Alrighty as far as things go in the old calendar business, a year is a year and it doesn’t quite matter how badly it beats you down. The days continue to go on and this is why I like to give a good old fashioned review of the days gone by. So this here my friends is a Review of 2011.
In 2004 I went to Prague for a romantic holiday with my beloved Harry. One night we drank absinthe. That was a strange night. In fact, I think it was the strangest night of my life. I don’t quite remember all that went down, and for that I am kinda glad. We both decided to let what happens in Prague under the influence of Absinthe stay in Prague.
Well would you believe it that when you drink loads of red wine, listen exclusively to Kenny Rogers for about 6 hours with of your 3 loveliest friends the effects of absinthe start creeping back into the old blood stream? Neither did I. But I am not here to lie to you dearly beloveds. At first I thought it was the wine that was making our shadows cuddle. Then I thought it was because I was with my favourite friends that the 4 of us sleeping in my bed was a fabulous idea. But I finally realised that it was Kenny’s buttery voice and songs of heartache and love and love and heartache and a little more heartache and a little more love that had us all weirdly intoxicated.
2. Simon and Garfunkel So nice I just gots to listen to you twice
I am proud to say that I can eat just one Lays potato chip. I don’t like doing it but I can. I have never ever been able to listen to The Only Living Boy in New York once. I have to play it twice, which is kind of annoying when it’s a record but shmaah. It’s such a beautiful song and it moves me deeply every time I hear it and when it ends I feel sad so I have to play it again.
How is it possible when you grow up listening to shit on the radio like Lovers and Other Strangers and Dahlila and your first job is at the Thornhill Fabricland you somehow through some bizarre circumstance never hear the song Muskrat Love by The Captain and Tenille? Well if you are me then it’s just one of those things. But my innocence had to be stolen from me at some point. So at the tender age of 28 my ears got taken advantage of by the most bizarre, most out of place and most awful sounding keyboard solo I have ever heard. I don’t really know what else to say. I am damaged goods now.
When I was having a cross country ski love affair with the forest last winter I had one constant companion, the Woodpecker. Winter was a very hard time for me because my dad’s health was rapidly declining but the forest became my savior. I noticed on one ski in early February that no matter how far I went into the forest I always had a spotted woodpecker nearby. It was comforting. Then I started to notice my little friend around the farm. I would look out the window in the morning and the noble little woodpecker would be climbing the elm tree in the garden. I felt like it was always there. After my dad passed I coped alright for the first month but then things started to get harder. I remember sitting on the deck at the farm one evening looking into the woods just wishing that I could see him again and knowing that I wouldn’t and then the hollow sound of a woodpecker tapping came out of the trees. Now 6 months on when I am having a rough day I always seem to cross paths with the little spotted woodpecker. And you wannna know something? I like to believe that the woodpecker is my dad.Deer friend, Deer heart
This year I celebrated the big one-oh with my best friend Alison. That's right, we celebrated our 10th anniversary. We met on the first day of university where I do believe I walked up to her (because I thought she was so pretty) and said “I am bored of not talking to anyone”. Good thing it doesn’t take much to impress her because we have been partners in crime ever since. Alison is the world to me. I am so happy that I know her because she makes my life better. I used to cry when I lived in England because I missed her so much. She’ll tell me when my hair is bad and if I’m having a crappy day she always says cute shit like ‘at least your pretty’. She has dropped everything and come to my rescue so many times. She is wonderful. I count my lucky stars every single day because having her in my life is a real gift.
Best 8 Words
Losing my Dad this year destroyed me. I am slowly getting better but I know that this type of healing just takes time. Old Al was gruff and grouchy most of the time and he was a man of few words, but he was a gold mine for one-liners. There is something he said to me years ago that sticks with me to this goddamn day. I was going through a very painful breakup and me and my old dad were sitting on the beach at my cottage and I was telling him about my woes and he sat back and looked at me and said “Kate. A man never forgets a good woman.” Those words were the elixir that I needed. For the first time in months I felt ok. Knowing that my dad considered me to be a good woman meant so much. And that boyfriend that I was mourning is now a dear friend who I can confidently say also considers me to be a good woman.
In 11 months I am joining a large demographic. I am turning thirty. I can’t even write the numbers down because it makes me want to throw up. I am beginning to miss my twenties and they aren’t even over. I, Katrine Barnstaple, blissfully coasted through my twenties. I peaked at 26, which is something I have been coming to terms with ever since, but peaking aside this has been one helluva decade. I have had epic love, freedom, adventures and all sorts of trouble. For the first ¾ of my twenties I felt like I owned the world. But something has happened as I geared down towards my thirties...I think I spent too much time having fun in the early years and now I am not nearly as advanced career-wise/life-wise as I anticipated I would be. And now I am approaching the big three-oh and I feel like I am some sort of statistical failure. Piss.
The Yes Please Equation
In January I am packing my bags and heading to Perth for three months to study the art and craft of fine woodworking. It’s a pretty bold manoeuvre which will be taking me to a land far far away from here. I am giving up work and leaving myself pretty tight on the old funds for a chunk of time but these are just minor things that I really need not to worry about. To be a student for again and to be taught by some of the finest craftsmen in North America is an incredible opportunity. Watch out world, this girl is about to become a secret woodworking weapon.