One of my favourite things about the holiday season is getting all of my most beloved people together for merriment and mirth! I'm planning to see in tomorrow's midnight chimes and fireworks with a gathering of delightful dancing partners, drinking pink champagne, playing board games and twisting the night away! I can't wait!
In so many ways, she is the measure of me; and that's why it helps to think of her when deciding what to do next. And I have lots of decisions to make in the next 12 months! To stay on at my beloved Cambridge and continue studying Theology for an extra, fourth year? Or to take a course that trains me to teach English, and use it to get a job teaching in Italy? There's so much to take into consideration - especially money, and the fact that The Boy has another two years of studying at Cambridge, and I would hate to be far away from him for too long. What to do? What to do?
"I always said I’d be in Gryffindor, but I keep forgetting words like “courage” and “integrity”. I keep hiding inside books, inside blanket fortresses, inside my head. I’ve wandered off the path, stopped tracking Mars’s revolution, dug a hole and stuck my head in it. “Live deliberately.” is penned in thick ink in so many of my journals, on the pale underside of my wrist, but I don’t remember who wrote it. Was it me? Some ghostling? You?"
Grab a piece of paper & start scrawling down ideas. Don’t judge yourself while you write — just write. You don’t have to do any of it if you don’t want to, but just give yourself some options. Then narrow it down to things that really turn your crank."
"Nonsenso!" Signorina Cakewise cried. "You shall stay with me!"
So off they went to her apartment at 51 Via Marghuta, exactly where Gregory Peck lived in Roman Holiday. The walls were painted sky blue with fluffy white clouds, the wide windows were thrown open onto the balcony that looked out over Rome, and the corners were filled with books, sunhats, sequinned shoes, sunshine and The Boy's cricket bats. "Don't you just love it here?" Miss Cakewise cried joyfully. "You can sleep on the sofa, with Chow Chow!" The camerado wasn't sure she liked this arrangement, but declined to comment at present.
The Camerado relished every tidbit of news and shared her own - her recent promotion (which was cause for several toasts), her new friends and her apartment on the beach in sunny California. Yet the men in America were, she had to admit, disappointing - they just weren't Greg Peck.
"Oh, what a shame..." Miss Cakewise sighed, before looking over the Camerado's shoulder mischeviously. She turned around - and there was her old flame from their backpacking adventures in Firenze, Fabrizio! He was more handsome than ever! "Fabrizio! Um, fancy seeing you here! I forgot that you two know each other from long ago!" the scheming Signorina Cakewise enthused, trying to look as innocent as possible.
The Camerado was lost for words as she was swept amongst the dancing couples by her first love, but was willing to bet that this was only the first of many in store for her during her stay - after all, she still had another week in Rome with her favourite Miss Cakewise...
A bit like my new favourite heroine, Shingai Shoniwa of the Noisettes - I fell in love with her gorgeous song Never Forget You, her hair, and her account of the year her mother sent her to live with her grandmother in Malawi:
"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."