Happy New Year! I hope 2011 is an improvement over its predecessor.
This time of year has special significance to me. My parents were from Scotland, where New Year celebrations are taken very seriously - it is called Hogmanay and you can read about it here. Every Hogmanay my parents hosted a party which began at midnight; much of New Year's Eve was spent cleaning the house before the party (a custom which I understand is also followed by the Chinese). The post-party clean-up would occur once people had recovered from the festivities. January is a month of looking forward: the nights begin to shorten again after the dark months of November and December, and the Christmas break is over. I've done very little other than eat and drink too much this Christmas as I have been unwell, but the enforced break has allowed me to recharge my batteries; I'm even looking forward to getting back to work next week.
During 2011, I intend to continue posting from time to time on pencils and pens, with the occasional foray into typewriters and other subjects. I intend to post one or two typecasts from the Olympia SM3 once I can work out how to darken the text on scans, or obtain a replacement ribbon. There are some pencils I have yet to try - still no Blackwings or Dixon Ticonderogas here for example, though the latter is now available at Cult Pens - so perhaps I can get my hands on those, even with the rise in VAT due on Tuesday.
So, here's to the new year, and a new decade in stationery. Again, Happy New Year!