Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Old and New Year Ditties

The year is tiptoeing towards its end, the clocks tick-tocking away its final hours.

The calendar on the wall, once as fresh-faced as a newborn, has lost all but one of its pages. Like a  tree that lets go of its leaves in Autumn, it marks the dying of the year.

Its final page, which only 30 days ago announced, with much fanfare, the start of that whirlwind of a month, December, has gotten wrinkled and dog-eared with use.



We have come full circle again in this strange man-made concept of time and like the trees that have shed their leaves, we are taking time to pause and reflect and, eventually, renew.




I'm  hopelessly nostalgic at the best of times, but never more so than at the end of December, when we're on the cusp of another year.




This is a time to reflect and count one's blessings. To be maudlin and shed a tear or two. To mourn the past year and its losses and to rejoice in its gains.



Traditionally, this is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings.

A time for New Year's resolutions you know very well will never be kept - even recalcitrant me is making them subconciously.

My Christmas Eve outfit:wearing 1960s shift dress accessorized with assorted charity shopped bangles, 
a vintage brooch and a necklace, ring and pair of rosebud sprinkled tights once bought from the high street. 


Be kinder, be a glass-half-full kind of person, be less afraid of change ... the list is endless but in the end I cannot change who I am. And what's more, do I even want to? 

And why, oh why, even wait until this symbolic date to make changes if you really want to?




“Every moment is a fresh beginning.” ~T.S. Eliot


Jos's Christmas Day outfit, featuring a green waistcoat from a vintage shop in Welshpool 
and his best pocket watch which used to be belong to his eldest brother


To be in good health and to live in the moment: that's about all I am wishing for. I do not ask for much. It's the little things that make me the happiest.



The world outside our window seems sapped of colour, at first glance grey and unappealing, the leafless trees reaching up their gnarly bare branches to the sky.

They do not ask for much either, just another year will see them right.


Another Spring for their saps to rise, their buds to grow, their leaves to unfurl. To blossom, however briefly, on the mildest of May days.

 Another Summer to provide shelter under their shady green canopies.



Another Autumn to put on a fireworks display of turning leaves, for birds to feast upon their berries and seeds.


Another Winter to lay dormant, their tangle of branches and lacework of twigs silhouetting against an ever-changing sky, a place of rest for the restless birds.


Yes, we have come full circle again, and in a handful of hours we'll lay the old year to rest and raise our glasses - our cups of kindness - to a new one full of hopes and dreams, wishing that at least some of them come true. 


My Christmas Day outfit: vintage maxi dress worn with a symphony of faux pearls, consisting of a vintage 
Christmas wreath brooch and a necklace from the high street. Charity shopped sparkly teal cardigan 
with another vintage Christmas wreath brooch pinned to it. The ring was another high street find.


So, I am starting the year with a ray of hope for the future year, a glimmer of Spring to come offered by this small clump of delicate Snowdrops caught on camera in a local park only a couple of days ago.


Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger
of Spring, And pensive monitor of fleeting years!
~ William Wordsworth, from "To a Snow-Drop" 




Happy New Year!



* The post's title is borrowed from Christina Rossetti's poem of the same name, dated 1853


42 comments:

  1. I like that floral printed dress. The way you accessorizied it with necklace, brooch and bracelets is so very pretty.
    Jos looks very stylish in his green vest and I like his scarf. Your second look is fabulous too. That maxi dress look is wonderful!

    As for NY, I always love the feeling of a new beggining. I like to meet New Year by being productive. For NYE, I'm the stay at home but get dressed up anyway type.

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    1. Thank you Ivana! I often get the feeling of a new beginning in September, probably because it marks the start of a new academic year, although I've left my school days far behind by now ;-) xxx

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  2. That first dress is amazing, Ann! I love how you've accessorised, especially with "our" bracelet! ;) I am also wishing for good health in 2020 and to live in the moment. It's the littlest things that make me happiest too. Wishing you, Jos and Phoebe a very Happy and Healthy 2020. XXX

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    1. Thank you Sasha! Glad you noticed "our" bracelet ;-) Wishing you and your family (including Amber, obviously) all the very best for 2020, and your beautiful country is always in my thoughts these days xxx

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  3. I very much like the simplicity of your resolution, simple it might be but health and mindfulness are at the heart of all that is good in life, without those things were would we be?
    Happy New Year Ann!
    xx

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    1. Thanks Hazel, and here's to health and mindfulness in 2020 xxx

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  4. Living in the moment is a good thing to do - here's to many more wonderful moments!

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    1. Thanks Mim, and wishing you and Pete and the "catses" many wonderful moments too! xxx

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  5. Happy New Year for You and Jos.
    You look gorgeous in your christmas outfit. I like it so much Ann.
    Enjoy the little things of life and being healthy is my wish for 2020.
    With a very huge hug Tina

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    1. Thank you Tina! If we're healthy of body and mind, I'm sure the rest will follow! xxx

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  6. Well, you are waxing lyrical in this blog post! I'm just a totally practical person and I've never understood all the fuss about a New Year - to me it's just time passing!

    I hope you have a wonderful New year and that it brings you everything you desire...

    Loved your's and Jos's outfits - very colourful and beautifully co-ordinated as always!

    Happy New Year!
    xxx

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    1. I know, I get hopelessly nostalgic :-) I don't usually make a lot of fuss about New Year and I'm always glad that it's over and we're back to "normal" ;-) xxx

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  7. Beautiful words - thank you.
    Best wishes for 2020. xx

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  8. jos is stealing you the show this time - such a dapper gentleman!!!
    ;-D
    "mehr achtsamkeit" is my matra for the new year. especially for myself - i often forget about me while caring for others/the world.....
    a happy, healthy and lovely 2020 to you and jos!!! tons of hugs! xxxxx

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    1. I know, he should start his own blog :-)) Your mantra for 2020 sounds good to me. Take good care, my lovely friend xxx

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  9. Happy New Year to you, Jos and Phoebe!
    Love that red midi, your groovy maxi dress and how fab Jos looks - I recognise that cravat! He needs a part in Peaky Blinders!
    I don't make a fuss about New Year, if I'm not already away I'm about to embark on a trip and I'm far too excited to bother! xxx

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    1. Thanks Vix, and a happy new year to you, Jon, Frank and Stephen! Ooh, I forgot to mention the cravat was a gift from you. Jos wore it both on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, with much success, I should add! xxx

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  10. Happy 2020 to you both Ann. It’s been lovely seeing all your beautiful outfits and reading about all your trips out in 2019.
    Love to you both
    Lynn & Philip xx

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    1. Thank you Lynn, and a happy 2020 to you both. I forgot to mention one wish though, which is that we'll get to meet again this year :-))) xxx

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  11. Reflection is always bittersweet it seems. Death leads to rebirth but at this stage we are further along on our course to our ultimate destination and I can't help but wonder if the idea of just "being" is enough. It's enough for the trees but is it enough for me?

    Happy New Year Ann!

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Happy New Year Suzanne! I don't actually think just being is enough for me, either. But I think the world would be a better place if we all enjoyed the simple things more! xxx

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  12. I'm also rather sentimental over the turning of the year, you are not alone in that! Love your wonderful holiday dresses (Jos' look too - wouldn't he and L be a pair?).

    Wishing you both (and Phoebe!) all the best for 2020, my dear.

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    1. Thank you Sheila, and I am so glad I'm not alone in being sentimental! xxx

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  13. There is some sadness in the pass of time and the end of the year is time for reflecting. Sometimes I find it difficult to find a sense in life...just living in the moment and yes, enjoying the little things...just a ray of hope...
    This is a very beautiful post:thanks for sharing your reflections and may you have the most Happy New Year

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    1. Thank you so much, Dan, and I'm wishing you a year full of wonderful little moments! xxx

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  14. Here's to a happy New Year for you both! I saw a quote somewhere saying that if you survived 2019 you're probably doing everything right and don't need to change. Or something like that. I'm not big on resolutions so that'll be my excuse.

    I am looking forward to another year of your beautiful outfits and lovely posts. sending you best wishes.

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    1. Thank you Goody! I'm not big on resolutions either, but I tend to get stressed quite a lot, so I'm making an effort to enjoy the little things. xxx

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  15. Lovely outfits and lovely post!, I really love to read your writting and the evocative pieces of poetry, you always pick gorgeous poems!
    I don't feel particularly involved in the New Year's celebrations, but it's impossible to avoid some nostalgic feelings whereas throwing away old calendars. But I try to keep my mind clear and enjoy what I have, my (quite acceptable) health and lovely people around me. Totally agree that 'it's the little things that make me the happiest'. Hurrah for little things!
    And I love your shift red dress, and how fab Jos looks in his christmas day outfit!. So elegant!
    Love your floral maxi dress and symphony of pearls and the cute teal cardigan. So gorgeous ensemble!
    Wishing you a fabulous new year!
    besos

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    1. Thank you so much Monica and hurrah for the little magical moments in life! xxx

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  16. What a beautiful post Ann, it really resonated with me and echoed so much the attitudes I hold. I wish you a beautiful and happy year with much peace and joy. xxx

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    1. Thank you Sally, so pleased to read that my post resonated with you! xxx

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  17. I love Snowdrops! Happy new year to you Ann. I look forward to seeing your finds in 2020 xx

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    1. Thank you Laurie! I'm always delighted to discover clumps of Snowdrops, they're such hopeful little flowers! xxx

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  18. Happy new year! I like both of your Christmas outfits, from the festive red and green of Jos to the less traditional but still pretty blue of your maxi dress! :)

    Hope that you have a lovely weekend ahead of you! :) We will be having a quiet one.

    Away From Blue

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    1. Thank you Mica and happy New Year to you and your family too. The plight of your beautiful country is in my thoughts! xxx

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  19. Your post is making me feeling terribly nostalgic. You write so beautifully, Ann.

    Happy New Year! X

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    1. Aww, thank you so much Jess, and Happy New Year! xxx

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  20. The new year for making resolutions is really rather arbitrary- perhaps we should all do it on our birthdays instead! I like your resolution.
    Oooh, Jos looks soooooooooooooo dapper- check in out in those wonderful colours- that Green is so jolly! I love your Christmas eve outfit too- so pretty and cheerful!x

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    1. Ooh, I do agree, Kezzie, our birthdays would be a much better date for this. And Jos says thank you ;-) xxx

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