I haven’t posted since September – my excuse “too busy”. But in truth it’s because I feel like a very small voice in a very big world and therefore why add my thoughts to the billions lost in the ether? I think it’s an age thing, wanting to make yourself heard before time runs out. When you are young there’s oodles of time ahead for you to make your impact, get famous, make some astonishing discovery, find the cure for the common cold, or even just become indispensible and important in your chosen career path. As a Silver Surfer I realise now that time and tide wait for no woman, whether I want to ride the surf or not, and with my knees, it’s definitely not. Besides they don’t make wetsuits big enough – and then there’s the thought of changing under a towel in the beach car-park in a howling gale.

So why the doom and gloom? Bed at 3 am after the New Year party and other changes of routine have left me tired and crotchety. I feel deflated now Christmas is over, the family flown, the washing mountain tackled and the decorations put away – but at least life is getting back to normal. It’s been lovely to see everyone and recoup the magic through excited grandchildren, shiny wrapped up presents, and flickering fairy-lights, but it’s even lovelier to consign it all to memories and the ubiquitous Photo Pixels/Pixies.

New Year is Resolution time – getting back to a size 14, fit enough to walk further than the end of the street, etc. etc., but these chilly winter months don’t encourage healthy living. My Fitbit reminds me that sitting in my office chair doesn’t count as steps, and it’s all too easy to accept the mug of coffee kindly delivered by Him Outdoors rather than clock up a few stairs. Nevertheless, a family wedding beckons and, more importantly, the unforgiving Photo Pixies are lying in wait as ever, so a crash diet is in the offing, as well as some kind of effort to take more exercise. We’ve been here before (see Fit to Drop)… But at least the writing plays its part as once I get going on my research and other projects I can forego comfort food, stick to black coffee, and disappear into my private world where time has no meaning, as H O will testify when he tries to get me back into the here and now. He’s also working at his projects, in the attic and up a second flight of stairs, so it really does need me to take a turn at making the coffee, as well as remembering to go downstairs now and then to sort out the laundry.

The New Year also brings in a feeling of relief. Last year, with all its problems and crises – and what year is free of those? – is finally over and we can make a new start. The problems don’t go away, but there’s the chance of thinking afresh for solutions, and above all to look forward to things – family events and holidays especially, and just enjoying life in general, often the smallest of pleasures. Best of all the lighter nights are coming, and spring isn’t that far away. Indeed some spring bulbs are already spiking their way womanfully through the mud in our garden.

Perhaps then it’s time to look back on the triumphs of last year – the trip to the Palace to see H O awarded his MBE (see Hats, Helmets and Highwires). Then there was the Graduation – my MA in Creative Writing, the thrill of walking across the stage and trying not to trip over my robe or send my mortar board hat flying into the outstretched hand of the Vice-Chancellor. I was nearly three times older than the vast majority of the other graduates, a truly Silver Student, and I was, and am still, proud of this. The direct result of all this glory has been the next step, entry for my PhD, which is now in full swing and lifting me further into the heady heights of Academia with the possibility of getting to wear even more outlandish headgear. A Time thing again perhaps, but if I don’t do it now…..

So back to the future. New Year reminds me that time goes by very quickly, and yes there may not be that many years left for us Seniors, but they are definitely not going to be twilight years for me if I can help it. There’s far too much to do, and besides I need to get back to a size 14. I’ll be starting the diet just as soon as all the Christmas cake has been eaten up, and the mince pies, the marzipan dates, the chocolates, oh and the fridge-full of special Welsh cheese. That lot should get me through until Spring at least.

Happy New Year one and all, and especially to  Silver Surfers riding the ether with me. Why not sign up to read my blog regularly and let me know you’re out there cresting the e-waves?