Merry Christmas y’all!

As I predicted, I’ve been jolly busy doing busy things at home. When I’ve not been busy, I seem to have been ill, twice. Still, I promised a more substantial post in December, so here it is.

A New Year is about to hit us, and for me, it’s a strange mix of old and new. I’m going back to Barcelona, a step that has surprised a few friends and family. They’ve seen me as Matt; International Traveller (I especially like the semi-colon),


so they find it odd that I’m planning on spending a year or more somewhere I’ve already been. Well, when I was about to go to Japan, a friend asked me, “Where next after Japan?” and I came to the realisation that I only really wanted to visit Japan. I also only really wanted to learn Spanish and Japanese. “Well, there’s other Spanish speaking countries…” Yes, there are, and one day I’ll probably go, but for now, I want a life in Barcelona.

When in Japan the first time, I felt more homesick for Barcelona than I did for England. The second time, I was too busy having fun to be homesick, but by then, I’d already decided that it was Barcelona next again.

New Year’s Resolutions are a fine tradition. So fine that I ditched them completely, many years ago. Sound odd? That’s because I ditched the part about only doing them at New Year. I make Resolutions at any major change in my life, and sometimes in the middle of big lulls when things haven’t been going as well as they could. This time, the two happen to coincide (New Year and a big change, that is), so in the early days of January, I’ll be repacking my suitcases and at the same time repacking myself. I’ll scrutinize the bits of my life that I like and the bits that I don’t, and the bits that other people like and don’t (usually these don’t match).


And I’ll decide which bits I want to change.  Because going to Barcelona is not going to be a backwards step for me. It’s going to be New and Improved.

Here’s an old and unimproved poem to go with the sentiment of change. In the New Year, I’ll pick this one up and cut it to about half its length, fix the line lengths, and decide which of the repeating words to cut. But for now, it’s the spirit of this poem that I wanted to post….

See you in the New Year!


Everything’s changing,
a break between
one chapter and another.

The tension of the last
meets the tension of the next

At that collision, breathe
breathe though you feel you can’t,
breathe through the change and
part the past in a path behind you.

Breathe in, take it in
Breathe out, let it out,
all out, all of whatever, all of you
that was, all that clings to you
and all that you cling to,
all that wraps itself in a coil in your spine
all that latches on to the back of your neck

All that joy, too, all that love and desire
all that hope that drowns reality.

It doesn’t all go, breathe again, suck it in,
push it out, feel it go, the winds of change
are yours, you, blowing out.

Until you can’t breathe, again,
because you are empty.
Then start small.


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