Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Stuffed: here's to 2013

So that was Christmas; hopefully you had a good one. Best thing for me was not getting much stuff - as a friend said, we're at the age where getting socks (and I did) is a blessed relief. Trying to look grateful for something you didn't want and are going to be asked about later is not for me. Love, health and happiness will do nicely, thanks, along with time to make the most of them. Having spent much of the last few months researching Moto Guzzi's rich history really does bring home the one constant - we all die, and what remains is not the stuff we had but the things we achieved. Life should be about doing, not having. So it was with delight and relief that Dr Girlie Nice-Smile's presents to me were a copy of my long-lost "Twistgrip" by LJK Setright (which I snaffled at a bargain price on eBay months ago before handing it to her without even peeking inside) plus tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in June; about the only music we agree on. We've been married for over 20 years and both had our own homes when we met; we do not need more stuff. Apple’s iStuff leaves me cold, as do computer games: in fact before buying anything these days I need to be sure I’ll still want it in the house (or garage...) a decade from now. As William Morris counselled, do not own anything you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. Wise words that should be posted on the doors of every place of commerce; I cannot understand how people spend Christmas day unwrapping stuff, then charge off to the shops on Boxing Day to buy... more stuff. Where do they put it all?
Maybe that's why I've got fond memories of 2012; it was a year of happenings. Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and the Olympics opening ceremony both reduced a grown man to tears. And both proved what Britain can achieve when it works as Team GB, rather than adopting the confrontational bickering of politicians and union leaders. We can guess what you want, people, we've heard the same stuck record for decades. Go look up that Kennedy quote; no, not the one about going to the moon, the one about asking what you can do or your country.

Going to the moon? 2012 saw Neil Armstrong’s passing and reminded me that ours was a generation blessed by science being sexy. Knowing stuff rather than wanting stuff was seen as the future. Still might be... and the Higgs Boson thing answered a question a Physics teacher planted in my brain n 1976; what is gravity? Not what does the force we call gravity do, but what causes that force. And now I know; hopefully we'll find out what light is next. And how things fly; really - turns out it's not the Venturi effect after all...
But the all year high was getting into the Morbidelli museum, guided around by Snr Morbidelli himself. For free. He even insisted we sat on his V8 and Grazianno Rossi's 500 racer. Who wants stuff? It'll be times like these I'll remember in the old peoples' home, not that I never owned an iPhone. So I’ll remember 2012 for what happened (below) and I wish you a happy and memorable 2013

+ thanks to Cycle Garden for the girl-on-a-Guzzi pic

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