Christmas has crept up on me this year. As you’ll be able to tell from my recent silence, I’ve been very busy for the last few months and haven’t even been able to read that many books. My adventurous year finished in grand style with a trip to glorious (and very cold!) St Petersburg last week, during which I spent most of my time either exploring the Hermitage in starry-eyed fashion, scurrying around in -10°C temperatures, or tucking into really excellent Georgian food. Now I’m back in the country with my parents, gearing up for a nice quiet Christmas full of good food, games and festive TV. This is my chance, as usual, to thank you all for continuing to read the blog and a big Christmassy hug for those of you who comment, engage and recommend new things. So I wish you all a very happy holiday, however you choose to spend it, full of fun and relaxation, and a New Year full of health, happiness and success.
This has been very much a year of two halves. I have no wish to dwell on the first six months but, since the summer, everything has been going my way. I’ve read some great books, made some lovely new friends (which isn’t easy in London) and watched with relief as the Mantegna and Bellini exhibition has received very good reviews. All in all, I’m finishing the year in a much happier position than I started it, and I feel full of optimism about 2019, which promises to bring all sorts of adventures and challenges: trips to Washington, Macau, Berlin and Italy, to name just a few, and another half-marathon in March, because I’m mad. I also have some very good reading material lined up to get my teeth into: when my ancient Kindle finally passed on, I upgraded to a shiny new Paperwhite and have been excitedly amassing ebooks ever since (I really need to stop now). So watch this space, once I get my brain in gear. There’ll be all sorts of things coming your way to read about.
A salute, as ever, to Heloise, Isi and Helen, book bloggers extraordinare, and a doff of a Baroque cap (no doubt highly feathered) to the inimitable Dehggial. A shout-out to my lovely frequent commenters: in alphabetical order, cspgarden, Edoardo, Elaine, Holly, Kerstin, Melita, P., RT, and whatmeread. And special festive thanks to H., opera buddy, fellow fangirl and enabler of second-hand bookshop sprees, who rarely comments on here but has recently started saying to me, in an accusatory tone of voice, “But you haven’t posted anything recently.” Looking forward to many more madcap adventures in the New Year, many more posts and hopefully many more chances to discuss books, films and operas with you all – whether that’s online or in person.
Go forth, raise a glass, and be merry. Big hugs and I’ll be back with a vengeance in 2019.