In February, we left the tiny flat in South West and moved into a small house in the South East part of town. This wasn’t a dream of mine – to live in a house – but I don’t like having any neighbours above and Karol wanted access to a garden so we had a very limited choice, considering our budget. There is a lot to write about this place and since the first anniversary of our life here is coming up, I’ll save it for later. In short, it’s been our favourite London place for the past eleven months. Sometimes I don’t leave it for days as I don’t feel I need much outside of it. It’s a great base and it’s a home.
Well, despite having been a homebody I did manage to arrange and persuade Karol to arrange some shorter and longer trips. We visited Copenhagen, Malmo, Helsinki, Amsterdam and Hong Kong together. On my own, or rather with close friends, we went to Hastings. Apart from Helsinki, I haven’t blogged about any of these places (yet!). My biggest dream, and a growing obsession, was to visit China. Hong Kong was a beautiful introduction to something I very much hope for: many more visits to this country. Our time in Amsterdam was far too short. Copenhagen and Helsinki were full of magic – no news here, I still love the North of Europe best.
This year I came to terms with my definition of a friend. I stopped meeting people I had little or no love for. Deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts (this move I can only compare to something I did many years back: getting rid of a TV set, a truly life-changing experience). Stopped being nice and replying to the out of the blue how-are-you texts and emails of people from the past. Cut short all contacts with acquaintances. I put all my attention, effort and love on a table and divided it between those who I want to be part of my life and in whose lives I want to participate, too. The most meaningful event, a trip to Hastings, was something I still want to blog about. We gathered with my friends over many a coffee, many a dinner. We laughed, we cried and talked for hours. It’s been a good year for us all and so we laid another bunch of bricks for the, possibly not as lucky, years ahead.
There are two people I’m especially grateful for this year. Ania – who persevered despite my adamant refusal to respond to her attempts to be friends. And Karol’s friend Michal, who visited us for a couple of days back in October and whom I never tired of spending time with. Thank you!
Blockbuster kind of a year for music! The first mention and my endless devotion, however pompous this sounds, goes to Kate Bush and her Before The Dawn. Nothing comes close. Sigh, sigh, sigh. I’m impatiently waiting for a DVID from the show. The best party I attended was by his majesty Prince. There was a wonderful, and wonderfully low-key, Mozart’s Requiem performed by a group of friends as a tribute to a young singer after her sudden death. The biggest disappointment was undoubtedly Eminem’s gig at Wembley. With poor sound quality and fans who, unlike Marshall, didn’t manage to grow up, I found it a good lesson for the future: no stadium gigs for me. And at last, at blinking last, I got to love David Bowie’s music! Now here’s a gig to watch out for…
Without questioning its sense, I started making notebooks for sale. Makers, creators – these are the people that hold my interest longest and I decided to join their ranks. This is no easy task and no, my small shop hasn’t experienced much success. But you know what, it always feels great when I’m ready to upload my next product. It’s something that hardly any project at work has given me for a whole year and so I will keep at it. I love notebooks. I love paper. My next collection of notebooks is on its way.
Success – this is the word I’d use to describe my first Christmas as a host to our families. And I mean it as seriously as some people treat successes in their lives. Christmas, the way I see it, has always been about spending time with people close to me. In 2013 it was all about friends. In 2014, I invited our closest families from Poland. And it was fun. But again, I hope to write about it some more later.