I have to admit that I almost always feel this at the turn of the year. I was writing to a Scottish friend recently and we agreed that for us New Year is always deeply emotional. It is like a container for so many memories and hopes and dreams. It is quite hard to explain this to anyone who just treats it like ‘any other day’. There is sadness and loss, there is excitement and energy, there is a real feeling of expectation and significance. The time when one year closes and the next begins is still for me a moment of power. It really matters to me.
Here are some of my moments from the past weeks
- Christmas came and went and even more than usual I felt detached from it. That does not mean that I don’t like Christmas but I have realised that it is almost impossible for me to feel Christmassy here in Catalunya. Other years I struggled to find my Christmassy feeling and failed and felt sad. This year I accepted it and it was ok. There are strong traditions here for the three days of Christmas and they are not my traditions so, as I also let go of having a Christmas tree, making Christmas stockings, singing carols on Christmas Eve, I found those days were pretty much like any others.
- I made my own Christmas dinner and took it round to my partners family on the 25th. Although it felt extremely weird to be eating something different all by myself I actually found it made the whole event much more bearable. I asked myself what would be my favourite thing to eat that day and the answer was Bangers and Mash! So while everyone else had Escudella i Carn D’Olla, I had home made vegetarian sausages and gravy with mashed potato and carrot and oven roasted brussel sprouts. It was totally delicious and I was interested to find out how important it is to me to actually enjoy the food on Christmas day. Having resolved that problem I actually enjoyed the meal:
- We have a new television and now I feel more entitled to watch BBC programmes when I want to. Combine that with having every single episode of Downton Abbey on my computer and the result is a much more cosy winter for me!
- Bonnie and I are spending a lot of time at Sant Nicolau. She is very well but having digestive problems. I am now at the stage of having low level worry all the time but much less panic in general. I know she won’t last for ever but I feel so much more connected with her in the present moment that I can almost forget the diagnosis.
- Today takes us past the eight week mark since she was diagnosed. I was told she would die in 4-8 weeks and so it is like a miracle to still have her here and to see her enjoying life. To celebrate we went on a long walk in the mountains of the Garrotxa to a high up hermitage called Sant Aniol.
- And last but definitely not least, we took in a little kitty who was living a precarious life in someone’s garden. She is about 8 weeks old and has a cold and is very thin. She lived inside car engines and her fur was matted with oil. Bonnie loves cats and it seems that she loves Bonnies! We have called her Phoenix and she is bringing much happiness to the start of this new year