Friday, January 6, 2012

A new year

I know Harvey died a year ago, but sometimes that feels like a long time, and sometimes it feels very short. And now it feels strange to no longer be able to say, or think, "my husband died last year".
              I haven't exactly made any new year resolutions, but I have come to a sort of general resolve: I need to try to live, as much as I can, in the present, and look ahead to the future, rather than turning back to the past. It's not easy; and not only because of the obvious, inescapable fact that I have more years behind me than ahead of me. As for many people my age, of those I've been closest to in my life, more have died than are alive. And I don't have any grandchildren to draw me on into the future.
               But the past is a place to look back on, not to live in. Neither Harvey nor Patrick would have wanted me to dwell there. Both of them had an enormous zest for life and for making the most of their time, something I've often not been very good at, even when they were here with me.
               So now I'm off to China to see my son Jonathan, while my visiting friend looks after the house. It's the third time I've been, and I've got to the stage where I enjoy going back to familiar places almost as much as I love seeing completely new ones. There'll be some of both on this trip, and once again I'll have a close companion to share it all with.
               Of course it's not the same and it never can be, I know that. Harvey and I travelled very well together, though of course, since we were both bossy and each thought we knew best, and strange surroundings stress you out a bit, there would be the occasional disagreement (to put it politely) about where we were, where we were going, what we should do next, where we should eat...
               In China there are no such moments, because Jonathan knows his way around and I don't. He also knows what I will like. What's more, I can't read a single word I see, it's all just pretty decoration to me. So I just trot round obediently after him, and it's very relaxing.
               It will be a good start to this new year, and to living in the present. And in three weeks I'll write about it here. By then we will be in the year of the dragon, a very auspicious sign, embodying beauty, creativity, energy, confidence and fearlessness.



  1. I hope you have a very wonderful time in China, Anne and that 2012 brings you new joy.

  2. Safe travels Anne enjoy this special time with your son. I look forward to reading your travel blogs.


  3. The dragon looks bold and daring, and a great symbol for a new year. Have a good trip Anne, and enjoy it to the full.

  4. Wonderful to read this landmark post Anne. Wishing you a wonderful trip and special times with your son.

  5. Have a wonderful and safe trip in China Anne. I have just discovered your blog and look forward to hearing about your trip when you come back :-)

  6. Hello. My name is James O'Donnell. I am searching for the author of a book entitled, A Book In Hand. Would that author be you?
    I ask this because that book discusses the Janet and John books, as well as the authors. One of the authors was my great-aunt, Mabel O'Donnell.
    I only wish to correspond, and I apologize for using a blog comment form as a conveyance. I am not very savvy, in the computer kind of way. So, please delete this comment if it is inappropriate, and I apologize for the error. Otherwise, a response would be most welcome.