Through A Glass Darkly

Like Arthur C. Clarke who famously said, ‘I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re sceptical,’ I’m another sceptical Sagittarian and I never, well, hardly ever, read what is written in the stars for me according to the monthly magazines. I’ve always loved the prospect of a shiny new year; a tabula rasa freshly smoothed. But after a rather bumpy 2011, I’m slightly apprehensive about what will be written in the wax of 2012.

New Year began with an unforeseen seven of us celebrating at Hotel H, an untried blend which worked out smoothly despite the foul weather that kept us indoors for most of the time. Fortunately the arrival of so many visitors coincided with some downtime in my writing schedule. Picking up one of the magazines that arrived with the visitors, promising all kinds of reinventions for the new year, I couldn’t resist seeing what the stars, apparently, had in store for me.

Delays on the work front are inevitable at the moment,’ said the monthly forecast. True, especially with seven people in the house. ‘While you’re waiting to get things done, or for a project to get the green light, have a think about where you know you’ve wasted your energy professionally in the past, so that it doesn’t happen again in 2012.’

Wasted my energy? What about all those hours spent slogging away at my desk, trying to make up for all the time spent fretting about Aged P, moving house, tearing it apart and putting it together again?

Turning to the yearly forecast, the section headed ‘Work/life balance’ (Ah, don’t you just love the idea of a work/life balance?) urged me to ‘Make 2012 your year of working smarter, not harder.’ And actually that does make sense. I have several writing projects in mind this year and I’m going to start by planning them, remembering to allow some time for those unforeseen incidents that inevitably derail them.

But, having scoffed at the magazine horoscopes, I should add that I was very privileged a couple of years ago, when the very lovely Dog Star drew up my personal horoscope as a counter to my natural scepticism. I have to admit that what I read was so accurate it was spine-tingling. The reading included some forecasts for this year which, if they unfold as suggested, would really be rather nice. In the meantime, there are some events at Hotel H which haven’t been too hard to predict. Take five visitors, three of whom have colds at various stages of being cooked, and guess what they leave behind?

Happy New Year to you!


Helen said…
'Working smarter, not harder'. Exactly my thoughts for 2012! Happy new year to you too.
Milla said…
Hi, Chris, always good to catch up with you and the exhausting doings of Hotel H.
Norma Murray said…
Being a Gemini, I’m of two minds whether to be sceptical or not about horoscopes. Happy New Year and good luck with the next book.
Flowerpot said…
Chris - hope the cold gets better soon ad youy have a wonderful 2012. I interviewed someone yesterday who announced he had flu - when I got there - having driven over an hour. Not amused as I can't afford to be ill! Take care x
Frances said…
I certainly enjoyed reading this episode of HTW, Chris. Did any of the horoscopes say anything about how much pleasure you bring others via your writing?

I a bit of an agnostic re astrology, but do recognize all the Virgo aspects that I carry around daily.

May you shed that cold soon, and discover your own way of working smarter. (In my experience, working smarter sometimes does end up sort of incorporating the working harder bits, too. I don't think I've noticed it resulting in working "lighter." Maybe I need to try "harder!")

xo to you and Tom.
Teresa said…
Happy New Year Chris!

I'm Gemini so the predictions can make me laugh or frown upon, depending on which Teresa is up at the time ahahahah.

But I have a selective mind ;) so I tend to read only when it's good and happy stuff, and then I'm on the way trying to make it happen.
Debs Carr said…
I think I need to work smarter, not harder this year too.

I'm an Aries. As my aunt once said, I rush in where angels fear to tread. I'm not sure about that...then again, maybe she's right.

Hope you have a brilliant year personally and professionally.x
Pondside said…
Sniffling and sneezing at Hotel H, I think. No fun! I'm impressed by the hosting expertise that promoted good times within an 'unforeseen seven' and that allowed that 'untried blend' to get along reasonable well. Bravo! There's a magazine article there somewhere.
I'm a Taurus and I always hate the predictions for me, so I ignore them.
elizabethm said…
Astrology is a puzzle. Clearly it should be rubbish but so often it hits the spot. I'm a Virgo and sadly do have many of the dutiful, hardworking traits I am supposed to have. Suspect I would need dog star to explain the wine dr king red shoe wearing bits of the picture!
Shirley Wells said…
I need to work smarter this year too.

I was born under the sign of Cancer which means I'm supposed to be a sensitive, loving, loyal home builder. The reality is that I live in a tip and write about murder and mayhem. ;)

Hope the cold's better soon!
Fennie said…
I am a believer in astrology too, much to friends' disgust and dismay. But what I really, really want is a horoscope that says what the planets are doing this week: an important conjunction between Mars and Mercury, for instance, or Jupiter in opposition to the moon. Then we could work things out for ourselves. Margaret might find herself saying to Denis "my back always gives me gyp whenever Venus lines up with the Sun," or whatever.
There is nowhere you can read this sort of thing short of a three tome almanac. No one however seems terribly interested, even Dog Star.
I do wish you though a Happy and Successful Smarter Working New Year.
Talli Roland said…
I've got a cold, too. *sniff sniff* Happy 2012 - I predict many good things are in store.

Of course, being an Aries, I'll charge ahead no matter what! :)
Chris Stovell said…
Good luck, Helen.

Thanks, Milla.

Happy New Year to both of your minds, Norma!

FP, Bleurgh! Not what you need!

Frances, I enjoyed your observations about work aims! Must remember that working smarter doesn't necessarily mean lighter!
Chris Stovell said…
Teresa, another two-minded Gemini! A Happy New Year to both of you!

Debs, I wish you the same. Fingers crossed that this will be your year.

Pondside, thank you! I'm beginning to wonder who is reading their predictions!

Elizabeth, aha, it's you! Dog Star's reading really was uncannily accurate. What a pity she's so busy these days, I do miss her blogs in all their manifestations.

Shirley, you've made me laugh! All best wishes for smart working with the murder and mayhem!

But Fennie, would you really want to know exactly what the week held for you? If I thought she was less busy, I'd try to get Dog Star to give us a hint of what's in store. Dog Star? Are you out there?

Ooh, Talli, I do hope you're right. Here's to 2012 delivering for all of us. Hope the cold's cleared up.
Oooh, the Dog with the crystal ball has been invoked... I'd best dust off his special psychic collar and and locate his special tarot cards...
So sorry to have been so remiss in keeping up to date with everyone, especially you, Chris. My life has undergone a huge turnaround over the past few weeks and I now find myself with a virtually full-time job and precious little time for blogging or soothsaying. You have, however, reignited a small spark and Dog Star may just have to come out of retirement.

A very happy new year to one and all - and, yes, I do sense a year of new beginnings and dramatic cosmic alignments all round. Watch this space... XXX
Chris Stovell said…
Hmm, second attempt at replying as Blogger mysteriously zapped my first comment.

I was saying, LBD, before Blogger beamed me up, how very lovely it was to see you again. Many congratulations on the new job. I hope you're enjoying it and settling in although I feel a tad gloomy that we'll see even less of you and your marvellous blogs.

I do hope the Dog with the crystal ball unearths his Tarot cards in the not to distant future and shares his predictions for the future. Good to hear from you Cx

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