It's just a convention and a recent one: in Florence traditionally – like in many places in Europe – the new year used to begin on the 21th of March, namely the vernal equinox. Traditions deeply rooted in the circle of nature never die: the light holyday on the 21th of December became Christmas on the 25th, on the 25th of March in Florence we still have a big religious solemnity dedicated to Maria, virgin and mother.
So there we go and let me say I'm very proud of my 2011. It has been a fully lived year for me and I manged to realize almost all my New Years Resolutions (for a change!). They were:
1. working DONE: finally I worked in school since March to June, as a teacher for students with special needs. I had two students, both adolescents, Maria and Zaira, and both gave me big professional satisfactions. Italian Educational system is a mess, however teaching you feel your job makes sense.
2. cycling DONE: I'd have liked to ride more but during the week I was busy with school, in the WE I was busy with races... I trained a little with my son's team – they absolutely kicked my ass – and we enjoyed a five days cycling holyday near Bassano del Grappa. Then I found out I have got a severe anemia so even half an hour of pilates became too much for me. Now I'm recovering - taking tons of iron – and doing more analysis to understand the origin of the illness given that I have been a little anemic since ever but that never prevented me to do even hard sports. Sum up: I'm happy with my cycling season 2011 ;) As Bodnar said in my interview: "You could always do better!"
3. to have our bedrooms and livingroom painted DONE: It sounds easy but isn't when you have got ceiling four meters high.
4. to go watching TdF on the Galibier DONE: That was one of the best day in my life in spite I couldn't be at the finish. To be honest I didn't try because... I wanted to watch the race on my laptop, all the stage. Make jokes at me but I feel when Andy is going to win. I saw him at the start with the 'right' face: distant, focused, in the 'zone'. What a day. When I think of it I always remember a page by Mura ("La fiamma rossa") who says Pantani's victories are maybe few but so beautiful, so special they are like precious pearls in a necklace.
5. to go watching the Amstel: WOT it seems that race isn't for me. Once that fucking volcano decides to erupt just when I have to get a plane, another time I got the invitation to the press conference before Liège and of course I can't stay away for all the Classics: I was working this year and went to Liège during my Easter holydays. I.e. no holydays but a tour de force. Liège was great anyway and I got Andy's bottle that's a great souvenir: I can't complain.
6. to finsh my course on line of Luxembourgish ALMOST DONE: I'll nedd some extra weeks to complete all the execises and tests but I studied all the grammar of the first level. Can I talk Luxembourgish? Nee!!!! can I understand it? Jo :D ...a bit. I understand - more or less - written Luxembourgish and can get the general meaning of a conversation if I pay attention. I'm really proud. Give me some time and you'll see, ehehe! But I have got two serious problems: 1. my keyboard has not got all the charcaters I need 2. I use a on line dictionary French-Lux but can't find a paper one here: "Is that a language?" they ask me doubtfully in bookshops. It seems I must buy it in Luxembourg.
7. to make my B&B work DONE: yeah, it works :) Come and try it! I had already many guests from everywhere in the world and it's very nice to meet different people, be useful and share what I can about this beautiful city. You end looking at it with new eyes, forgiving the shabbiness of habit.
8. to make beautiful interviews and reportages DONE: I can't say by myself they are 'beautiful' but I enjoyed to write them and tryed my best. Some of them got many and many readers, during last Tour de France this blog had over 50.000 contacts and that's a lot. I know it depends more on the subject then on the author anyway I'm happy.
9. to give my friends back all love they give me even if we are so far: I tryed. It isn't easy. I'm really glad I manged to visit my friend Eva in Amsterdam but failed to met some friends in Luxembourg. I saw the most of them in Liège and that's great. Internet is something amazing because it allows you to build or keep real friendships with people you can't meet everyday. But it's also sad because you would like to share more with them and that's impossible. I must thank my friend Elisabetta who sent me a paper Xmas card by the real mail: a really apreciated it. In the real mail box there was also the Fan Club calendar, with pictures of Andy and Frank Schleck and the UCI races calendar 2012. Mega cool! You can also buy it on the Fan Club site. But I miss the Xmas athmosphere in Luxembourg... the Xmas market, Linda's biscuits, Georges (and family), Ed (and family), Pascale (and family)... sorry I can't name you all. A special thought to the Schleck family of course: mom Gaby and BigBro Steve in primis. I will never forget the image of Gaby smiling in Liège with two medals on her belly – as she said ;) What a proud mom!
10. to manage to say the one I love: "I really love you and want nothing back." DONE: that was my turn point and given that it was early in the year it gave me the joy and strenght to be at my best. No matter if he doesn't love me: he cares and that's enough. It confirms the guy I love more then myself is a special one, good and great. I learnt a lot about myself by that – hard – experience: moreover I understood that love isn't something you can decide, it's more about to belong then about to own. I must say I have never loved anybody like that, maybe my son but it's a different kind of love. When the fire lasts so long you can be sure it's a pure flame because it already burnt all the rest.
New Years Resolutions 2012
1. To go ahead about that sickness and to heal hopefully
2. To go to watch Paris-Nice and Amstel
3. To write new good reportages and interviews
4. To bring my son to the TdF finish in Paris
5. To improve my Luxembourgish ;)
6. To get a new frame for the kitchen window and to have the kitchen painted
7. To ride my bike and to go almost once a week to the gym (come on! Give your subscription a sense!)
8. To write my essay about Hegel and Derrida or to improve my study about it at least.
9. To work (I mean money): school, B&B and publishing.
10. To hold on this percious feeling and demostrate I'm worth of it. Sometimes I get nuts without a reason, just because of a silence or a glimpse. Like a child I must learn to belive things don't change when you turn off the light.