A new year. A small part of me thrills to the thought of new beginnings, clearing out clutter, striving towards goals. I have read Marie Kondo's (I see her name comes second only to Marie Curie's on Google) book about tidying, disposing of everything except the few things which bring you joy. And I sort of wish I had completed this task and was now relaxing in a living room which thrilled me in every spare and elegant detail.
But the sorry truth is that I am quite lazy, very sentimental about old stuff sitting round my house, and a serious procrastinator. It's just as well that in my day job, a bell rings every 35 minutes and a group of teenage girls enters my room, ready to misbehave if I don't have some manner of productive activity prepared for them. If I had a freelance schedule I'd never achieve anything. And outside my day job, the chances of decluttering my house are very slim. Most things would bring me a little bit of joy if I looked at them for long enough.
But the large part of me that will not be decluttering is also a bit sceptical about new year's changes. I am not a big fan of constantly working on myself, to become a better person. Really, I would be better working to help other people and not spending too much time scrutinising myself. There's plenty that could be improved. My relatives would be happy to provide a list. But I'm reasonably fond of myself, despite the dodgy bits, and I'd prefer to press on as I am, just trying to be kind, be creative and have integrity. And realising that those are long-term values, which can't be measured as targets for the year.
And in that spirit, when I should be photographing spring bulbs, perhaps little snowdrops, promising a bright new year of possibilities and improvements, I've been shooting dead roses. They've been cluttering up my kitchen for a month, but I thought they were still beautiful, and this afternoon the light was clear enough to see that.