2012: A year full of possibilities

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
(from In Memoriam, by Lord  Alfred Tennyson)

I don’t make new year’s resolutions as such, but every year I make a list of things I would like to do. (I love lists…) Then I get great satisfaction from crossing things off my list through the year!

In 2012, amongst other things, I would like to:

  • Make a vegan pineapple upside down pudding
  • Find a mandarin sage plant
  • Start playing the piano again
  • Reduce animal produce in daily cooking
  • Read!
  • Laugh out loud every day (like last year)
  • Return to work on my herbarium

What would you like to do in 2012?

The Wise Words of a Wise Man

The words of Vaclav Havel while serving as President of the Czech Republic in 1998:

“It is my profound conviction that the world requires – today more than ever – enlightened, thoughtful politicians who are bold and broad-minded enough to consider things that lie beyond the scope of their immediate influence in both space and time. We need politicians willing and able to rise above their own power interests, or the particular interests of their parties or states, and act in accordance with the fundamental interests of humanity today ….”

Vaclav Havel died on December 18th 2011.

Brighten up a dismal day

Seven things to do on a wet and grey winter’s day:

  1. Organise/order your seeds for next spring and make a provisional timetable for sowing.
  2. Make soup! (see here)
  3. Watch a TED talk.
  4. Read a good book! (see here)
  5. Put on your waterproofs and go for a walk!
  6. Defrost your freezer… you might find some lost treasures (see here).
  7. Browse through old photos of your garden/holidays etc and dream of warm sunny days!

Dreaming of sunny days in the hammock

My bookcase

This photo has nothing to do with this post, but just wanted to share!

Woody in his frosted gown of cobwebs, December 2011

My bookcase

I haven’t done much reading lately, and that is one of the first things I hope to remedy in 2012. My bookcase is full of new volumes of words to be pondered! (And my Kindle also has a couple awaiting attention!)

Here are just a few I intend to dip into soon:

Rebecca – by Daphne Du Maurier

Conversations With Myself – by Nelson Mandela

Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History – by Bill Laws

Die Nibelungen – by Hertha Kratzer

Afterwards – by Rosamund Lupton

The Golden Age of Flowers: Botanical Illustration in the Age of Discovery 1600-1800 – by Celia Fisher

The Sense of an Ending – by Julian Barnes

The Garden of Weeds: How Vagabond Plants Gatecrashed Civilisation and Changed the Way We Think about Nature – by Richard Mabey

Mary Swann – by Carol Shields

And my list of other books and novels (and cookbooks!) I’d like to read soon is so incredibly long.

Thank goodness for winter, with fireplaces and cosy blankets, while the garden can be neglected under its own blanket of leaves and snow!

Was it a white one?

I love snow at Christmas. Unfortunately there was no sign of any in the UK this year, with extremely mild temperatures recorded here. In Germany it was also a green Christmas.

Mum’s Heuchera thinks it’s late summer!

There’s a saying in German:

Weihnachten im Schnee, Ostern im Klee

(Christmas in snow; Easter in clover)

Apparently it is known in English too, but the other way round!

A green Christmas; a white Easter

(Some people say it that way round in Germany too, as both seem to be true.)

I prefer the German version because it rhymes!

Despite a different climate, there are amazing similarities between weather proverbs in the UK and in Germany.

There is a lot of truth in them, and even if they are not always correct, they are certainly just as good as the long-term weather forecast!