Late as usual! Happy New Year!


We have a wonderful time with the house filled with family and friends, tables filled with laughter, chatter and beautiful food, the kitchen filled with everyone contributing to  long lunches followed by nightly feasts, card games and other games keeping us up late, the occasional  evening watching DVDs, days of long walks and sailing on our beautiful harbour, floating in the pool, walking on the beach at Pearl Beach, wondering at the wonder of the star-filled skies. It has, as ever, gone all too quickly and the first to leave will be Simon tomorrow, heading back to Peterborough and Arrowsmith. Not really rested with all the mayhem going on, as he puts it, but certainly refreshed! I think he is looking forward to more routine and his quieter life for a a while but he is also looking forward to being home later in the year and putting down roots and moving into a new phase of his life. It has been so good to hear from many people of the changes/progress they see in him (I have to remind some people that improvements is not a good way to describe his changes, at least I don’t think so, the negative connotation being that he was less before).

I am heading out to an Art gallery shortly and just quickly want to wish each and everyone of you the happiest of New Years, and may 2016 be filled with joy, laughter and much love.

I leave you with the words of Neil Gaiman:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
...I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.
And for this year, my wish for each of us is small and very simple.
And it’s this.
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

– See more at:


In my haste


In my haste

to finish writing the blog last night as Simon was keen to go to bed early, and I was keen for him to go to bed early given that today was the first day of the new term at Arrowsmith, I forgot to mention a couple of other highlights from our time away. One was the beautiful torchlight parade where the ski instructors as well as the talented young skiers in Nendaz ski down the mountain, I don’t know how many skiers there are with flames flickering from their torches zig-zagging down the mountain but it takes 4 minutes for them to come past, and what a beautiful way to spend 4 minutes! it is a wonderful spectacle which I feel very privileged to have watched and I know that the skiers love being a part of it. It was a special start to our New Year’s Eve festivities, even with the debacle of my losing two of our guests in my haste to find a good spot from which to video the parade – they forgave me and enjoyed the video!
And the other highlight was the completion of the Impossipuzzle that Simon had bought Michael for Christmas – what a puzzle it was! Even Michael, puzzler extraordinaire, was daunted but Emma persisted and, many, many hours of work later, very impressively, finished it, with help from Simon.
Back in Peterborough Simon had a great day today, presenting his photo albums which Michael had found in Simon’s bedroom, remembered to pack and delivered them safely halfway around the world! Simon was “student of the week” where the student has to present a talk so the rest of the students can get to know them better.
In the meantime, I went to my knitting group and the gym where the excesses of Christmas became evident quite quickly during my spin class, with me huffing and puffing my way through it!
And now, we are bracing ourselves for a big storm! We have been lucky enough to miss the big storms so far but I think we will be right in the centre of it this time, according to the weather forecast. We have bought torches and a little camping gas cooker, just in case and have plenty of chocolate and other supplies to keep us going if need be! Trudging through the snow and preparing for the snowstorm put me in mind of a wonderfully written, desperately devastating novel about the siege of Leningrad that I read with my book group some time ago – amazing how a great book can remain in one’s mind, without one even knowing it is still there. I truly believe the saying that a reader lives a thousand lives, a non-reader lives only one. Hence, my passionate support for the Arrowsmith programme and the cognitive improvements which come about allowing students who had previously had terrible experiences with reading to appreciate the joys of reading.