I’m very excited about 2011.  Not about the financial and political situation we find ourselves in – we don’t have much control over the bigger picture there – but about things that we do have control over – our choices and how we choose to react to life’s challenges.

This year I start my MA.  I’m really fortunate to have found a course where I can write my own programme of study, and see where it takes me.  My raison d’etre is texture in weaving, and my starting point for the masters is the geography/geology of extreme landscape, translating that through weave, and also the philosophy of landscape – how people react to the conditions in which they find themselves through living in extreme landscape. 

Sometimes it’s the journey rather than the destination that is important.  I don’t know what the outcome of this journey will be, but the planning alone is exciting.  Through doing quite a lot of background research, the more you read and absorb, the more you realise there is to know.  This journey is already bringing together so many aspects of my life that I didn’t realise were connected so completely.

I love science – especially physics – although I have never been a scientist.  At school I preferred history to geography but as I got opportunities to travel, this changed through experiencing new cultures, new people, new customs, new landscape.  

Weaving is related to geological processes (at least in my mind).  Weaving is seen as a slow process compared to fine art.  So is the history of the planet compared to human history, spanning eons of time, not a few centuries.  This fits in with my fascination with deep space – that is even longer reaches of time than geology! 

A few years ago, I discovered fractals whilst on a walk with my previous dog, Kym.  That led to a new appreciation of maths!  Most of it is beyond me, but I do get the broad concepts even if the specifics leave my brain as mush!!  Geography and fractals are very closely linked…  the length of a coastline expands as the unit of measurement gets smaller, and cinematic and computer graphics using fractal algorithms to generate mountain ranges and landscapes. 

I also have had a fascination with minerals as long as I can remember.  Now, with a growing understanding of plate tectonics, I am learning more about the creation of minerals and how the slightest changes in state can result in tremendously different variations. 

A more recent interest is philosophy, which really came to the fore when my son went to uni, and is now being fuelled by learning about the philosophy of art, craft and landscape. 

What bliss!  To be on the verge of a project that encompasses so many of the topics that float my boat!  I can’t believe my good fortune but I sure as heck will do my utmost to use this opportunity to the best of my ability.  It sounds corny, but I really do feel blessed that, like a branching river, so many streams of interest are coming together into one path.  Whether it goes through canyons or broad river plains, this is going to be one exciting ride. 

I wish you your own exciting ride through 2011 and hope that, even if it’s not what you anticipated, you will find joy and achievement in the journey!  Let’s raise our glasses to each other, and have a virtual toast to adventure and camp fires!