Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So long, 2008!

I know there's been some days in 2008 that I'd rather not experience again but not many. There was a lot to celebrate, too. New babies, new houses, new jobs. We were both healthy, and wiser, if not wealthier.

Today, I'm blocking my last knitted item for the year. It's time to think about the New Year project. For many years now, I have made it my personal tradition to clear up the old year's knitting projects by December 31. Then I spend some time thinking about what I'd like to start. Of course, I usually start today but I count it as Jan 1. It will probably be some new socks. I have a design idea in my head and this is a perfect time to try it out. Nothing else on the horizon that needs to be made.

I will also probably draw out some coasters to hook. I won't start a new rug because I still have the quilt blocks to finish. If I put it away, I'll just be creating a UFO. Not something I can live with anymore. Bad enough I have to live with the UFO's that exist from before I started making the effort LOL

I have just finished the last book for 2008: The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson. When the book fell into my hands a few weeks ago, I read the jacket notes and thought "sounds interesting but probably a bit of a pot-boiler." Just shows that you shouldn't judge a book by it's dust jacket, either. It has turned out to be an outstanding read. I polished it off in 2 days - excellent characters and a gripping story line. It's set in northern Ontario with dual time lines: depression through WW2 and late 50's and 60's ending in the present. Four stars.

Which brings me to my last rant for the year: did any one else see the results of a little survey commissioned by Canadian Heritage? I was appalled by the weekly hours spent reading books for leisure or interest. So shocked that I can't really believe the numbers. Apparently, the weekly average for the university-educated is less than one hour per day. For retirees, just over an hour per day. So, who is buying all those books? When do they read them? Was this an off week for all the readers?

Apparently, about 22% of the books we read are by Canadian authors. And I think that was the real point of the survey. Now since it was a grant-giving body which commissioned the study, I'm not sure the results don't suit those government types. " See? Readers don't care about Canadian authors so why bother throwing money to them? " Or, could there be genuine concern? Hard to know but it's also hard not to think this was a self-serving survey. Of course, I don't think surveys are useful anyway. There are so many ways to crunch the numbers that you can prove any case you want from one. Merely interesting.

That's it. Last words for the year: may you have just enough challenge in 2009 to keep life interesting and may you have just enough of everything else to be materially satisfied.

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