Christmas has come and gone and a new year has just begun. My greatest disappointment was that I lost the Christmas day limerick writing competition. I thought my effort was quite good, but it did not attract even one vote from the other competitors, not one. Later I heard that tactical voting had been employed. Either way we will not be playing that game again next year. Here's my entry, which you can judge for yourself.
There once were some gangsters from Buckingham
Who stole children's sweets and liked sucking 'um
To stop this shebang
They arrested the gang
And transported the lot of 'um to Birmingham
I also did badly in the quiz (I foolishly chose my topic as Spain, the others had the good sense to select a more limited subject) and even worse at the poetry reading. It's not all about winning though: the drink, the food, the karaoke and the magic was good.
The build up to Christmas was good too: an excellent carol concert in a central Oxford Church, carol singing in the street with other guides to raise money for a hospice (then off to the pub), a wonderful party to celebrate Geraldine's 90th birthday, a walk through a storm with a good friend followed by many beers in a pub with a log fire, and a nativity play in which my grandson played Joseph.
Looking further back, 2013 was a good year for travel with visits to Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia. Not forgetting Spain, of course, where work on my caseta took a bit of a leap forward with completion of two ceilings, a roof and the terrace. I also completed my sci-fi book (3D Futures) and launched it on Kindle where it picked up a couple of good reviews. I've also read some great books. Outstanding for me were:
- The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes - about the colonization of Australia.
- Stoner: a novel by John Williams.
- The Origins of Political Order by Francis Fukuyama.
- American Rust: a novel by Philipp Mayer.
- Dorothy Hodgkin A Life By Georgina Ferry - Dorothy discovered the structure of insulin, etc.
- Sick Notes by Dr Tony Copperfield - a medical doctor's account of modern day practice.
- Walking the Lions: a novel by Stephen Burgen.
I finished the last book at two in the morning today, the first day of 2014 - after dancing and singing Auld Lang Syne at a local pub. It was excellent; I really could not put this book down even though I had to buy it as a paper book rather than reading it on my Kindle. It tells a complex story based in Barcelona and around. It contains: sex, violence, blackmail, betrayal, corruption, manipulation, love, intrigue, and an excellent explanation of the Spanish reticence with regard to the civil war. It's one of those books that you cannot stop reading, yet are disappointed when it ends because you want to go on even though the ending is perfectly satisfying. Thanks Sue and John for commending it to me.
Now I need to start writing. I've dithered for too long between commencing the second book of 3D Futures and carrying on with my Margaret Thatcher in conversation with Dorothy Hodgkin thing. I've decided to do the latter first - bit scary though.