New Year's Day, here in this little village, dawned clear and cold and sunny. Not that I saw the actual dawn, because we joined a group of friends young and old, just along the road, to celebrate Hogmanay and to welcome 2017. This morning, after we'd watched the splendid New Year's Day concert from Vienna (another ritual and one that always reminds me of my late mum and dad, who spent a couple of years living in that wonderful city) I took a brisk walk round the village to see a few signs of spring already and remind myself what a truly beautiful place we live in.
Once we've cleared away the Christmas decorations - always a sad task - and dealt with the inevitable dust, I like to 'bring spring into the house' in the shape of hyacinths and other spring flowers. So that's what I'll be doing later in the week. The 'Christmas cactus' defeats me every year by flowering madly in late January, but so does the large indoor jasmine - already bearing lots of buds.
I have only a few resolutions for this year. One - the most important for this blog - is to challenge myself to post something on here every day for the next 31 days. They won't all be big, important posts. A few of them might be 'how to' posts for writers. One or two might be longer and more reflective pieces about researching and writing historical fiction. But most of them will be short bits and pieces about the place where I live and work, the objects that inspire me, and what it's like to live in a 200 year old cottage in lowland Scotland.
My other resolutions are to spend a lot less time on Social Media. I love it, but boy is it (a) a time suck and (b) depressing. And that leads me to my third and final resolution: to write lots more fiction and a bit of non-fiction too. I have a couple of very specific projects in mind, and I'll be blogging about them in due course. At the moment, one is well under way but needs some more dedicated time, while the other is only at the planning stage.
You never know. This time next year, we might be millionaires!