There was plenty of frost on the punkin this morning, so much that the seagulls were a little puzzled as to why they were able to walk on the Dallas Road pond. Fortified with a cup of strong coffee, I was on my way for a walk on the breakwater at Ogden Point, just like last year.
It's barely a week since the sun started back up north, but already the light is noticeably brighter and stronger. One thing about one of these clear winter days in Victoria is the clarity and luminosity of the air. I guess that's two things. Colours are more vivid and striking than in the summer. The mountains seem closer and more imposing.
I missed the New Year's Eve festivities. Let me rephrase that. I did not miss them at all. It's been a long, long, time since I got any sort of thrill from the occasion. Another year gone by? I'd rather not think about it. And then, how about that traditional monumental New Year's Day hangover? Did I open my eyes this morning and wax nostalgic for the days when I would wake up with a pounding skull and a mouthful of rat droppings? Strangely enough, no. I was more concerned about whether that kidney stone had budged yet. In fact all day yesterday I had to remind myself that it was a special day, the last one of 2010. And around 11pm I forgot about it altogether and went to bed.
Another venerable New Year's tradition- aside from empty promises to lose weight- is to look back on the past year with a baleful eye, now wise with hindsight. Then the wise man's brow furrows as he scans the horizon. What will the next year bring? What calamity? What human folly? What great deed? What new trend? But as the years drop away, the main thing I think about is if I will be around for the next one. So I'd better do my best to enjoy this one.
Which reminds me of Sarah Palin. I watched a few episodes of her reality show last night, and what impresses me most about her is the unabashed love she displays for her state and country and the people who live there. It's not an abstract, at-a-distance type of love that many politicians pretend to have when they make speeches, or a pose crafted at a focus group. This is her. This is the real person. It's so long since we've seen such a person many of us don't know what to think. Many are suspicious, and don't really believe her. Could that be because her critics have never loved the places where they themselves have lived? Many of them seem to think such a feeling is a sign of unsophistication, of naivete, a feeling that only stupid people have. Maybe that's why they think she's stupid. They know its not true. She has been a mayor of a town, and then went on to become the governor of a state. The area of Alaska is 591,000 square good old miles, which just happens to be almost exactly the same as the areas of France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and England combined. She is a Republican who took on an entrenched, and corrupt, Republican governor and in short order had those Augean stables spic and span. She then became a candidate for vice president in the last American federal election and was so effective that the Republican establishment quickly turned against her. It quickly became obvious that the Republican presidential candidate was not in her league. They thought they had brought a pretty face into the game, but it turned out they had a mama grizzly instead. It wasn't what they had planned.
Here then is my prediction for next year: whatever happens, Sarah Palin will be right in the middle of the action. She will turn the tables on the media. Already the public is turning against the media and the Big Hollywood image factory. They have been working overtime all last year throwing merde at her image, but this coming year they will find it has boomeranged, and they will be the ones buried in their own excrement.
Love of family, love of country, these are values the media, the social welfare agencies and the educational establishment have been trying to extirpate since the sixties. In Sarah Palin, the world finally has a someone who sees through the whole charade. Let's go, Sarah.
It looks like it will be a good year.