Monday, January 09, 2012

New Year

As the last of the Christmas decorations go back in their boxes, I send greetings from Scotland for 2012. A guid New Year, and lang may your lum reek!Translation, for those not totally au fait with the Scottish vernacular: for 'guid' read 'good', for 'lang' read 'long', and though 'lum' is a chimney and 'reek' means smoke, it's not an unfriendly wish that you may be cursed with a smoking chimney. A more romantic nation might phrase it, 'May the fire in your hearth long burn.' But maybe I should just have said, 'A' the best, pal,' – the greeting of every maudlin drunk in Glasgow on Old Year's Night.Unlike Rick, I'm not very good at making New Year resolutions. Could it be because, after a Scottish Hogmanay, January 1st is always too fuzzy round the edges for stern, clear-sighted promises of personal reformation? However, it is an old Scottish tradition that before the new year comes in, the house must be cleaned from top to bottom, with all the rubbish and clutter thrown out, so inspired by Rick I’ve thought of a few cleaning-up resolutions of my own. 1. I won't play more than three games of Solitaire to get me started in the morning. Or maybe four.2. I won't count replying to emails towards the hours I describe as writing time.3. I won't use phrases like 'she chuckled' or 'he groaned' when I mean 'she/he said.'4. I won't let myself be distracted from the plot of the book I'm reading by rearranging sentences into the form I would think they should be if I was writing it.5. I won't let being a cynical old hack, with far too many years of professional writing behind me, blunt the excitement that bubbled up when I sat down to write way back when I started. I plan to model myself on the elderly lady who was getting on so well with the little girl she was talking to that the child, puzzled, said, 'Are you very, very young too?' To which her friend replied, 'Yes, dear, I am, but I've been very, very young for a very, very long time.'I'll let you know how I get on!

5 comments:

Eve Kotyk said...

Wonderful post Aline. I too have been young a very, very long time. I just love those last lines.

Aline Templeton said...

Thanks, Eve - it struck a chord with me too.

Hannah Dennison said...

My husband and I experienced Hogmanay one year - it was wonderful and really set the tone for the year. As for resolutions (aka intentions for me) I think I can say that the road to hell is definitely paved with them in my case ....

lil Gluckstern said...

I seem to be getting younger all the time. I enjoy your books. Happy new year, amy your hearth burn bright too. Did I get that right?

Aline Templeton said...

That's about right, lil, and thanks for your good wishes.