Shiny, New

All bad, unpleasant things respect the Gregorian calendar, so as we dragged our old bones past midnight, it’s finally safe to assume it’s all going to be absolutely amazing for the next 365 days. Some are more careful than others, though, like a friend who mentioned the upcoming municipal elections as this year’s highlight.

Maybe 2021 is the year to make local politics great again, or we are just wise enough to tone down on the hopes and dreams – department.

The last day of the year is traditionally a day of reflection, and for many people to publish, at the request of absolutely no-one, various charts about their achievements (usually the frequency of physical exercise, including minutiae details about distances, lengths, steps and kilos) so that the rest of us can be baffled as to what to do with such spectacularly pointless information. But it’s there, and as I was doing my best to avoid it, there was another peculiar snippet that caught my eye: during the lockdown an Italian artist had used her toilet sink as canvas for extremely elaborate (and gorgeous!) watercolour paintings.

I reflected that for a moment and concluded that despite having little to show for last year, I did good. It’s not nothing to have learned some serious lessons the past year, so I’m sort of hopeful with 2021. Many things seem clearer, the world less of a black hole. I’m actually allowing myself to be a bit excited (but not too, 2020 is still less than 24 hours away – I’m not reckless).

More specifically, I am hoping for enough peace of mind to write a bit (or a lot) more. It was definitely the plan for last year, but instead I experienced the longest, all-encompassing block ever. Whatever books, films and fashion will be presented this year, I will be in absolute awe. I could not isolate myself from any of last year’s topsy turvy -events enough to give my creativity space or to properly concentrate on anything useful. Therefore it is all the more heartwarming and sort of reassuring that all along there have been creative minds at work, bringing us non-essential items and non-essential art and culture so that at least our minds have been able to travel.

I will probably also try dry-brushing again. That, or I have to give up the brush which has been mocking me on the bathroom shelf for too long to be a mere reminder. It’s rather become a bristly piece of evidence of my total lack of self-discipline.

As for current reads, I have an interesting combination going on: Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, a hilarious grammar book by The New Yorker’s former copy reader Mary Norris. The book is definitely an acquired taste, but a great, funny read for anyone who’s geeky about grammar.

I have managed to stay untouched by the Elena Ferrante –hype so far. I don’t even know why – I’m usually quite happy to jump all kinds of blockbuster bandwagons. But not with Ferrante, until I got her latest, The Lying Life of Adults. I do like her very matter-of-factly sentences and storytelling. I’m couple of pages short of finishing the book, but can recommend it based on the experience so far. I’m not sure I will rush to read every other of her books, but this one was absolutely decent end of year entertainment.

I am poring over the “new book” -lists of multiple newspapers these days, and it looks like this year is going to be an interesting one, reading-wise. Hopefully in many other respects as well – we were taught to make do in reduced circumstances (we still are) last year and managed, so any newness will likely feel like wild abundance.

Again big thanks for reading my blog last year. May you have everything you need, this year and beyond. Thanks for sticking around.

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