Friday 31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

As I totter, like dear old Dorando Pietri, towards the 2010 finishing line, I pause to wish all who read this a very happy New Year. This hasn't been the best of years for Nigeness; the world has been too much with me, draining my mental and physical energies, occupying too much of my time, and keeping me cooped up indoors on days when I should have been out and about among the butterflies and other delights of the world - though, in the end, it wasn't too bad a year on the butterfly front; I have good memories and, thanks to my lovely daughter-in-law, I now have Patrick Barkham's The Butterfly Isles to get me through the winter, just as The Aurelian Legacy got me through last year's butterflyless months.
Sadly I didn't get to many of the art exhibitions I wanted to visit, but among the few I did see, Cristen Koebke at the National Gallery was a revelation. My reading year was more satisfactory, as 2010 was the year I finally got to grips with Marianne Moore and Kay Ryan, discovered Barbara Comyns, rediscovered Alice Thomas Ellis (thanks, Tricia) and William Gerhardie, read Elizabeth Taylor's unforgettable Angel and John Williams's simply magnificent (and magnificently simple) Stoner, and continued to explore the wonders of Penelope Fitzgerald and William Maxwell, both of whom seem to get better and better the more I read. As I posted on all of those, I guess it wasn't such a bad year's blogging - and the best news, at year's end, is that my mother, having given every impression of being halfway over the threshold of death's door a few months ago, is now restored to health and very nearly indeed her old self. There is, as at the end of every year - of every day - much to be thankful for. Again, Happy New Year!


  1. Happy New Year, Nige! Your posts always brighten up my day, but let's hope that 2011 provides more time for all of us. And may I suggest again, Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, as most suitable for those non-butterfly moments. Susan x

  2. Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year, Nige!

  3. Some years ago Maxine Clarke introduced readers of her first blog to Mr Tim Coates’s The Good Library Blog.* I see his latest posting** sounds a more optimistic note than he has for some years, citing a report in which “[t]he Government of England has announced and explained that public libraries are about books.” Perhaps knowing this might make this holiday and the coming year a little happier for you and for other supporters of libraries.

    Happy New Year to you, Nige, and to your readers.

    *"Libraries (should) rule"

    **"The end of a terrrible empire"

  4. Happy New Year! On your advice I read Ellis' Inn at the End of the World while visiting my Aged Ps. (Mum had a copy). Cracking little novel with one particularly good line which I intend to plagiarise at the first opportunity.

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