About this blog

This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

First Quarter Review

Well, today marks the end of the first quarter of 2011, and of my first three months of New Things. A little review seemed in order. Part of my motivation for this New Year's Resolution is undoubtedly the fact I turn 50 this year. Once you are 50 you apparently enter a new social grouping indentified by your local council and suitably targeted: The Over 50s. I first registered this a month or so back when getting changed for judo. I found myself studying a poster encouraging old people to 'Stay Active!' and 'Keep Fit!' It featured the usual activities: gentle aerobics, smiling in the swimming pool whilst wearing a rubber hat, carpet bowls. Fine if you're old, not my kind of thing. But then I caught sight of the words 'Over 50s.' Wait a minute, that's nearly me!

My fear, and I'm sure this is shared by everyone, is not getting old so much as getting boring. My theory is that if I take up new things I will remain interesting to myself, and hence interesting to everyone else. Nonsense, of course, as anyone who has had to listen to me drone on about my struggles to master sokuto fumikomi will testify.

This quarter has been a mixture of one-offs and things I will continue with. The one-offs have included such diverse things as viewing ancient skeletons and baking my first seedcake. There have been visits to museums and ordinary urban parks. The keepers are the choir I have joined (Ladies Who Lark) and karate (spoiler alert: first grading this Sunday, which I designate a New Thing in advance and will blog in due course.)

Of course there have been times when I've thought Oh hell, I've got to invent something else new. (Clean the windows? Nah.) And it's been a chore. But over all it has been a good--I was going to say 'discipline' but that sounds too worthy--a good fillip. There, another new thing. I have never used the word fillip in a piece of prose before. I will now go away and check I'm using it correctly and it isn't a euphemism for self abuse. New things are around us all the time, the road less travelled, the cake less often baked, the word seldom used. Give it a go. You'll feel better for it. I may even try bowls.





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