When the ground has turned into Willy Wonka's chocolate river but I continue to refuse my Oompaloompa stripes and add to the poaching, rather more time is spent indoors than desirable. But it feels like a fitting beginning to a new year, taking it a bit easier for a change. The bringing in of the new cows to winter accommodation means the morning chores take a couple of hours, a significant increase, mostly spent dealing with muck of one variety or another. So I still get that morning blast of fresh air and exercise, but I'm currently hibernating from then til 4.30pm when it's time to do all the evening livestock stuff. Most of my arts clients aren't back in the swing yet either, so I actually have some time on my hands.
It's a wonderful feeling, after what has been the most extraordinarily busy year. And what's particularly pleasing is that it's quite clear that the plans for the past few years have been mostly achieved and that 2012 needs to be a year of polishing what's already there rather than creating new baubles. I don't say it will be a year of consolidation (I truly hate that word; to me it means stasis, can't be botheredness, a lack of imagination and joy), but I hope it will be a year of pulling together all the things set up in recent times and making them work just that bit better.
So there is no overly exuberant wish list for 2012, no ridiculously ambitious plans to shove three years' work into one. If I'm part of creating any new baubles they'll fundamentally be someone else's - supporting a smallholding dream here, a sustainable arts organisation there.
But then again...