He who makes one is a fool.~F.M. Knowles
Perhaps I am a fool, yes, regardless I cannot help but love January 1st.
I know we can make a decision to do something or to change something at any time of year but, for myself at least, the urge to do this and address issues is never stronger than at the beginning of a new year.
I used to make long, hopeful lists of things to achieve but I'm now wise enough and old enough to let my realist alter ego write my list of New Year's Resolutions.
There are a few things I'm planning to do this year and most of these resolutions are fit for public consumption. Writing them up here is a reminder to myself. Also perhaps people might say "How is X going?" and provide me with a grateful nudge.
So, here is my list. No "learn 1000 new words", "read 50 Classic books", "clear my debt" or anything which is simply not going to happen...just a few achievable goals.
1. Learn to Knit
Last year I taught myself to crochet. I joined an online knitting/crochet community called Ravelry and found the online site overrun with knitters. For every crochet pattern there are about 10 knitting patterns. I hate having this knitting world and all its seductive patterns closed off to me so when writing my Christmas list I added knitting needles and a beginner's knitting book to my list. I've taught myself the basic knit stitch and am just working on my first little project
Rather sadly, I'm already excited about cables and knitted dogs amongst other things...
2. Learn to Draw
I am keen to discover if it is possible to teach yourself to draw. Specifically to accurately pencil draw things I see around me and from my imagination. It is something I have never tried to master and has always slightly bothered me. I believed drawing was something you were either born with the talent to do..or not. I was in the second category. Conversations with many people last year made me reconsider and many said it would be possible to teach myself to draw. I cannot afford to attend an art class. Instead I've signed up to this:
We'll see how it goes! If I fail, at least I can say I tried and move on...
3. Buy a New Car
I walk blindly down aisles of special offers. The Janury Sale is a non-event. I haven't bought a single thing. My shoes are falling apart. My jeans have holes in awkward places. I no longer go to the cinema. I'm eating less. I don't buy music and rely on Spotify.
I allow myself an outing or two a month and the odd treat as life is worthless without fun. The rest of my money will be harvested for a deposit for my next car. Christmas and dental emergencies aside, it's not hard to save for a new car. All I need to do is think of getting into a car and being free to go where I want in my own time and all of a sudden I don't need that luxury packet of biscuits or the supermarket's special fruit juice quite as much.
4. Start Saving For a New Camera
A future investment for my livelihood. I need a more advanced camera that I can rely upon. I love my current camera and will be loath to part with my ancient Minolta lens...but it's not quite cut out for the type of work I'm starting to do. I need speed and sharpness.
And this leads nicely onto....
5. Sell Some Photographs
My cousin has very kindly offered to build a website for my photographs. As usual I have got swamped with other things and not been quick enough to provide him with the images. A part of this is because when I started to look through my photographs I decided that none of them were good enough to be used. I hope that after his kind words I will be able to go back through my files and find some I like.
I also have a Facebook page which I would love to do more with. I have some exciting ideas of things to do with my images but I won't reveal more at present as it remains to be seen whether
I have the energy and finances to realise my ideas.
I'm no expert at photography and I hate that I'm even contemplating becoming one of these "having a DSLR means I am a good photographer and can charge a load of money for photographs". I am always happy to do a photography favour for a friend, especially if they cannot afford a photographer. I would however like to get an income from photography at some point as it's something I thoroughly enjoy doing. I didn't just buy a DSLR. I invested weeks learning how to use the camera. I have spent days, literally, on forums asking questions and looking through professional photographs. I have read about lighting. I have experimented. I have taken tens of thousand of photos and spent hundreds of pounds on petrol to travel around Kent and the UK to get beautiful photographs. I do this happily and I am investing in a dream. This year I would like to get one step closer to my dream-to sell my work.
6. Go on a Road Trip in England
With other priorities this year, it looks unlikely I will be having an adventure abroad in 2012. This makes me a little sad. I can't remember the last year I didn't use my passport. However, there are many places in England, which is as wonderful as any foreign country I've been to, yet unvisited. Here are some of the places calling to me the loudest:
Whitby and its abbey.
I've wanted to go here since reading Dracula
I could continue the Wordsorth theme started last year and visit Ullswater. Perhaps not in time for the famous daffodil displaybut when it's as beautiful as it is I would love to go daffodils or no.
I hardly ever go north of London. And Manchester...well I've heard it's actually rather wonderful from a number of sources
Newcastle? Perhaps I could throw my inhibitions out of the window and enjoy some legendary Newcastle nightlife. OK, it's unlikely but the bridge is pretty special and the big, gritty Northern cities are something of an enigma to my thoroughly southern self....
My camera still twitches to visit Cornwall
As always, I am fizzy with the promises and possibilities of the new year
I think I have now dreamt enough for one night. Perhaps time to continue knitting or look at some drawings.
I hope everybody has a wonderful year!
(nB, the photos are kindly borrowed from Google!)