The divine Errant Aesthete tagged me on her beautiful blog just before Christmas. I feel dreadful for having taken so long to respond in kind, but I hope she will forgive me my tardiness, and not reproach me for my manners. She may happily rebuke me for not having fulfilled the rules of the game - the tag requires one to offer ten things about oneself, and I'm afraid I could only manage eight and a bit.
But that reminded me of how much I like Fellini's 8½, which I've not seen for eons, so I frittered away rather a lot of time on YouTube watching clips of it instead of finishing this post. It's a film about a midlife crisis, which resonates with me now rather more than it did when I first saw it. Watch it, it's magnificent, and rather better, by all accounts than Nine, the film of the musical based on the Fellini film.
Anyway, here's my eight and a half.
Who actually makes proper New Year's resolutions and sticks to them? I don't think I know anyone, least of all me. It's not that I'm without resolve, and I can exercise enormous willpower when absolutely necessary, despite being a bit of an all or nothing girl, but mostly my New Year's resolutions barely outlast breakfast on 1st January. And really, January is far too long and depressing a month to give up booze and chocolate: if one wants to show off one's ascetism, far better to wait for the mercifully short 28 days of February
However, I have made a resolution that I will try to maintain. I'm going to try to blog more frequently. The challenge will be learning to be concise. It doesn't come naturally.
Four years ago, I resolved to be fit enough to run the Fullers Thames Towpath Ten Miler. I started with a little hesitant jog around the block one icy January evening, and by April I was ready to race ten miles along the Thames from Chiswick Bridge to Teddington Lock and back again. I did it in a perfectly respectable time and even kept up the running afterwards, recording my best ever 10k time of 51 minutes a few months later when pregnant with Hunca Munca*. I kept up the running until I was five months gone and people started pointing and laughing, and so I gave it up in favour of lounging on a chaise longue, eating vast amounts of cake and chocolate.
I've run since in a desultory kind of way, for therapeutic rather than aesthetic reasons, but now it's time to maximise its benefits: I need a proper goal, a challenge to keep me going. I suppose I'd better sign up for the Towpath Ten again. Oh God, I'm tired just thinking about it.
Tiny Trefusis was formerly known as Hunca Munca. But she's a little less destructive now she's coming up to three, so it seems unfair to stick her with the soubriquet. She's very funny and told my mother over Christmas that she liked the vicar at church because he wore curtains and a party hat.
My blogs to watch in 2010
I love all the blogs on my blogroll, look at all of them with unerring regularity and heartily recommend them.
However, it's hard to chose which seven to actually tag, and pass this meme onto, but here are a few that were new discoveries for me in 2009 that I'd like to share with you.
SmackCrumpleBang. Oh, I'm devoted to 'Dougie' Houser. He's clever and funny and talented and one of the most delightful people you could care to meet. His utterly original blog is, on the whole, picture-led, him being an artist and all. He does wonderful pop-ups too.
The Spice Spoon. I'll confess a bias: S is a real-life friend of long-standing, but look at her blog and judge for yourself whether I'm allowing a personal relationship to affect my objectivity. I don't think so - I'm mad about this site, which is more of a food memoir than a typical food blog, and was recently, and rightly, recommended as one of her Top Ten Blogs to Follow in 2010 by ace blogger LibertyLondonGirl.
All Best Wishes. Like me, All Best Wishes is not a prolific blogger, so when she does post, you fall upon her writing with ravenous hunger. Broadly, her subjects are motherhood and work, but her themes are universal. I hope, like me, you'll enjoy the discovery.
Mr London Street. It's more a collection of essays than a traditional blog, and the quality of prose makes for a terrific read. I'm not going to say anything more - check it out for yourself.
One of 365. 'One' posts every day without fail, as the title of her blog suggests. The scope of her blog encompasses everything from fashion and beauty to depression and heartbreak. Follow her journey.
Helena Halme. Another of LLG's 2010 picks, Helena Halme's chronicle of love for her English Sailor has been keeping her readers hooked for months. An expat Finn, her writing is compelling stuff.
Knightley or Elton. This is a comparatively new blog by a very young and very clever aspiring actor. Originally from Australia, he talks and writes as if he's straight from the pages of Brideshead Revisited, and I really rather like that. I include him here not merely because I like him, but also to encourage him to keep up the good work.