It's probably too late to wish everyone a Happy New year, unless, like me, you hibernate. Out in the fresh air this morning I see it's time to wake up: there are buds on daffodils, celandines are opening, the hellebores and snowdrops are almost past their best, and the birds are busting a gut with singing.
In my garden is a bush I am very proud and fond of - it's the Christmas Box, or Sarcocca (awful name!) which produces highly scented clusters of tiny whitish flowers in January to February. The scent follows you round the garden: the flowers are full of pollen and early bees love it. Imagine my surprise then when I invited a friend to smell it and she reeled back, exclaiming "Ugh, foul!" Well, yes, it is quite strong, I agree, but if you want to attract any passing insects at this time of year you have got to be a bit outrageous.
Which makes me think of poets and the need or otherwise to self-publicise: few of us have agents to do this for us, and some of us are very good at it and some of us are not. I and a friend have been discussing this and wondering what we should/could do to increase our visibility: after much consideration that we 'should' be on Face book, Twitter, Linked-in, My Space and any other space, I felt the whole idea sounded so full "of sound and fury", and possibly so time-consuming that I have retreated instead to my cosy little blog. I am not against any of these facilities, no, not at all but I simply don't have the energy at my point in life to spend on them. It's enough as Michael Symmons Roberts has said to focus on the work.
On the other hand I quite like posting on this little blog. Occasionally friends read it, and though they don't post comments they might send me an e-mail as Joan Poulson recently did, saying that she found my blog uplifting. Which I treasured as a very great compliment indeed. Thank you, Joan!