogging helps me to get these thoughts on paper and leave them behind to get on with my “real” life , as opposed to the life in my head .
Reflecting on 2012, it has been a good year, a happy year for me.  Despite  Michaels diagnosis of a chronic, life threatening,  condition, this  is now controlled until this last week, but he seems well.  This in itself  gave us a heightened awareness of our own limited mortality and helped us to live one day at a time.
  We enjoyed trips to Paris , London,  Estonia and Finland and of course I went to Boston and Glasgow.   I was reunited with my brother over the phone and the internet, healing the wounds of decades, I hope, which is wonderful.
.. and  I made new friends, some from this blog, which is a blessing.
The Vendange in Paris in September.  Coming together of lots of internet Paris friends.
..and of course, I am thankful that I was able to ride my bike, and ride my bike and eventually got a new one. Got fit, lost weight, put it on again.  Maybe my aim should  be to keep my BMI below 25!
Things I would do differently….well I would remember to send birthday cards,  which sparked off the disagreement between my children and I would do something earlier about the grudge I had with partygirl, I had held for two years.   Lessons learned.
The best day that stands out is my birthday/wedding anniversary  in March, when, unplanned we  rode on the bus and wandered in London and had some lovely unexpected experiences and met some lovely people.  Sometimes it is the unexpected simple  spontaneous  activities that are the best… and that was the day that I knew again why  I loved Michael….and of course the memory we have just made on  our Christmas trip to Paris is something I will carry with me always.
So, coming to the new year…. there is a three week creative writing course in September, maybe I will enrol on this.  Trip to Paris is coming and of course the trip to California to spend three weeks with my brother and his family.
Otherwise my aim is to live each day as it comes, savouring what life brings and enjoying it while I can.  Loving the people who love me and trying to be kind. (which all sound very noble but I sometimes find it difficult to be kind) Sometimes I am grumpy and impatient and that gets in the way.  Some times I can be selfish and I need to stop thinking of myself.  But at the same time I am human so the greatest gift my friends and family give me is accepting me as I come.
It is difficult to make plans, when, Michaels health is uncertain,  the job situation is uncertain and my financial situation is very dependent on selling my house.
But life is good.  I have so many blessings.
Wonder where I will be at new year 2014?
Hope you all have a wonderful 2013 and may all your dreams be fulfilled.
Love Denise
( sorry, not sure  why this post has no paragraphs as I wrote it that way and can’t seem to edit it)


  1. Grumpy and impatient, Denise? That’s not a side of you that I’ve ever seen in Paris!

    I hope that Michael’s health improves and that your financial situation remains stable so that you’re able to continue enjoying life to the fullest in 2013.

    The creative writing course sounds like a wonderful idea! Please let us know if you decide to enroll in it.

    Best wishes for health, happiness and tranquility in the new year!


  2. wishing for all of the things you desire for this New Year! Happy to have met you and perhaps I will see you again on one side of the Atlantic or another!


  3. Thank you Denise. I do hope you and Michael both have a happy, peaceful 2013 and that Michael’s health improves, or at least does not get any worse; that your situation at work is resolved and you can continue with your travels.

    For my part I have resolved to be more patient with those closest to me, to try to be more independent, and to try stop feeling so guilty when I do show my (limited) independence.

    Really looking forward to Paris in 12 days time!


  4. Wonderful report Denise – I think you have a good writing ability – at least it’s very pleasing to me!! And I agree with Mary Kay – I don’t think I have met your “grumpy” side!! Not sure if that’s accurate as I have only known you to be pleasant to be around!
    Enjoying reading about your past year and your thoughts on the coming year – sure hope you don’t lose your job as that presents a whole other set of problems. Have fun on your upcoming trip to Paris and I’m sending lots of wishes to you and MIchael for a great 2013!


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