Esther Newton’s Monday Motivations : New Year’s Resolution

Ice on railings

Image : Pixabay

Fog slumps over the city, each car roof patterned with feathery wands of ice. Grant walks quickly with no plan of where he’s heading, just that he needs the burning cold in his lungs, the nip at his ears.

Already the second of Janury. Christmas hardly caused a blip on his personal radar. No tree, no presents, just a sludge of tinsel heavy television to prove its existence.

He used to love it – the glitter, the excess – but that was before. That was when he had someone to make a fuss of, someone to make a fuss of him. Now he’s single and has fallen from the whirlwind of present buying and food shopping, he sees things he never did before – the homeless guy in the shop doorway, cardboard for a mattress, his scruffy mongrel wearing a chewed Santa hat; the old man lingering by the freezer in the 24 hour shop, picking a microwave roast dinner for one, a pudding in a can for desert. Grant now realises Christmas is a members only club. If you’re alone, you’re excluded.

He reaches the harbour side as the fog begins to lift. The water is frozen, the ferries breaking the ice into slates, forging pathways for the swans to follow. Boat chains and railings are furred white, icy prickles swept to powder as Grant runs his glove along the metal.

He and Amy never used to make a fuss about New Year. ‘There’s no magic in the passing of time,’ she’d say. And resolutions are a pointless weight on your shoulders. ‘Only there to be broken. A reason to feel disappointed with yourself.’

He’d nod. Of course, ridiculous.

But that was then. Now every year he makes the same resolution and each time he believes he’ll keep it, that enough time has passed, that he’s stronger than he was.

The pavement is still icy in the shadows, mud ridged and stiff, leaves pressed by feet and frost. He looks up at the building. Each flat has a triangular balcony, like the prow of a ship but made in metal and glass, cluttered with flower pots and fold up chairs. He counts the floors – one, two, three – settling on the fourth. There’s the striped parasol, folded up for the winter, the terracotta pot that brims with scarlet geraniums every summer.

Every year he makes the same resolution and always breaks it.

‘Happy New Year, Amy,’ he whispers, turns and heads for home.


Written for Esther Newton’s Monday Motivations – New Year. Esther runs some great prompts and competitions – pop along here to see what’s happening.



WordPress annual reports: useful or a waste of good pixels?


Image: Pixabay


A New Year is traditionally a time for taking stock, for looking past the glittery tunnel of Christmas, seeing the good and the bad of the last 12 months, of what went right and what wrong. And for planning for the year ahead, of course.

I don’t do resolutions as such, being as I am, easily depressed by my own failure. Life throws up plenty of opportunities to do this every year, week, day, without me giving it ammunition by promising to give up things I love to do, eat or drink. No hair shirt for me, please.

I had one of those WordPress annual report thingies for 2015, as I’m sure you all did, comparing my traffic to the contents of subway trains – a concept inspired to transform the blank abstract stats into something recognisably human.

My blog carried about 4 subway train’s worth, apparently – and not a single passenger wiped their feet, dirty devils.

Most of my visitors were from the US: I downloaded over 200 photos: the post with the most comments was the snappily titled Nothing says Christmas like Rubber Eyeballs : the most viewed, This is a Happy House, illustrated by my alter ego, Na the Slayer, above. Gorgeous, ain’t I?

The question I want to ask you, my fellow wanderers around the highways and byways of the blogging community is:

did you read your report? And if so, did you find it useful? In what possible way can or will it influence your future blogging?

You see, much as I liked seeing what I’ve achieved over my first year, I don’t actually know what I can do with all of this info.

Answers on a postcard, please.

Alernatively, do post your views below. I’m intrigued to hear what you think.