2011 brought a lot of changes into my life – both challenges and delights, and last evening Mr Nina and I celebrated the first few moments of 2012 with a difference.
In the bell tower of our local church.
Mr Nina is a born-again ringer, and sitting there in the tower as the local ringers rang the 8 bells to welcome in the new year for our community, I thought to myself that there was probably no better or happier place I wanted to be – or a more fitting one.
The old and the new. The ancient and respected traditions working in harmony with the new which threatens to destroy it.
Now where have we heard that in the past few years?
In 2010, St Michael’s celebrated it’s 500th anniversary. The main nave and tower were built in 1514. And the current 6th bell was founded by John Saunders, an itinerant bell founder in 1558. The number 7 bell was cast in 1602 and the 5th and Tenor bells were cast in 1670.
So early this morning I was literally sitting under the three bells which were cast when the Tudors and Stuarts ruled England. Those bells had been rung during some of the most dramatic times in British History. The deaths of the Tudor and Stuart monarchs, the civil war – which was fought very fiercely in our county, then the return of the monarchy, the Great Plague, the Great fire of London… people, places, discoveries – exciting times for the world.
And those three old bells are still being rung in 2012 by men and women holding ropes . Only now they time the start of the midnight 12 rings of the Tenor bell using a digital watch and a cell phone.
And so January begins. From Janus, the god with two heads, one looking back, one forward, half in the old year and half in the new.
If 2011 was the year of turmoil and uncertainty in the publishing world then 2012 should see a lot of settling down – which means new boundaries, new gate posts and new opportunities as the old gate keepers change their roles.
I have so many exciting – and challenging – ideas and plans for 2012 that I am totally jazzed to get started. Scary and tough? Absolutely. But exciting all the same.
But most importantly – I wish you all a happy and healthy 2012. This is going to be the year when all of your dreams and goals become real. Nina x