Tomorrow we are fleeing to the countryside where there will be no internet connection. And thus I must bid you a Happy New Year now and wax retrospectively on the past year. I have beside me my diary (engagement calendar) to remind me of the highlights.
January: Annual visit to wee mother-in-law. She looks just like B.A. only smaller, prettier and beardless. A friend's elderly father died (not a highlight, of course, but important), and first we went to his Communist funeral and then we went to his Requiem Mass. Fun fact: Scottish Communists of the old school were very often Catholics of Irish extraction. Began 5/2 Diet.
February: Annual trip to Canada. Super-amazing book parties in Toronto for Ceremony of Innocence.
March: Swore to become better at housework. Started Pilates classes. Calvinist Cath's bridal shower. Seminarian Pretend Son stayed for a weekend. Suddenly Homeless Student Pole came to stay for a few weeks. Polish friends came north for the Knights of Malta Ball and to stay for a weekend. Their photo appeared soon after in Tatler magazine. Words cannot express my
April: Cath's Wedding: psalm singing and a super-Scottish Presbyterian minister. Very romantic. Aelianus and the Future Mrs Aelianus stayed for Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Easter. Trip to Kraków. CANONIZATION OF JAN PAWEL II!!! And the OTHER GUY!!! Trip to Wrocław and environs with Polish Pretend Son. We went to see Saint Edith Stein's house. It was very moving. A monolingual guide asked Polish Pretend Son if we were related. "Powiedzieć", said PPS cryptically. PPS's real mother gave me a woolly (soft toy) sheep which I clutched, having been driven to see her at 290 km/hr.
May: Back to Kraków for "Dzielne Niewiasty" (Brave Women) retreat. I gave four lectures and RASHLY promised to translate one or two into Polish. Fifth Wedding Anniversary, for which I am slim, thanks to 5/2 Diet and Pilates. PPS came to stay for the weekend and shout at B.A. for not coming to Poland and shout at me for using "THE MACHINE" to translate my lecture into Polish. I exaggerate a bit. But there was a lot of shouting when PPS said he wouldn't check my Polish translation of my lecture if I continued using The Machine. Shouting, wailing, gnashing of teeth, banging of own head on table--and that was just B.A. and I, arguing over whether or not I should be imposing on PPS at all in the first place. PPS watched us with great interest.
June: Went to London to meet Fiorella Di Maria and sell books with her. London is extremely cool and utterly expensive. As usual what I liked best was eating food with friends. I cannot decide which was better: eating Haute Polski Cuisine at "Ognisko" with B.A. or eating Haute School Food with B.A., Seminarian Pretend Son and Polish Pretend Son at Seminarian Pretend Son's club. Both were splendid events and something to think about when things are kicking off on the Rough Bus. Mum arrived from Canada, and so we decamped to Falkland Palace.
July: Unthinkable horrors unleashed on the Chaldean Christians.
August: Masses for them said throughout the world, including Edinburgh. I read from Ceremony of Innocence at Blackwell's Bookshop during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I met Reader Kate on holiday in Edinburgh. Seminarian Pretend Son stayed a weekend. Closed "Seraphic Singles".
September: Polish Pretend Son stayed a weekend. B.A. and I went to Rome for a week. I voted "No" in the Scottish Referendum, and was very impressed by the lack of violence and bad feeling in Scotland during and after the Referendum. I started to drag my feet to swing dancing.
October: B.A. went to Aelianus' stag weekend and shot real guns. Dawid Ogrodnik--what? Oh, I saw "Ida" which was good except for the part near the end which would make any devout Catholic woman roll her eyes, suddenly realize the story was written by men and reflect that men just don't get devout Catholic women. Funeral of one of B.A's elderly colleagues--a real adventurer. It was an honour to know him. Unfortunately I was squeezed out of the now-overcrowded Pilates class. I fell off the 5/2 bandwagon, too. Worse and worse. Aelianus got married in real life. Sigh sigh sigh.
November: B.A. and I go ancestor-hunting in the graveyard with limited success. Polish Pretend Son for a weekend. "Bus incident"--uh oh. I wonder what that was. Oh! I was Pole-baited by two bad little boys. Polish Class supper--much vodka and hilarity.
December: A snazzy 40th birthday party in a local bar for B.A.'s uni pal. Archbishop's media party. "La Double Vie de Veronique." Quadrophonic arrives for Christmas, then Mum, then Dad. Wigilia. Christmas. Św. Stefana. Cocktails with Expatriate Housewife, home for Christmas.
So that was a rather good year, I think. Full of food, friends and travel. And I really did become better at housework. If I have time tomorrow morning (doubtful), I will entertain you with my New Year's Resolutions. If not--all the best in the new year!