Friday, January 4, 2008

New years resolutions

Blogging more is one of my new years resolutions and, as with most people, you can expect me to start off full of enthusiasm and then basically go missing from the first week of February. Anyway, there will hopefully be a few January-postings on this site before things start to go terribly wrong.

I was lucky enough to spend NYE 2007 in Paris. Last year I was in Harare, so I've started a good run of special locations for seeing in the New Year. I'm definitely going to have to plan something equally cool for NYE 2008, but since my name isn't Joyce, I won't start planning it just yet ... Anyway, back to Paris, it was my first visit to the French capital (I'm still a stranger to most of Europe, somewhat embarrassingly) but it certainly won't be my last. I was very, very impressed. The town is just beautiful - everywhere you look you see breathtaking architecture. And it's all so close together! Walk for half an hour in any direction and you will pass stunning churches, amazing restaurants offering fresh oysters and flowing champagne, incredible galleries full of renaissance and impressionist masterpieces and a seemingly never-ending selection of shops selling high-end, French and surprisingly hideous fashion.

In the four days I was there, I ate a lot. And I walked a lot too, partly to balance out the pastry eating and partly because there was so much I wanted to see. And I drank a lot, because I was thirsty after all that walking and, hey, it was New Years after all. The only downside was the queuing to get into the Notre Dame and the Louvre and the restaurants and, well, pretty much everywhere else. It's always my least favourite part about going to any popular destination, but it's a good way to learn tolerance for your fellow human beings. Not that my tolerance levels are that impressive, but I'm working on it. And everyone needs more than one New Years resolution to break. So, if the world is listening, January is the time to test my patience because from the first week of February, I'm sure that my fuse is going to be getting extremely short again.

My last resolution is to be better at remembering things and, in particular, peoples names so I don't have to keep on being reintroduced. Usually it takes me about 6 meetings to get someone's name down. Before you think that I'm rude and arrogant, it doesn't mean I've forgotten them - I can usually remember most things about them like what they do for work, who they're friends with, what we talked about last time we met, but I just can't remember names. So I'm going to try and improve that. And in the meantime, I'm going to stick with my tactic of calling everyone mate.

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