As Neil of Herbie has pointed out, this, not January, truly marks the new year. A fresh start, new beginnings - not the sad post Christmas leftovers. I've always felt this way. Early mornings again after weeks of indolence; the tang of apples in the air, the harvest safely in. A new class, new friends (and enemies); a whole new set of projects and targets, an as yet unknown world of possibilities.
And guess what I'm doing to mark the new year? After nearly a year out, I've got a new job. On paper it's very similar to the old one (which is no doubt why I got it) but in a whole new setting - different setting, different institution, different people. I start tomorrow and I'm very excited.
Did I enjoy my gap year? Maybe not as much as I'd hoped. It has been lovely living on the boats, but what happened to the plans to just take off and go cruising? I suspect they were a victim of 'living next door to St Paul's syndrome' - when you can do something anytime you tend not to do it at all. We've made lots of short trips this year - more than ever before - including covering the whole of the S&W twice but I don't think we've been away longer than a fortnight. And as for the plans that kept us here - mainly featuring Bakewell's back cabin - they were thwarted by the weather.
So I am looking forward to a bit more structure and external routine; I think it suits me better on the whole. The routine will be similar to my days in Huddersfield, but in reverse. I have landed a job in a city with a canal that I can't take my boats onto, so I have rented a small flat to use during the working week, to return to the boats at weekends. The job is a 0.8 post so timetabling permitting, I am hoping the weekends will be long ones.
So you will forgive my somewhat intermittent posting, I am sure, now you know what has been occupying my mind. Once I get some semblance of order and discipline back into my existence, I am sure I will get back into the swing of it. And when I am no longer living and breathing the boats as part of everyday life, perhaps the interesting things about them - things that are interesting to other people, that is - will leap out again. I love them, and I'm so glad to have had this year living full time on them, but it has meant that it has become 'normal' and thus I find it harder to discern what would be interesting enough to others to blog about.
PS. It won't be hard to work out where I'm going. I'll just add that it's a Russell Group university - my first! And it's a couple of hours away by train.