2021 A Time of New Beginnings (again)

I am amazed that the last post was...well last year. But here we are moving to the end of January having gone through the 21st hour of the 21st day of 2021 already and nothing has changed too much. Yes, there is a new president of the USA, yes the discussion continues whether to vaccine or not, but of course there is no discussion about whether to wear masks or not. If nothing else it has endorsed what our mothers taught us about washing our hands and 'taking care'.

Were there any good things to emerge from 2020? Of course. Apparently the ozone hole closed over Antarctica. The elephant population in Kenya doubled. In Africa polio has been eradicated and the COVID-19 vaccine became the fastest developed vaccine in history. (Perhaps if we are vaccinated that I might be able to speak Mandarin). I learned to Zoom and spent many happy hours chatting to family and friends and while not being able to touch them, there were some really good moments. Who knows what other wonderful things transpired in 2020 that we haven't even heard about?

Penfriend's cyber studio classes have started and once again I have a wonderful group of students. We been taking that new year class first step for so many years now and have become familiar and comfortable stepping into the first January class. Although one participant said she was rather anxious about the first session Fibonacci (of the beautiful Golden Mean). I love teaching and the research that goes into it. I have never been a mathematician (my maths teachers were too clever for them to spend any time on the visual learner that I am, so I never understood the concept of measuring time or speed of trains in those 'story sums'). But the beauty of geometry and the Hypotenuse is like a jewel in my repertoire of creative beauty. The breaking down of the Golden Mean became an 'a-ha' moment as I prepared for the first session and it seems that although there was trepidation for some, the students too discovered the beauty of 'Infinity'.

In February I have a water-colour course starting as well as a new Uncial class with new students which is such a treat. A young neighbour asked if she could come over in the 'varsity vac' to learn 'Architectural writing' which has been a real treat. Chatting to students puts a different perspective into my world.

I've continued doing various online courses and obtained an Art Life Coaching course diploma which consolidates all that I have been doing in my teaching over the past years. I also completed a Poetry course through a USA university which was informative and interesting and did result in some poems. This year I have re-kindled my love for Sanskrit and re-joined a class with my long-standing Sanskrit teacher Gillian. It was like opening the door to a forgotten but well known room - a little dusty and filled with cobwebs, but a ray of sunshine beams in the corner to light up the gloom. Although it will be a huge challenge it already has me 'ah-ing' and 'om-ing' as I sit and attempt the exquisite lettering.

With amazement I realise that my teddy and I have another HUGE birthday this year (really, where does the time go?). The remarkable Friends with Threads group has agreed to help make bright blankets and small toys. These will hopefully be ready to hand over in October 2021 in a hopefully 'celebratory' ceremony.

In the meantime we all need to stay safe and well. Remember 'you don't really have to be young to find a friend in a Teddy bear'.

Take care. Till next time.