A happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year to all friends and blogallies!
As far as the weather goes, it's been a mild festive season, and I notice that the snowdrops and daffodils are already pushing up to sample what's ahead in 2013 (above). New life. Don't you just love the seasons.
I long ago gave up the whole idea of New Year's Resolutions. But I do have some personal wishes for 2013. Before I talk about them, I thought I might share my best memory from last year. Well, the year was a difficult one for me, being confined at home at times with a body that seemed to be paying me back for rough treatment over the years. That did have one advantage though. I watched the Olympics and Paralympics, let's just say, thoroughly. And among all my viewing highlights there was one session which I remember above all. It was Team GB's first medal. Having watched the disappointment of the men's road race - and still somewhat skeptical that all the hype about the Games would crash into big disappointment for everyone - I settled down to watch the women's road race. Now, women's road cycling doesn't garner much publicity usually. I really didn't know if we had a medal chance or not.
But when Yorkshire's Lizzie Armitstead was able to join a breakaway, in the foulest of weather, it all became exciting. VERY exciting. There were four riders in the break. Then only three, as the USA's Shelley Olds punctured (how cruel for her was that!). As Olga Zabelinskaya, Marianne Vos and Armitstead fought to stay ahead of the peleton in torrential rain I found myself on my feet, shouting at the television as if possessed. Talk about being in the moment! I'm glad no-one was watching me. In the end, Vos, the favourite, pipped Armitstead in the sprint for the finish. So the first medal for Team GB was a silver one. As we all know now, that was just a start, and the Games and the Paralympics which followed were just magnificent, with many memorable successes, and emotional times. For me though, it was that first medal that got me totally engaged and immersed in London 2012. Thanks Lizzie.
You can get a flavour of the women's road race from the video at the top of this post.
Back to 2013, I hope I am able to give my garden at Skip the care and attention it deserves, and to continue with its 'development'.
Anything else? Certainly. Friends and family will continue to be important, and I'll no doubt maintain an interest in the sport of curling. Not to the same extent as before though - realising I would have to give up the Skip Cottage Curling blog was the hardest decision I had to make last year. But I hope to continue being passionate about the sport's history. And there are lots of other interests that I may yet share here.
Happy New Year! Especially so to the thirteen sailors still competing in the Vendee Globe solo round the world race, see here. These guys are tough! The two leaders are just rounding Cape Horn this New Year's day.
Photos © Skip Cottage