I bet I know what you are thinking - you are thinking that this book is full of nifty, pertinent, quotable, pithy sayings - a book from which one might choose new year resolutions - come on, admit it! you do think that don't you. So what is inside this book? Well I will tell you later on in this posting, but first you need to bear with me a bit - Ok?
No, no, no, don't do that, stop it! don't scroll to the end of the post for a quick read to find out what's in the book! stay here with me, yes stay here, that's good, now settle down there and read on.
New Years Resolution (1) - My son Nikolai said to me last year, "Dad, you have nearly 3 thousand books in this house, and not enough of them are fiction - too many are non fiction, meaning of life, staring at your bloody navel stuff - there are other ways of finding out about this stuff you know! what you need to do is read more fiction" - He's a great reader of fiction and he is right you know - why? because, well, the meaning OF life, the meaning TO life, can indeed be expressed and encapsulated in fictional form - just as the forms of metaphor, or poetry or myth, can reveal the truth and the heart of the matter, so too can the literary form of fiction. Fiction often deals with the universal themes of human nature and our struggles - it enlarges our perception of who and what we are by allowing us to experience in a vicarious way the lives of others. One lifetime is not enough to experience everything, but through reading we can catch a ride on the coat tails of other peoples minds, their experiences, their struggle to make sense of our shared humanity. When I counted the number of fictional books I had read compared to a number of 'Best 100 books' lists on the Internet, I had not read any more than about 15 to 20 on any one list - so I have a lot of work to do - So! - New Years Resolution number 1 is to bone up on the truth laid bare in fictional form.
New Years Resolution (2) - My brother Chris said to me as we sailed down the coast a couple of weeks ago - " I saw this really neat movie in which this guy decided that he would spurn the knee jerk reaction to saying "No" to new experiences. He decided that he would say "Yes" to everything that came his way and see where it led him" - "This guy (Chris continued) said "yes" and went all over the world having incredible experiences. One experience led to another - a whole set of experiences driven by the engine room of his answer "Yes" whenever he was asked if he wanted to go somewhere or do something" - "It was an amazing film, you should see it" - "What's it called ?" I asked, "Can't remember" he replied, but just start bloody well saying "Yes" man and you will have the time of your life" - Hmmmm, So! - New Years Resolution number 2 is to say "Yes" as far as my courage will allow - ye gods! bring on the roller coaster.
New Years Resolution (3) - Circumstances are such that I am doing a lot more cooking. It started with my usual cooking on the good ship Mariner when I was away sailing and has continued in fits and starts (that's fits of laughter from myself, sometimes others) ever since. The book in the blog photograph is full of lined blank pages. To date I have written four good recipes in it. My food is simple and wholesome stuff of the comfort food variety. I hope to fill the book as much as I can over the year. So - New Years Resolution number 3 is to cook more meals, and try to be as creative as I can - shouldn't be too hard, I quite like cooking.
New Years Resolution (4) - This resolution came to me like white light on a black sky when I bought the book of blank pages - it is printed on the cover of my recipe book - "Shoot For The Moon. Even If You Miss, You'll Land Among The Stars" - This is going to be easy because I often miss, but I absolutely, simply adore stars, especially sailing stars.