Just about every year at this time I end up apologising for some missed target so no apologies this year.
The good news is I have enjoyed nearly all the books that I have read and learned a lot. For example, Did you know that Dorothy L. Sayers the creator of the dashing, aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey couldn’t stand her creation in the end. She was an academic – a graduate of Somerville College, Oxford, and while of course she was grateful for the money that Wimsey brought in, Sayers wanted to be known and remembered for something more.
I found this out by reading Square Haunting: Five Women, Freedom and London Between the Wars by Francesca Wade. But also Dame Harriet Walters’ introduction to Sayers’ novel Gaudy Night is extremely interesting on the sexism inherent in publishing and television production. Dame Harriet played Harriet Vane, the female detectrive in the 1980s TV series when it featured on UK television. When it was sold to the USA, although Harriet Vane is the chief character, she had to take second billing to Wimsey for fear that the market would not accept a whole series based on a female detective!
2022 seems to have been a disastrous year in terms of global politics. But small joys too. Here are mine.
101 crazy Doodles.
In January this year we took our (then) puppy, Suki, to a meet up on Wimbledon Common with her 10 siblings. They all went completely crazy and all looked identical so that we had to spend the whole time trying to sort out bundles of Golden Doodle all tumbling over one another.
Nothing significant happened in February. Or if it did,I omitted to write it down.
Mr. Rune and I purchased a new sofa as our old one was leaning at a 45 degree angle. Interestingly, you could start watching Death in Paradise (should you wish to) sitting at one end and by the time the programme had finished, you were sitting at the other end.
I signed on to online workshops at the Edinburgh Harp Festival. This has the advantage that you can take part without having to drive from London to Edinburgh and back, a distance of some 650 miles, with a harp in the back of the car. The disadvantage is that you don’t get to see Edinburgh which is a beautiful city.
Mr. Rune and I took a short break to stay in Lyme Regis in Devon. The sea wall called the cobb was made famous as the cloaked and windblown figure of Meryl Streep looked appealingly and beautifully back at the camers in the film of John Fowles’ book The French Lieutenant’s Woman. More recently Lyme Regis was used for the setting of Ammonite, Kate Winslet’s portrayal of fossil collector Mary Anning. Nobody seemed to want to film us, unsurprisingly, but we did bump into some friends from home.
June – another holiday, this time considerably hotter. We went to Crete where temperatures regularly topped 37 degrees. Crete was also the place I read my first and only Western Novel at the suggestion of Liz Dexter Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove rated as fabulous by Cathy at 746 books.
2022 will be remembered as the year that London was hotter than Riyadh. 40 degrees. Hard to believe now we’re scraping ice off the windscreens.
Inspired by our love of Crete and regular holidays there, I had the bright idea of doing a short, online course in Modern Greek. Mmm!
Travelled to the Cotswolds to attend a good friend’s 70th birthday party. How did that happen? We were at school five minutes ago.
Mahler’s 8th Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall. I have been visiting the RAH for over 40 years but never seen it hold quite that number of musicians. What an mighty work is the Mahler 8. There were so many singers: Philharmonia Chorus, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus; City of London Choir, Tiffin Boys Choir, Schola Cantorum all crammed together with the Royal Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko. Fab.
A very different musical event. The Tedeschi Trucks Band at the London Palladium. I love their rock-blues-y-country sound and Susan Tedeschi has vocal chords of steel.
Another highlight of November was a very early Christmas meal with my fantastic family. We went to a Thai restaurant on the South Bank called Sticky Mango.
For us a few pre-christmas social events had to be cancelled because of various strikes and general ghastlinesses in UK at the moment but Mr. Rune and I managed to get up to Central London on one of the few days the trains were actually running. He bought my present while I pretended not to see.
And now the main event is almost upon us. I express my profound hope for a peaceful Christmas this year for everyone.
Peace! A few weeks ago I bought some charity Christmas cards without paying enough attention to the design. When I got them home and opened the pack, I realised that the text on the card read: ‘All is calm, all is bright’ Could there be a less appropriate card to send out in 2022. I don’t think so!
I thank everyone who has cast an eye over my blog in this or previous years and wish everyone a shining, calm festive season and a much, much brighter New Year.