But hey nonny nonny, onwards and upwards. I've spent the last couple of days trying to focus on getting ready for this year. A shorter new haircut, a facial (thanks Frog for the pampering spa vouchers) meant that even a doomed sales shopping trip today, when the changing room fluorescent lighting and small French sizes seemed to be conspiring against me, will not knock me back into the panic attack terrain that I slipped into last week.
So, pausing briefly to summarise 2006 with the comment written in one kind friend's Christmas Card, "I guess you'll have mixed feelings about the last year but at least the wedding was excellent!", let's move on swiftly to see what we have to look forward to in the first two months of 2007:
- A freelance project lined up to start tomorrow (may they all follow quickly afterwards).
- A trip to London to visit old colleagues (hire me for your short term needs now!); drink with old friends (yes, I'm still on the booze); visit best mate with her New Year baby (I will not cry) and plying the bubbly at Vive La France (try saying that without sounding cynical).
- Another year, another Saint Vincent. This year the village celebrations are hosted by Frog Family. Let's see if the family members can all put on a smiling front and not kill each other in front of the hundreds of guests. There are, however, reasons to celebrate. The assemblage of a vintage 2006 has just been created, which apparently (I haven't been privy to the tastings) is of great quality.
- Host another best mate jetting in from Brazil for a few days R&R, on her way to meetings in Europe. (She is the one who had a secret a couple of months back. Again, I repeat, I will not cry).
- Trying not to inflict major bodily harm on Frog when he forgets to engage brain before mouth. His finest example yet came after seeing An Inconvenient Truth on New Year's Day, "Well, if you think about it, all of the earth's problems are fundamentally due to an explosion in the population and you're actually helping the environment". Yes, the resulting evening lurched between states of silence and screaming hysteria. Gah, men.
- Travelling for more wine fairs in Amsterdam & Brussels. These are for professionals, which are always easier than consumer fairs. (I'm looking forward to seeing my friend Aaron's newly purchased flat in Amsterdam).
- Ski-ing. Yes, a holiday. After "working 'is 'ands to the bone" through the crazy Christmas period, Frog is taking a holiday. Harvest to New Year is the busiest time in the industry and, being a small family business, that has translated into no time off for Frog since August (the French 35 hour week has no relation to life in a small family business). However, the good news is that they sold a record amount of bottles over the Christmas period and with February being the quietest month of the year, that's the month that we get to go away. We'll be off to Les Arcs to break a leg, or something, the first week of Feb followed by a trip home to Dorset.
I know it sounds as if we're really busy at the moment and I'm pleased that the next couple of months are packed but I really feel like I'm treading water at the moment. May 2007 unfold without any nasty surprises, that's all I can say.