2011 New Year Original Art Work Giveaway!

It's the New Year! I'm ready for it! Let's go! (Let's not use any more exclamation points until the next paragraph.)

So to celebrate I am giving away the original signed sketch for 'Running Home'. (Pictured below)  To be in the drawer you need to be a follower of this blog and leave a comment after this post. Here is the exclamation point : (ready?) '!'

So, Happy 2011. I was going to give you a run down of the good points of 2010, but there were A LOT and I didn't want to bore you. I just hope 2011 has as many. There were some sad times too, we lost one of our dogs, and sadly I think this year we may lose another ...it's hard knowing the heartache is to come. But that, of course, is life.

I managed to slow down a bit this last week and think about the coming 12 months. I watched a lot of good stuff on the BBC, cooked, saw some friends, slept. I have been working on the art showcase piece for the coming NY SCBWI conference. It's more involved than anything I have done for a while, and after this post I am back at it.

Last night I watched an episode of 'Wild China' a documentary (as per the title). It's stunning. (BBC). They featured a tribe from way up in the North East. In the mountains. Hunter gatherers. Riding out on a sturdy pony was one of the elders. At 82 he was off hunting in the higher reaches. His weapon? A beautiful golden eagle perched upon his forearm, as easily supported as if it were a canary. The eagle, trained from a chick, will give the man another 5 years service (10 in total), and then be released into the wild, as the other eagles were before him. Agree with this or not, it was a beautiful thing to see. At 87 the hunter will not take on another bird. He will retire from hunting with eagles. And this made me think a lot about our society. At the age when we stop doing things, when we start to say 'I am too old'.

Personally I never see retirement on my horizon and I don't think practising artists and writers ever do. I hear friends saying what they will do when they 'retire' and I guess I am lucky to be doing what I want to do until I fall off this plane of existence.

But I look around me, and I see so many people in their early sixties and seventies and they are ready to go - indeed seem obsessed with it. What makes us like this? The media? Societies expectations? Prescription medicine? Loss of hope?

America has been good to me, but sometimes I feel I too am being sucked into the maelstrom of relinquishment. It is youth that matters and not the wisdom of years.

As I watched the wise old man on his pony, proud with his eagle, I remembered my own words lately, 'I feel like I am getting too old to ride. I've lost the urge.' What I am is getting brainwashed and lazy.

This spring, I get back on those horses and I ride. And that goes for the rest of the issues I have too!

So there is my new year's res.

I hope you are inspired to take life by the horns too.

Go get 'em Floyd

AKA The Wacky Brit.

The Bedside Table: New books on order!!