A short list of 2017 resolutions/goals but I thought it would add some extra obligation if it’s written on the internet.
- Do a 10k
- Read 52 books
- Blog once a week
- Learn a challenging new piece on the piano, clarinet AND saxophone
- Write some short stories
- Go away somewhere new
In New Zealand in September 2016
After my first 5k in 2016
And this is all the fun stuff already scheduled in that I can look forward to.
- Live music: Busted, Caro Emerald, Electric Six, Frankie Valli, London Symphony Orchestra, Take That, Electric Light Orchestra, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe
- Other live events: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Greg Davies
- Two weddings of schoolfriends
- Frazer’s return from New Zealand
In today’s fast-paced world, surrounded by news of Trump and Brexit and celebrities dying, it’s easy to get caught up and forget what’s really important in your own life.
Even if you manage to ignore the cyclic nature of the news as driven by social media, repeating the same fears and worries and bad news over and over, most of us are still racing around to and from work with barely a second thought about the important things which are quickly passing us by.
So, inspired by this post on The Pool (which is always on point) I have decided to spend a week listing three good things I’m grateful for each day – because it’s important to pause, remember, and let these positive thoughts rise to the forefront of our priorities.
You’ve been on the other side of the world for five months and I miss you so much! But that’s also my excuse for not sending you a present – I would have had to remember weeks ago, and I did not because I’m useless. I hope this is a nice replacement.
This is the card I saw and thought of you:
It’s tough to speak properly sometimes between England and New Zealand, especially when the time zone keeps changing and I’m working odd shifts. But it’s always a pleasure and a highlight of my day, even when we are too tired to speak about anything but Shanti. She enjoys being a key topic of conversation.
Although it’s not out in the UK until December, I saw an advanced screening of Sully while I was in New Zealand and am now happy to rave about it back home.
Sully’s central drama is the 2009 emergency water landing on the Hudson River of US Airways Flight 1549 by pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and the subsequent investigation into the event.
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
If you’re looking for something different, I’ve certainly never experienced anything quite like The Lover’s Dictionary which tells a real and at times fraught love story using dictionary definitions. What’s more, the story is ordered alphabetically rather than chronologically, but segments are always placed thoughtfully and often poignantly in sequence.
Nothing can explain this unusual idea quite like simply picking up the book and seeing for yourself – but I guarantee it will then be difficult to put down. The short definitions – rarely over a page long each – mean it’s spectacularly easy to just keep reading ‘one more’.
But what actually makes this book so special is its beautiful use of language and constantly exquisite yet realistic descriptions of relationships.
11.22.63 by Stephen King
I’m a big Stephen King fan and after the terrific James Franco adaptation of this book earlier this year, I finally got round to reading it.
Although its 750 odd pages were initially daunting, I’ve read other long King books (such as IT, a personal favourite) and once you’ve started they are always richer and more engrossing for their length.
11.22.63 initially sounds totally different to King’s usual thing – more rooted in history, though with an obvious element of the supernatural with the intrinsic time travel, it follows Jake Epping as he accepts a dying man’s challenge to travel back and attempt to save JFK from assassination. They hope it will improve the world for the better if JFK lives – but these are high stakes.