To finish off the year, I’d like to share a song that probably all of you have heard at least once before (if not many times), in the spirit of Giliell’s Soundtrack of Your Life series (see episodes here, here, here and here) and voyager’s original soundtrack post.
The Counting Crows have been among my favourite bands since grade 7 or so, and while I don’t listen to them nearly as often as I used to, I find I see their lyrics and angst in all kinds of different ways, depending on life stages and life events. Many of their songs have followed me through darker times, but have also given me pleasure during happier times.
While they have several songs I can listen to again and again, one of my all-time favourites is A Long December, although this year I have to disagree with the sentiment that ‘maybe this year will be better than the last’. In a global sense, that is – personal life will continue on in various ways, and professional aspects currently are tending towards some serious development. But! We shall see. In any case, I find the relevance of the sentiment – a not-particularly-celebratory feeling at the turning of the year – to be pretty much universal during all the new years I’ve had since mid-high school.
Also, here’s a happy crayfish who just received five worms before being released back into the pond (back in October). May all your 2019s be so fortunate.
One of my neighbours has this small pink glass flamingo in their front garden that I am absolutely smitten with. I call her Blondie because she has a Heart of Glass and she lives on one of our evening walking routes so we see her often. Usually, Blondie’s taken in over the winter, but this year the poor wee thing has been left out all alone to fend with our Canadian winter. She seems to be holding together well enough in the cold, but I don’t think she’s happy. Flamingos need sunshine (we haven’t had any for weeks) and warmth (we’ve had none of that either) and poor Blondie is probably dreaming about warm, shallow waters on tropical beaches and wading with friends. We have that in common. Anyway, Jack likes to gives her a good nosing and I always say hello with the hope that we send a bit of warmth into that cold heart of glass.
I think that every week should start with flowers. They’re cheerful and they have the power to make you stop for a second or two and maybe even take a deep breath before heading into a new week. Our flowers on this Monday come from DavidinOz and they are indeed breathtaking.
Bird of Paradise and Sturt Desert Pea. The pea is the Floral emblem of South Australia. SA exports a lot of flowers, but we cannot sell the desert pea to Japan as the Japanese think the “eye” is watching them.
Thanks David. We all appreciate the blast of colour and cheer.
I’m not quite sure what the term for such a body of water is. It’s not a pond, but it fills quickly with water after rain.
The birds knew exactly that I only had the 250mm lens with me…
And the wide angle lens.
This concludes the morning walk on the 26th, tomorrow we’ll see what we did in the afternoon.
Some flowers, showing off their new “bloom”.
Icicles growing in an old Roman quarry.
Let’s call the “The Lovers”. As you can see, the right side tree didn’t fall onto the other one but started to its left, and then grew all around it.
It’s the personal, and also some of the political, and looking at all of it it would be silly to expect one year, a unit of time whose start and end us humans decided, to be one thing. 2018 started with fraught. My teacher training was nearing its end and it almost ended my career as a teacher (it did so for a friend of mine). I scraped by a “pass” and I passed several months in a mixture of anger and despair. My family and you, my friends, always had an open ear for me and helped me to cope with the stress. Caine always had a kind word, while she herself battled with cancer.
Meanwhile, the world descended further into fascism. The Brits kept committing the suicide called Brexit, the Trump administration locked up kids in cages, and in Germany the Bavarian conservatives made refugees the one and only “problem”, despite the fact that few are still arriving
Then summer came, and things were looking up, at least on the personal front. I found a job that I really like, with all its challenges, and Caine was nearing the end of her treatment, when the news of her death knocked the feet out from under me, and all of us. How can you love a person you have never met in the flesh so much? How can you miss somebody you have never seen so fiercely? Some days I still cannot comprehend that she’s gone.
Affinity survived, it’s community survived, because especially in these times, you need your friends.
Therefore, the best thing in 2018 was friends.
Voyager, I’m so happy to have you as a friend, across that big wide pond. Your posts make me smile and your friendship means a lot to me. And thank you for the card. Yes, I noticed the tits right away.
Rq, sometimes it seems like there’s just one script for life with kids and we both follow it. I know that 2018 wasn’t an easy year for you either, family wise. I hope things will get better. I know they can. I love your music posts and how you often discover art and share it with us.
Charly, you Jack of all trades. You have so many talents and you create so many beautiful things, from living trees to hard metal. I often envy your dedication and endurance in your projects. I hope you will have a lot of time and good health to spend on these projects in 2019.
My dear friends and readers of Affinity, I won’t try to name you all, because in the end I’d miss somebody. You make this blog what it is. You keep sending us pictures and projects, let us glimpse into your lives and cultures. To all of you I give a rose in memory of things passed.
And a rosebud as a promise for things yet to come.
The year is almost at an end, and thank goodness for that, amirite? 2019 should be so… much… ummm… well, let’s enjoy the end of 2018 at least, okay?
One of the biggest events for me this year was the passing of Caine, as a(n internet) friend, as an inspiration, as a teacher, as an emotional support. Amongst all the other changes, this was huge, so it was a very emotional moment when I recently received a package from Germany, which included not only life-saving cookies, but also a very special envelope with a very special letter and a huge reminder of what we all miss so much, embodied in a perfect shiny little pendant:
And everything was blurry for a while.
Thus, before the closing of the year, I would like to say a big thank you to my fellow bloggers, my fellow readers and commenters, and most of all, to Caine (and Rick) for being the beginning and support of this whole blogging project.
Today’s song choice is one that always, always reminds me of Caine – strangely, the song is about a person who would, most likely, be the ultimate opposite. The chorus reads something like “You – don’t like [the taste of] dandelions, / You – don’t like me; / Where others have a raging rapid, / You have built an H[ydro] E[lectric] S[tation]”. It’s my favourite new song by a local artist this year (the video isn’t), and I hope at least some of you enjoy it, too.
Also, I want to apologize for sparse contribution lately. I’m never good with the end of the year, which is a long and melodramatic story, but I hate New Year’s even more than I don’t like Christmas, and things don’t seem to get better with time (except the idea of not attending peopled activities or large fireworks events), but I will improve with the new year and the lengthening of days. Thanks for reading!
Jack and I found this beaver chewed tree at the end of the trail today. We looked around a bit, but couldn’t find any other signs of beaver activity. This tree tells me that they’re here, though, and once the ground is frozen and less boggy we’re going to walk closer to the river to see what we can see. I’ve never seen a beaver in the wild so this is all very exciting. What could go wrong?